Rachel is a qualified Fitness Instructor and dance teacher who has over 25 years of experience working with groups of all abilities. She assesses fitness levels and produces specific workout plans for all abilities as well as holding Mental Health First Aid and ASIST (Assured Suicide Intervention Skills Training) qualifications.
Bex has a vast experience of working with vulnerable children and adults with complex needs. She is a qualified drug and alcohol counsellor as well as holding multiple qualifications in behavioural difficulties and has worked within this field for the majority of
her career. Bex is also Mental Health First Aid and ASIST trained.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
Our daughter has been attending Butterflies Juniors for only 3 weeks, but in that time we have noticed a change in her. She is starting to look at things in a more positive way, the very frequent tears are less so and her confidence is starting to shine through. When she attends the sessions she is always made to feel welcome and can just be herself. She says if she wants to speak about anything she is listened to and made to feel important valued, so much so she has told one of her friends who now attends the sessions also. I can't thank you enough for the amazing work you do to support and encourage our vulnerable young teens.
In august 2019 during one of my last counselling sessions, my counsellor suggested trying to find a support group as I’d being retired from work due to ill health so was very much isolated at home. I didn’t think much of it at the time and I didn’t do anything about it.
Then in January 2020 after an appointment with my GP to go through my blood results I had slipped into being diabetic and because my mum was a diabetic I knew the implications it could bring, so I knew I had to do something about my weight my fitness and my mental health as my anxiety had got hold again which led to being depressed snd back on the slippery slope to nowhere.
I started looking for ladies only exercise and well-being groups, most of these I found to be too “gymy” and clicky. Then a friend shared a post about butterflies and I thought this could be me. With encouragement from my brother, sister in law and my cousin (who had all seen me at my lowest) an email was sent to enquire and I sat thinking oh no what have I done. My mobility wasn’t great and I didn’t want to go somewhere where I could hold other ladies back.
The response I got back was caring, welcoming and most of all encouraging. After a couple of false starts due to chest infections, the dreaded Thursday evening arrived. I booked a taxi to take me down to the studio. Whilst I was in the car I kept saying to the driver take me back home please I can’t do this. My anxiety was all over the place sweaty palms and feeling sick were there. It was a driver I knew and he kept saying you can do this, you’ve got this! When we arrived he stood and watched to make sure I went in, the push I needed at the time!
I was greeted warmly and whilst I sat and watched the exercise session I realised what a lovely group of ladies they were but I still wasn’t sure it was for me. The well-being chat at the end of the session made me realise I wasn’t alone anymore and on leaving that evening everyone said “Wendy we will see you next week won’t we” so my journey took another step.
Every week I noticed that my anxiety about going and in general got easier and I started to look forward to the Thursday evening sessions. Being able to talk about what was upsetting me in the week relieved the load I was carrying and being able also see what was positive in my week made me smile.
It took me time to build my trust in the ladies but i got there in the end. I was encouraged to keep going and to try the exercises that we did each week, there is no pressure no gyminess or click. The exercises change each week which I like as this stopped me from feeling bored or disinterested.
The sessions are extremely well run. It’s great environment filled with laughter which makes me go home with a warm feeling ( or logging off zoom due to the pandemic)
My anxiety, depression and feeling lonely are still there but instead of building up to a big event and causing a breakdown they are more manageable and at easter this year I suffered a mental health wobble but I saw the signs coming and asked for help snd I was able to chat to the ladies about it without it feeling as though it’s a stigma.
I feel better about myself (not 100% there yet not sure I ever will be) my fitness has improved a little, I think! My mental health is definitely better but most of all my confidence is coming back and that’s all down Rachael, Bex’s and all the ladies at butterflies. My brother, sister in law and my cousin have all noticed how much more positive I am about things. As I said to my counsellor the blinds have being opened to let the light in and make the darkness disappear.
Butterflies started out for me as a group of ladies that met to exercise and chat but they have become friends that are now family. I don’t feel as lonely but I wouldn’t like to think where i would have ended up if it hadn’t been for butterflies and the support they give me, there were and still are my life saver.
What more can I say except I’ll my story here by saying they are