HUNDREDS of balloons filled the sky as they started a journey which children hoped would take them across the country.

About 400 were released at Wood End Junior School, in Vernon Rise, Greenford, by the seven to 11-year-old pupils. Each had paid a pound per balloon to take part in the race on Thursday with the proceeds going towards new school benches.

The youngster whose balloon is found furthest away wins £25. The event was organised by parents Sam Campion and Julie Evans.

Wood End Junior School headteacher Anne Hayes, said: "It was a great project that brought the school community together for an exciting event on the last week of term. We're very fortunate to have supportive parents with the time and energy to arrange such things for our children."

Anyone finding a purple helium balloon is asked to log on to and follow the links to enter the postcode where they found it and the attached identification number.