Pauline’s flying high to tick off bucket list wish

Pauline Donnelly ticks kite flying off her bucket list
Pauline Donnelly ticks kite flying off her bucket list
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It’s the opportunity to make lifelong dreams come true - and members of a Fylde companionship group have been quick to make the most of it.

Just Good Friends has proved a dazzling success since being founded in St Annes less than four years ago.

I call it the ‘bucket list’ - something we have always wanted to do before we ‘kick the bucket’ – and when I suggested it to the members of the group, the response was amazing

It now has more than 150 members and founder Bev Sykes has been delighted with the response to her latest innovation - a wish, or ‘bucket’, list of long-held ambitions.

The first Just Good Friends member to realise her dream was 80-year-old Pauline Donnelly, from Ansdell, who finally got to fly a kite at the weekend - and a wide range of similar aims are set to be achieved in the near future.

They include taking a ride on the Flying Scotsman, dancing with someone from the TV show Strictly Come Dancing, meeting tenor Alfie Boe, taking a hot air balloon ride and having a picture taken with motorcycling legend Carl Fogarty on a Harley Davidson - not bad for a group who membership generally ranges from 60 upwards.

“I call it the ‘bucket list’ - something we have always wanted to do before we ‘kick the bucket’ – and when I suggested it to the members of the group, the response was amazing,” said Bev.

“I thought of the idea after my daughter Gemma absolutely delighted me by arranging for the dance group Diversity to come to St Annes and surprise me for the TV show Surprise Surprise.

“She knew I was a big fan and it was a wonderful total shock - a brilliant feeling that I will never forget. thought it would be nice for the Just Good Friends members to sample the same feeling and when I suggested the ‘bucket list’, they came up with all sorts of brilliant ideas.”

Pauline, a retired county road safety officer who has been widowed for five years, joined Just Good Friends last September.

Just Good Friends, which started with a handful of members in September 2012, holds meetings at St Annes Palace, St Annes Pensioners Hall, Lytham Methodist Church and the Victoria pub in St Annes as well as Sunday lunches at the St Ives Hotel. More from Bev Sykes on 07557 734233 after 6pm.