Hannah Thomson (The Joy Club’s creator) has been selected by St James’s House to be profiled in the History of Parliament’s upcoming book, ‘300 Years of Leadership and Innovation’. We would never have been featured in a book this prestigious if it weren’t for our wonderful members. In this blog, Hannah expresses a huge thank you to you, our wonderful members – you are the ones who make The Joy Club the friendly and inspiring place that it is.
Last week, I was excited to share that my journey of creating The Joy Club features in the History of Parliament’s upcoming book, ‘300 Years of Leadership and Innovation’, which comes out next Wednesday, 22nd September.
Celebrating the best of British leadership, the book showcases figures who have shaped British society, past and present; from Walpole to Cromwell, Churchill to Blair, The Queen and Prince Charles, to leading figures in industry. It’s a great testament to the impact we’ve made in such a short time, to be featured as the creator of The Joy Club in a chapter showcasing ‘Women in Leadership’.
As the book launch approaches, I thought I’d take this opportunity to share my thoughts on the journey so far and to thank you, our members, for helping me to create and grow The Joy Club.
Two years ago in September 2019, I embarked on my mission to improve the lives of people in later life. Armed with my laptop, my background in tech and a desire to honour my Granny Jean, I began by renting a desk in a communal office space to undertake my initial research.
I can still remember the receptionist asking me, “So, what do you do? What company are you with?” My answer then was, “I’m not sure – I’m here to figure it out.”
In the months that followed, I volunteered with Age UK, met with experts and spent time with over 100 retired people. This group of retirees helped me to come up with the concept, shaped the design of the product, co-created our branding and even came up with the name itself.
Two years on and I’ve raised £1.5m+ of investment, built a fantastic team and grown a community of 5k+ wonderful members, which has been growing at an average rate of 50% month-on-month. This success is down to the continued close involvement of our members. We have a five-person Member Steering Group who we meet with regularly to discuss business decisions; we regularly survey our members to ensure that we’re providing the events that they enjoy; and we use member feedback to guide every decision that we make.
So, to you I say – most sincerely – thank you.
Thank you for becoming a member of The Joy Club, for bearing with us as we grow and learn and for bringing your wisdom, laughter and energy to The Joy Club every single day. I always hoped to create a place where everyone could try new things, learn new skills and enjoy the joyful retirement that they deserved. You are the ones who are making that vision a reality and showing us how we can make The Joy Club the best place it can be – thank you.
Over the next couple of weeks we will be sharing more exciting announcements about the book (including details of how you can win a free copy!) following its official launch on Wednesday 22nd September – so keep your eyes peeled for more.
Feeling inspired? You can pre-order your copy of the book here: https://www.stjamess.org/product/300-years-of-leadership-and-innovation/?ltclid=27b2886e-28d3-4c6d-9d58-73437c8878c4