IT all started out as a group of friends who occasionally got together for a chat.
Now, the Ladybirds are 12 weeks old and already making a significant contribution to charity with their fundraising.
The 10 members held a coffee morning recently for Macmillan Cancer and raised a fantastic £3,004.
Ladybirds member Marilyn Hamblet said: “We have so many people to thank for giving us their support. It seemed like we only had to ask and people were only too happy to help us out.”
She explained how the Ladybirds had blossomed. “We just wanted to meet as friends. We all just thought they everyone should have someone they can have a cuppa with.
“We all have the same minds, our husbands have the same interests and we felt it was nice that people had someone there they could go to.”
The Ladybirds currently meet once a fortnight at the Black Olive, in Hartlepool, on Wednesdays, with the next meeting on October 16 at noon. But the meetings are likely to become weekly from November, said Marilyn.
A committee has been formed with all 10 founding members on it. They plan to discuss future events such as days out and fashion shows.
“No-one is in charge and we are all equal.
“We want to do quite a lot of things and all the money we raise will be for charity,” said Marilyn. “We want to have a fashion show next March.”
But the group is already off to a flying fundraising start.
Its coffee morning was held at the home of the Hartlepool Stage Society within Throston Grange Community Centre.
The free use of the premises was the society’s donation to the cause.
Marilyn said: “Local businesses were wonderful in the way they supported us. I don’t think we had to ask twice.”
The starring supporters – each giving prizes for the coffee morning – included the Grand Hotel which donated a bed and breakfast, artist David Betson who gave a sketch of Church Street in days gone by and the Body Shop.
Just as sterling support came from Curio House, 23 Taxis, Beauty by Nichola, Sue Cook’s hairdressers, the Black Olive, Seymours, the Greensides, Halfords, Bar 516 and Linda Howlett.
Anyone wanting to find out what Ladybirds is all about should contact either Marilyn on 07587 170046 or Joyce Wise on (01429) 870590.