Witnessing her granny’s deteriorating health, The Joy Club’s founder, Hannah Thomson, was struck by how – as a society – we are not doing enough to support people in later life. Right now, we treat age-related illness only once it takes hold, often extending life expectancy at the expense of quality of life.
Instead, we should be focusing on keeping people well for as long as possible, and ensuring that everyone can enjoy an active retirement. Sadly, budget is often a huge barrier to us remaining active in our later years, meaning that a healthy lifestyle may seem like a luxury we can’t afford.
That’s why Hannah created The Joy Club – a membership site that supports members to afford a more active retirement. Members gain access to a wide variety of activities that support their physical and mental wellbeing – all at a deep discount (and sometimes even for free!) – meaning that a limited budget won’t get in the way of enjoying your retirement.
Join the Club today and start enjoying a more happy, healthy retirement.
About me: My name is David Hoyle, I’m 68 and I live in Handforth, Cheshire. For most of my working life I was a police officer. When I retired from the force, I worked as a steward / car park attendant at sporting events and county shows.
Likes: I enjoy reading, doing jigsaws and crossword puzzles as I find they keep my brain active. I also enjoy upcycling old furniture, and I like keeping active – I go for at least an hour’s walk every day.
Dislikes: I am not a person who sits watching daytime television all day.
My advice to live by: Always tell the truth – telling lies can come back to haunt you.
About me: My name is Keji Dixon, I am 71 years old (I still cannot believe it). I live in South East London and have done so for over 45 years. I love spending time with family and friends. If I could have my time again I would love to be a Human Rights Lawyer.
Likes: My likes are my Christian Faith, drama, punctuality, classical music, reading, dancing, drama, laughter and having fun and equality and justice.
Dislikes: My dislikes are cold callers, lateness, rudeness, arrogance, and swearing.
My advice to live by: I get up early and begin each day with a prayer of thanks and praise. Life is to be lived. I try to see the good and the beauty in everyone and everything. When things get me down I remember the song “Don’t worry about a thing, cause every little thing’s gonna be alright”. That makes me smile and dance and I try to make the most of life.
About me: My name is Keith Barnes, I’m 66 and I live alone in Brighton. I have a long-term partner, but we live in separate cities. I was retired from a job as Sales Director at a large publishing house and am now very happily employed as a Bikeability Instructor training kids and adults to ride their bikes safely on roads. When we were younger, it was called Cycling Proficiency.
I get out on my bike most days and I hope that my cycle touring days are not over, but we’ll have to see what happens post-Covid.
I am a season ticket holder at Brighton and Hove Albion FC and have been for many years, even though I was brought up in London as a Spurs fan.
Likes: I love to travel and speak passable French, and living here in Brighton makes travel to France very easy. I am particularly keen on Turkey as my summer holiday destination and I have as many City Breaks as I can in Europe. I enjoy going to galleries and museums as well as restaurants and bars.
My advice to live by: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
About me: My name is Jillian Cox, I’m 71-years-old and I live in a small town in West Yorkshire. I worked in the NHS for over 50 years, where I was a highly specialised Neurophysiology Technologist (this involved scanning people’s general nervous systems to get a diagnosis). I’ve worked at various hospitals in my career, including Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. I have two children, two grandchildren, two step grandchildren and one due in January.
Likes: I love meeting up with different friends for coffee and catch-ups, and I’m a member of a Book Club which has been going now for more than two years. I love my garden but am finding it hard to maintain now, although my biggest passion is going on holiday bus tours and cruises. I took my last holiday on my own and went to Australia for a month.
Dislikes: I dislike cooking (even more so lockdown), cruelty, bad manners and swearing.
My advice to live by: Honesty.
About me: My name is Mary; I’m 73 and I live in South West London. I’ve actually lived all over the place – between Catford and Beckenham, Macclesfield in Cheshire, Petts Wood, Bromley and now Brixton. My origins are in the West Country, however, being born in Lyme Regis, Dorset. In a previous life (before retirement) I was originally a typesetter. This was way before the days of Apple Macs and desktop publishing. I don’t go back as far as hot metal, but the original typesetting machines were nothing like we all use now. I’ve also worked in Sales. The last job I had was selling private medical insurance, although I cut my sales teeth on selling double glazing – it’s not an easy job!
Likes: It’s all about family for me. I enjoy spending time with my daughter, my granddaughter and my great grandsons, and until this year, travelling was my biggest passion. I have done a six-week journey through Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, and Malaysia back to Singapore, and I also took just under two months travelling from KL to Bali, Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand and home again. I also love musical theatre and dining out for lunch!
My advice to live by: Only look back nostalgically on happy memories. I think the saddest words in the English language are “If only…..”, so I try never to say or think them. What’s done is done so look to the future and enjoy it while you can.
Hannah founded The Joy Club in 2019, inspired by her grandmother’s experience of ageing to focus on increasing healthy life expectancy for all. She previously held key roles in several award-winning startups, including femtech company Elvie where she was Head of Health and Strategic Partnerships. Hannah has degrees in human rights and business practices in life sciences – and is a graduate of the Oxford University Fintech Programme. Her multidisciplinary background reflects a deep commitment to realising health as a human right and an understanding of the financial drivers of health outcomes.
Before joining The Joy Club as Head of Product, Rachel held key positions in a range of companies at varied stages of growth – delivering products within the media, e-commerce and finance industries. She held the sole product role in fintech startup Goji, supporting product build from ideation through to their Series A. She combines her passion for creating great products with her commitment to driving positive social change. Rachel holds a first-class degree in Business and Computer Science from Aston University.
Paul brings 15 years of technical and leadership experience to his role as Head of Engineering at The Joy Club. Most recently, he held a senior position at On the Beach, joining the travel retailer as the second engineering hire in 2009. He then helped build, coach and mentor a team of more than 100 software engineers, driving engineering excellence and culture to the 2015 IPO and beyond. Paul combines his passion for building high-performing software engineering teams with his commitment to quality, nurturing curiosity and innovation.
Sarah is the PR and Marketing Manager for The Joy Club – a role that allows her to combine her passion for building a more fair and equal society with her expertise in designing and delivering creative comms strategies. Sarah has previously held positions in healthcare marketing and communications organisations and within the creative industries. An experienced theatre-maker, she has produced critically acclaimed shows in London and across the UK. She holds a master’s degree in Psychological Research Methods from the University of Exeter.
As Partner Acquisition Manager for The Joy Club, Clare is passionate about delivering a range of activities to bring our members joy. She is experienced in securing partnerships that delight a range of demographics, across consumer and business audiences, at local, national and international levels. Clare’s previous roles have included sourcing at-home learning opportunities and family days out for Virgin Experience Days and developing enticing events for Fairmont The Palm, Dubai. Clare’s unique approach to partnerships development builds on her diverse experience across sales, customer care, communications and PR.
Abbi held multiple customer-facing positions at early-stage start-ups, before joining The Joy Club. She started her career at onefinestay, a luxury home rental business, before moving to a social enterprise as one of the first employees at WhiteHat GB and their first Customer Success Manager. Abbi has a passion for delighting customers and helping businesses to thrive and grow by nurturing their client base. This experience she brings to her role, overseeing both customers and partner relationships at The Joy Club.
Sophie’s career has been centred around building strong relationships. She began her career at an Airbnb-management startup as a Client Success Manager, driving customer retention and fulfilment. She then moved to a managed IT service provider as an Account Manager, from which she gained extensive experience working with businesses of all sizes and verticals. At The Joy Club, Sophie uses her relationship-building skills to develop meaningful partnerships, which ultimately make a positive difference to the lives of our members. Sophie holds a BSc (Hons) in Sociology from the University of Bath.
Aathi is The Joy Club’s Business Analyst. He joins the team with a strong foundation in business and computer analysis having previously worked for Vauxhall Motors. Aathi is passionate about problem-solving and describes himself as a people person with a creative mind. He is also a recipient of “Cisco’s Switch up challenge Award”, which he has achieved through his teamwork efforts. Outside of work, Aathi is gifted in the performing arts, as exemplified by his involvement with the BBC film club and Tamil Performing Arts Society where he has written, directed and acted in a number of dramas and short films. Aathi holds a BSc (Hons) in Computer Science with industrial experience from Queen Mary University of London.
Amy is the Content Marketing Executive for The Joy Club. She previously worked at urban health foundation Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, where she supported communications campaigns that are reshaping inner-city health in the London boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark. More recently, Amy held a role at global healthcare hiring platform Migrate, where she led on content creation and building brand awareness on an international scale, in addition to chairing their diversity and inclusion working group. Amy is passionate about creating consistent, valuable and engaging content to meet the needs of a variety of audiences – sharing knowledge and lived experiences that promote balance and wellbeing. She holds a BA in Broadcast Journalism from Staffordshire University.
Joining the team as our Community Manager, Beth brings to the table a wealth of knowledge in community-building and strategy. Having worked for multiple early-stage startups, including Obby, Jolt and Manual, Beth also co-founded the poetry community, Words By, uniting diverse voices and providing a platform for personal expression. Driven by a desire to unite people and a skill for helping businesses connect with their audiences authentically, Beth joins The Joy Club to build out the community offering and to keep our members engaged and delighted.
Working in partnership acquisition, Sean is on a mission to deliver on a huge range of activities, incentives and benefits for The Joy Club’s membership. Sean joins the team with a decade of sales, business development and customer service experience in a wide array of industries across multiple countries. He has spent the last five years living and working in Australia where he worked with numerous startups in the media, EdTech and UAV (drone) space. Sean holds a Masters (MEng) of Civil Engineering from the University of Strathclyde. Outside of work, you will find him at the boxing gym, down the beach learning to surf or up the high street hunting for the perfect coffee.
As Membership Executive, Ellie helps us to build meaningful relationships across our member and partner ecosystem. As well as working directly with our member community, Ellie develops partnerships with other businesses that share our vision of supporting people to enjoy a fulfilling retirement. During her time working at a commercial property start-up, Ellie gained valuable experience managing relationships with internal and external stakeholders. Passionate about contributing to impactful and thoughtful social change, she is thrilled to put this into practice at The Joy Club. Ellie holds a BA (Hons) in Theology, Religion, & Philosophy of Religion from the University of Cambridge.
Hannah is the Junior Copywriter at The Joy Club. She joins the team with previous experience in writing and editorial work that she gained during her time at film festival start-up, Lonely Wolf. In addition to reviewing submissions, Hannah played a key role in building relationships between the festival and their growing community. She also ran her own local business as an English tutor, where she was motivated by encouraging students to gain confidence in their writing. Hannah joins The Joy Club to help us engage our members with useful and inspiring content. She holds a BA in English from the University of Cambridge.
Tania Boler is the Chair of the Board of The Joy Club and was the company’s first angel investor. She is the Founder CEO of Elvie, one of the fastest growing companies in the UK. Since founding Elvie in 2013, Tania has built a team of over 100 digital, hardware and commercial staff. She has launched two innovative technology products, winning several awards – most recently one of TIME’s top 100 inventions of 2019. Prior to founding Elvie, Tania worked as the Head of Innovation for Marie Stopes International and held multiple senior positions in global NGOs and the United Nations. Tania has a PhD in Epidemiology from Stanford University.
Cian sits on the Board and is a Non-Executive Director of The Joy Club. He is currently the CMO at Wise (previously Transferwise) and before that was the Chief Customer Officer at Secret Escapes, where he was part of their amazing growth story across the globe. He’s sat in growth, marketing, analytics roles for a number of interesting companies over the years including ASOS, the Guardian, eBay and Capital One. He loves the blend of art and science that marketing requires and believes in building long lasting brands using data as well as creative excellence. He enjoys reading, cooking and watching She-Ra on Netflix. He has an Economics degree from St John’s College, Cambridge but can’t remember how to do basic stats.
Jane is The Joy Club’s Talent Advisor. She supports the team on talent strategy, culture and leadership development to make sure that The Joy Club is an amazing place to work, as the company scales. Jane cares deeply about helping entrepreneurial companies to scale up by using the right data to hire and develop the right people at the right time. In her 25-year career, Jane has transacted more than 500 senior hires, globally, for disruptive companies, built international and new-market teams inside a start-up, hired a fund team and, as an advisor, helped over 70 start-ups build high performing teams. Jane is currently the Talent Director at AlbionVC.
British-Lebanese entrepreneur and investor Alex is an advisor to The Joy Club, which sits within his portfolio of investments geared towards delivering positive social and environmental impact. Alex founded Zulu Group to invest in and build ambitious, disruptive and sustainable products to upgrade humanity and heal the planet. He is the founder of mobile technology company Jawbone, the co-founder of femtech company Elvie and is currently an active partner and advisor to European tech companies Lilium and Chance. He is a Stanford alumnus, with expertise in product design and engineering.
Vas is an investor and advisor to The Joy Club, a recent addition to the angel investment portfolio that he’s built over the last ten years. He is a Partner at St James’s Place Wealth Management, where he provides financial and wealth management advice to his clients – including on how best to financially prepare for and manage retirement. As a visiting lecturer at King’s College London since 2018, he shares the extensive knowledge that he accumulated during two decades in trading, in roles including Managing Director for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Vas has an MBA from London Business School.