One 'fed up' and lonely mum has finally got the group of friends she always wanted after a massive social media appeal.
Deborah with her new-found friends. Credit: Caters
Deborah Hawkins had labelled herself a 'Billie no mates' due to her lack of social circle, and eventually became so sick of the situation that she decided to do something about it.
The 51-year-old headed on to social media and found herself writing a heartfelt post on Facebook.
In the post, she said she 'wears her heart on her sleeve' and wished she 'had some friends to socialise with'.
Deborah is a single mum-of-two, but with her daughters now grown up, she explained she was feeling lonely.
Deborah. Credit: Caters
But then something happened that Deborah didn't expect - not long after she posted the Facebook plea, she was inundated with messages from like-minded people in her area.
In fact, the volume of messages became so high that the online sales business woman ended up creating a group for everyone called 'Swadlincote making friends social'.
The end result? Dozens of friends. I think we can call that a result.
She added: "Last summer was one of the hottest ever, I was fed up of spending it on my own. I wanted to go to beer gardens [and] restaurants, and enjoy the sun with some company.
"When the girls were younger, I was always busy, and I would socialise with school mums, so loneliness was never a problem.
"Before I knew it, they were teenagers and were out doing their own thing, so I quickly became miserable of being alone.
"I was fed up of seeing nice restaurants that had just opened, or even coffee shops as I felt too embarrassed to go in on my own.
"One day I had enough of being on my own and I had nothing to lose so I poured my heart out on a Swadlincote Facebook group in a bid to make some new friends.
Deborah now has regular meetings with the group. Credit: Caters
"I was anxious and I thought everyone was going to laugh at me, but within minutes, it was clear there were loads of people in the same boat."
Eight months after she first posted that lonely plea the group she created now has more than 300 members.
Deborah added: "We are always doing something like coffee mornings on Thursday and Fridays, bingo, pub quizzes and live music on Saturdays.
"I now go out more than my daughters, my calendar is always full and I am happier than ever."
Now Deborah has the group of friends she always dreamed of - just goes to show what reaching out can do, eh?
Featured Image Credit: Caters