Andrea McDaid is on a mission to ensure the people of Donegal are not lonely with her new social group ‘Solomates’.

Based in Buncrana, she planted the seed of thought five years ago that there must be something for people who want to travel solo.

When Covid-19 hit and her son got older and “needed her less”, Andrea decided to let that seed grow and set up Solomates.

She gives credit to her friend Shauna, who encouraged her to take the plunge, even setting up the group’s Facebook and Instagram page, as well as her other friends Sharon and Mary.

Photo: Instagram @Solomates2022

“We all need that one push and Shauna did that for me,” Andrea said.

“The girls are really good and very supportive if I’m away they help when they can.”

With a focus on meeting socially and in a safe environment, the group’s first outing was a night out in Derry in February 2022.

Photo: Instagram @Solomates2022

Now the group is growing and meets every Tuesday for a swim, coffee, meditation and chat, as well as any other day events planned by members.

“Solomates is for people who are sitting at home and looking for something to do,” Andrea adds.

“Even from last year to this year, people are starting to get what it’s all about. It is for everyone to join in, build friendships and come forward with ideas, there is something for everyone.”

Photo: Instagram @Solomates2022

The group has been surfing, hiking and raised money for charity, with Andrea herself taking part in the ‘100 Peaks for Inishowen’ recently.

She is currently gearing up for her annual ‘Sunset Soirée’ on the Lough Swilly Cruise this Saturday 26th August, which sold out in around eight days. Andrea hopes that the weather will be nice but suggests to anyone going to dress for rain.

Photo: Instagram @Solomates2022

The group is open to anyone over the age of 18. If you would like to join, contact Solomates on their Instagram or Facebook.