‘We want to give Jacob the biggest send off we can’

Balloons released in support of Jacob Jenkins.
Balloons released in support of Jacob Jenkins.

Donations are still pouring in and balloons are still being bought from a party supplies shop that has raised more than £1,000 for Jacob Jenkins.

Balloonies, which is on Murray Street in Hartlepool, pledged earlier this week to donate all profits made by selling balloons for a release in the toddler’s honour to his family.

Flowers left at Pizza Hut in memory of Jacob Jenkins.

Flowers left at Pizza Hut in memory of Jacob Jenkins.

This total has now topped £1,300 - with an estimated 1,300 balloons being sold on the day.

Lee Chapman, owner of the shop, said he and the other staff worked “non stop” on Wednesday selling yellow balloons to members of the public until they ran out.

The shop was “manic” from 9am until 6pm - with customers still trying to come in after closing time.

Three trips - two to Gateshead and one to Middlesborough - had to be made for helium, while gold and ivory balloons were sold in place of yellow. At the start of the day there were 1,000 in stock.

Candles and a card left at Pizza Hut in memory of Jacob Jenkins.

Candles and a card left at Pizza Hut in memory of Jacob Jenkins.

Lee said: “I thought if we raised a few hundred quid it would be great, but it far exceeded expectations.

“People were willing to queue for quite a while because they knew the money was going to Jacob’s fund.”

The two-year-old, who choked on a grape in Pizza Hut last week, died on Wednesday just as hundreds of balloons were released in Seaton Carew.

Jacob’s parents, Abigail and David, visited the shop today to thank Lee and his colleagues for raising the money - and for their support.

Meanwhile, customers are still buying yellow balloons - and even just popping in to hand over money to the fund.

“We need to keep on pushing and getting that total up - that’s what we are aiming for,” Lee continued.

“We want to give Jacob the biggest send off we can.”

An online Go Fund Me page set up for Jacob has almost £15,000. If you want to donate, click here.