KIND-HEARTED members of a popular social group had a ball at their own event – and raised more than £1,000 for a local hospice.
Hartlepool’s Grand Hotel was awash with stunning gowns and tuxedos as members of the Butterflies social group enjoyed their first summer ball.
The group was formed less than a year ago but already boasts more than 50 members.
They meet once a week for a get-together as well as organising a number of trips away.
Earlier this year, founder Barbara Scott, 60, and fellow members decided to organise their own ball.
And the event was hailed a huge success after £1,080 was donated to Hartlepool & District Hospice.
The hospice is close to Barbara’s heart.
Her mum, Jean Bailey, was cared for there before she died in August 2009, aged 84, after suffering from an asbestos-linked illness.
“We had an absolutely fantastic evening and to raise that money to support the hospice is absolutely terrific,” said Barbara, a mum of two who works as an accountant and lives in Hartlepool’s Dowson Road.
“I am proud to be associated with the hospice.
“My mum spent her last weeks there before she died and had the best care she could have possibly had.”
The event actually raised £540 but key organiser and Butterflies member Karen Moore secured match funding from her employer, Barclays Bank, to double the final tally.
Barbara added: “We had a really good turn out at the ball.
“At the beginning, all I wanted was a few new friends to have a coffee with and do some socialising.
“At out first meeting we had eight people turn up, now the Butterflies are really spreading their wings and every week we have new members joining.”
Francis McAllister, director of fundraising at the Wells Avenue hospice, said: “The Butterflies is a lovely group which clearly brings happiness to its members.
“To know that they are combining this social outlet with the chance to raise money for a vital local charity is great news.
“Good luck to the Butterflies, I hope the group of friends continue to grow.”
For more information about the Butterflies or to join, call Barbara on 07846 775991.