Businessman launches party firm

Lee Chapman and Diane Hender with her son Dylan Davis let balloons go outside of his Murray Street shop. Picture by FRANK REID
Lee Chapman and Diane Hender with her son Dylan Davis let balloons go outside of his Murray Street shop. Picture by FRANK REID
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A businessman has launched his latest venture - and backed a charity cause at the same time.

Hartlepool man Lee Chapman, 38, has unveiled Balloonies in Murray Street. He described the business as a “one-stop shop” for people wanting everything associated with a party.

Hopefully I can provide employment for local people around here and I will be expanding

Lee Chapman, entrepreneur who has launched Balloonies

And to tie in with the opening, he also launched 100 purple balloons, each with a ticket attached. The one which travels the furthest will have extra significance.

Lee plans to donate £1 for every mile the balloon has travelled to a cause which raises awareness of a condition called craniosynostosis.

Craniosynostosis causes sections of the skull to be fused together, preventing it from expanding and leading to pressure on the sufferer’s growing brain. The condition affects just one in every 3,000 babies.

Hartlepool youngster Dylan Davis, two, has the condition. Dylan was born at the University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton in May 2013, weighing a healthy 7lb 7oz.

But the illness was picked up almost immediately by a midwife, who noticed Dylan had an abnormal shape to his head. The tot was given x-rays and scans and eventually, at two weeks old, he was diagnosed with craniosynostosis.

Dylan is the son of Lee’s partner Diane Hender, 37, and she praised Lee for an “absolutely fantastic idea” to raise money through the balloon launch.

As well as the charity side, this week’s shop opening had other significance for Lee who also has other ventures as well. He is hoping Balloonies does well enough for him to consider taking on staff.