A SOCIAL group is celebrating its first birthday after a hugely successful 12 months.
Just before Christmas last year Barbara Scott, 61, decided she wanted to spice up her own social life and set up a new group – but she had no idea it would turn out like it has.
The first gathering attracted eight people who enjoyed a cup of coffee and a chat.
Twelve months on and the group boasts more than 75 members who have enjoyed trips to Liverpool and Edinburgh and organised their own ball.
Butterflies is spreading its wings – and Barbara is absolutely delighted.
“It’s just been unbelievable,” said the mum-of-two who works as an accountant and lives in Hartlepool’s Dowson Road.
“It started out as me just wanting to meet a few new friends who I can meet up with on a Saturday morning for a chat, no way did I ever expect it to turn out like this.”
Weekly chats over a cup of coffee soon developed into enjoying meals out – which in turn soon developed into weekend trips away.
The group even took the time to organise their own ball, held at Hartlepool’s Grand Hotel, which impressively raised more than £1,000 for Hartlepool & District Hospice.
Only recently the Butterflies made the journey down the M62 to Liverpool for a weekend away to celebrate Barbara’s birthday.
“I don’t think I would be exaggerating to say that the group has changed people’s lives,” added Barbara.
“So many people have thanked me for starting the group, it’s proved that the need was there in Hartlepool.
“It has given people a new lease of life, improved their confidence, we have even had a couple of romances develop.”
The group are planning a party to celebrate such a successful first year next month. And Barbara already has her eye on next year.
She said: “It’s onwards and upwards for us.
“We will enjoy lots more trips and hopefully attract lots more members.
“The ball was a fantastic night this year so we are hoping to organise another one of them next year as well.”
The Butterflies meet at Springs Sanctuary Spa Health Club, in Harbour Walk, Hartlepool every Saturday, from 11am.
For more information about the Butterflies or to join, call Barbara on 07846775991.