A NEW group on the Bellarine is giving locals the chance to grow their friendship circles.
“Food, fun and friendship on the Bellarine” is all about having fun, having a laugh and making new friends.
Rachael Stephenson, who has been living in St Leonards for the past three years, started the group through Facebook just over a month ago.
The group attracted 200 members within its first two weeks, and now has 312 to date.
“My circumstances changed, which got me thinking about how someone could get out and meet new people, without joining a dating website,” Rachael said.
“So I started the page just over a month ago… I wanted it to appeal to like-minded people who could enjoy a golf day or a catch-up at some wineries.
“And it’s definitely not about dating, our group offers a safe place to meet new people by going out for some fun and a laugh.”
So far, the group has hosted a dinner at the Drysdale Hotel and a trivia night, a golf day at Clifton Springs Golf Club and drag bingo at Piano Bar Geelong, with a catch-up at Flying Brick Cider Co on the agenda.
“It can be tough stepping out of your comfort zone to meet strangers, which is why we select different types of events,” Rachael said.
“People can step into a small outing or join a bigger lunch or dinner… either way, we want it to be safe and for everyone to feel comfortable.”
Rachael said the group had also highlighted how many lonely people were living on the Bellarine.
“This could be caused by different circumstances such as separation, or even COVID, but it just breaks my heart,” she said.
“But I’ve had comments like ‘this was the best night I’ve had in a long time’.”
Rachael said it was easy for some people to just click with others when they attended group events, and then catch up by themselves as it suited them.
She said the group would continue organising events through its Facebook page, but hoped members would start organising their own events as well, and share them on the page.
If you want to step out of your comfort zone, contribute to the group, or organise a catch up and most importantly have fun and play nicely, join “Food, fun and friendship on the Bellarine” on Facebook.