Port Macquarie ladies have launched a new Coffee, Chats and New Friends support group in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Founding members Dianne Watkins and Suzanne St Clair-Jones started the 631 member social group in May this year.
Mrs Watkins said the group is for women wanting to met new people in a safe environment.
"It was actually a good time to start the group during the chaos because people were stuck at home with COVID and they needed someone to talk to," she said.
"The group is about friendship, company, support, mental and physical health, and we want people to love our town as much as we do. It was about getting people stepping outside their comfort zone.
"I remember thinking we should go a dinner when we got to 100 members, but that number has come and gone too quickly."
Mrs St Clair-Jones, who has lived in Port Macquarie for her entire life and retired 16 months ago, said she helped found the group after her mother passed during the previous month.
"It was a confronting time and still is. The group got me out of the house and we could go to different cafes each week to share the love around," she said.
"It's not just coffee, there is a dog walking group, there is an artist group, a fitness group, a younger sub-group, there is a general walking group on Wednesdays and Fridays. We have groups in Laurieton and Dunbogan who get together.
"There's a wide variety of ages of people in the group and we keep an eye on each other. If people are going away, they can leave a message and check back in after a few weeks."
The group has members aged 26 to 84 and held a Christmas event on November 20 this year with a sunset cruise on the Hastings River.
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