Making it her mission to create a great night out for anyone aged 40 or over has been a hugely-rewarding challenge for Julie Sherrington.
After returning from months away working with Royal Caribbean Cruises, she realised there were few obvious central places a more mature audience could gather for a vibrant night out.
With this in mind she set up the Worthing Meet Up group with friend Martin Richardson.
It took its inspiration from a world-wide internet movement and is now celebrating its first anniversary.
Julie , 48, of Graham Road, Worthing, said it was set up by like-minded people believing life begins at 40.
They were confident a lively night on the tiles is not merely the preserve of teenagers and 20-somethings.
“Having been working away, I came back and found it difficult to find a circle of friends,” said cruise ship manager Julie.
“When I moved to Worthing I realised that I didn’t really know anyone and didn’t want to join a singles group.
“I spoke to my neighbour, Martin, about what we could do and decided to form the Worthing Meet Up group. It’s aimed at the over-40s and after a year we now have 177 members, which has been amazing.” She felt the group, which organises events via its website, has proved a revelation. Gathering regularly at the Kar’Ben café bar in Portland Road has offered the chance for the group to catch up in an informal setting.
Julie added: “It is not designed to be a singles group, though a few people have got together through joining us. For single women it’s very difficult to walk into a bar on your own and we’ve found Kar’ Ben have been very good in staying open in the evening for us.
“There are no limits on how many times people meet up. It is often done through members on the website suggesting something and people just joining up for it.
“So far we’ve done walks, evening drinks, been to Highdown Vineyard and trips to the theatre. It has really enriched my social life. There’s nothing like this for our age group.”