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About us

"Everyone deserves a joyful retirement."

Inspired by her Granny Jean’s joyful experience of retirement – and a decade working in tech startups – Hannah, our Founder CEO, created The Joy Club. The Joy Club is an online activities club that provides inspiration for a joyful retirement. Members can try something new at professionally facilitated live online events every weekday, connect with a community of like-minded people in our forum and enjoy new interviews, features and stories with our daily blog. Whether you’d like to learn a new skill, put the world to rights with new friends or get stuck into our latest interview – there’s something to bring you joy at The Joy Club.

Hannah started working on The Joy Club in 2019 and knew that it was crucial to involve retirees from the beginning. Thousands of retirees have been involved in creating and shaping The Joy Club, making decisions on everything from the website design and categories of activities, to the brand colours and name. It’s our commitment to always listen to – and collaborate with – our members, to ensure that we best deliver on our mission of inspiring a joyful retirement for all.

 

So what are you waiting for?

Join the club today and start enjoying a more joyful retirement.

Our Member Steering Group

Clive Hook
Clive is wearing a black jacked and pale blue shirt. He also wears glasses and is smiling at the camera.

About me: My name is Clive Hook, I’m 68 and I’m based in Gloucestershire.

Until a couple of years ago, my wife and I ran a leadership and management consultancy business, which took us to 32 different countries, working with corporations, communities and cultures all over the world. We’re now learning how to lead a life of being in one place (glorious Gloucestershire) and behaving like normal grandparents (whatever that means) to our nine grandchildren.

Likes: I love food and wine and am a qualified vegan and vegetarian chef. I also got qualified to WSET3 in the wine industry and hold a personal licence, so I enjoy hosting wine tastings (even virtual ones). I’m a classically trained baritone and music feeds my soul. I enjoy both solo and choral singing as well as listening to everything from Handel to Hendrix and a lot in between.

Dislikes: I’m not great at sitting still and reading a book in the garden or on the beach. ‘Busy doing nothing’ is not a phrase I understand. I’d like to think I’ve achieved something every day.

My advice to live by: Be of service and make a contribution. Make someone’s world a better place by giving what you can – but don’t make it conditional on their giving something back. Pay forward, don’t wait for pay back. 

Clive is wearing a black jacked and pale blue shirt. He also wears glasses and is smiling at the camera.
Kathy Feest
Kathy is sitting outside on a wooden bench. She is wearing a purple coat and a yellow scarf. She is smiling and holding a paper coffee cup.

About me: My name is Kathy Feest, I’m 68 and while I’m originally from the States, I now live in Bristol.

Mine has been a varied and rewarding work life with lots of different twists and turns! I started working in the theatre, then when I moved to England, I worked in Publishing as a Managing Director of a Newspaper and then a magazine. I owned a Video Production and publishing company, and worked as a freelance Medical Journalist. I worked in medical education for the Dept. of Health in London and also in Bristol at the Severn Deanery. I also worked in Auckland New Zealand in Med Ed! I wrote articles, co-authored a book and ran courses for junior and senior doctors. 

Now I’m retired, I’m writing a novel and continuing with mentoring.

Likes: There isn’t much I don’t like….and much I love. I try to understand the people I don’t understand, but I can honestly say, I have no idea how anyone in their right mind could vote for some of the people who are currently in top posts around the world!

My advice to live by: You can do anything you set your mind to. Keep going! It’s not over till it’s over. 

Kathy is sitting outside on a wooden bench. She is wearing a purple coat and a yellow scarf. She is smiling and holding a paper coffee cup.
Paula Simpson
Paula is sitting in a white chair, wearing a navy blue dress and a pearl necklace. She is smiling warmly.

About me: My name is Paula Simpson, aged 72. I live in South Yorkshire.

I retired from working as a Social Worker / Lecturer in Social Work several years ago and moved to start a new life of retirement in Jamaica. Whilst there, I retrained as a Realtor and enjoyed life in the sun. Although I never missed the English weather, I missed seeing my grandchildren and family members, and thus sold up and returned back home to the UK. While living in Jamaica I was introduced to SGI Buddhism and became a practising member.

This philosophy has enabled me to keep grounded and at peace with myself.

Likes: I love to travel and have visited several countries. There are, however, a few places on my bucket list that I still want to see, such as Peru, The Gambia, Dubai and Antarctica. I also love dining out, visiting the theatre, spa breaks and any type of pampering. Reading is one of my hobbies and I belong to a local Reading Group. Learning Bridge and Chess are on my ‘to do lists’.

Dislikes: Rude and obnoxious individuals.

My advice to live by: Life is short. Don’t wait to live your dreams. Tomorrow is not a given.

Also, laughter is the key to happiness. Don’t take yourself too seriously, find joy, fun and laughter in everything and give gratitude.

Paula is sitting in a white chair, wearing a navy blue dress and a pearl necklace. She is smiling warmly.
Sandra Falconer
Sandra is sitting on a white sofa. She is wearing a black top.

About me: My name is Sandra Falconer, I’m 75 and I’m from Middlesbrough in the north east of England.

I’ve done so many things from being market trader to Sixth Form lecturer in History and Sociology and a host of things in between. My favourite job was working in the doll’s house shop I opened when I retired from teaching. 

Likes: I love working in and appreciating nature, creative writing and all sorts of art and craft-related activities. I’m fascinated by local and family history, and learning foreign languages. Most of all, I absolutely adore my (admittedly large group of) family and friends. I’m very proud of all my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Dislikes: I don’t like not being able to do as much, physically as I used to, I dislike driving after dark and I hate snobbery, discrimination and injustice.

My advice to live by: I’ve been blessed with length of years and I’m expressing my gratitude by enjoying life to the full extent of my ability.

Sandra is sitting on a white sofa. She is wearing a black top.
Theresa Gomersall
Theresa is smiling and wearing a straw hat and a hi viz jacket. She is carrying a plant in each hand.

About me: My name is Theresa Gomersall, I’m 65 and I was born in Yorkshire but now live in Hove, East Sussex.

I’ve had a variety of jobs – administrator for the fire service, then I trained and worked as a Chef. 

I also worked abroad as an Overseas Representative for a holiday company then became an Overseas Trainer and moved on to being the Operations and HR Manager for the Overseas team. I travelled far and wide from Mallorca to Cuba, to Ski Resorts. My final 10 years career was as a Strategic HR Business partner – worked for travel companies, The NHS and a Facilities Management company. 

Likes: I love cooking and eating out, keeping fit and healthy, my friends, Eddie my little Shih Tzu, interior design, meeting new people, learning new things, technology, continuing to contribute to society even though my paid working life is finished.  

Dislikes: Parties and large gatherings (used to love them) Unfairness, rudeness, poor value. 

My advice to live by: Be nice, be kind – take people as you find them.

Theresa is smiling and wearing a straw hat and a hi viz jacket. She is carrying a plant in each hand.

Our team

Hannah Thomson,
CEO Founder

Hannah founded The Joy Club in 2019, inspired by her granny’s experience of ageing to focus on inspiring a joyful retirement 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 her curiosity about the world and her passion to use technology to change it for the better. When she’s not building The Joy Club, you’ll find Hannah trail running, sailing the high seas or training her Labrador puppy to be the perfect adventure buddy!

Richard Cappin,
Chief Customer Officer
Richard Cappin is smiling and looking at the camera. He has short hair, black glasses and wears a black t-shirt.

As Chief Customer Officer at The Joy Club, Richard works with the Product, Engineering and Community teams to deliver the best experience for our members. Richard comes to The Joy Club with a range of product and growth experience in startups such as Adzuna, Butternut Box and OpenRent, following on from his time as Innovation Manager at Saga and his early career building price comparison websites. Richard particularly enjoys working at the intersection between different teams to unlock growth. Outside of work, he volunteers as a scout leader, and spends lots of time with his family at the park and exploring further afield.

Richard Cappin is smiling and looking at the camera. He has short hair, black glasses and wears a black t-shirt.
Sebastjan Stadler,
Head of Engineering

With over 25 years of experience in software engineering, Sebastjan brings an impressive track record of harnessing the latest technologies to his role of Head of Engineering at The Joy Club. Having previously held positions such as Lead Technical Architect at Wish Want Wear (Sutra Ventures), Team Lead at Elevate, Head of Delivery at Encore Tickets and most recently Head of Development at Squiz, Seb is accustomed to leading large geographically dispersed, multicultural teams of software engineers, designers and QA engineers in a variety of sectors. When he’s not deep in code, Seb enjoys listening to (and playing) rock music, exploring vegetarian cuisines of the world and staying up to date with the latest technologies.

Kav Kaushik,
Head of Product
Kav is centred in frame and smiling at the camera. She's wearing a white top.

Kav is The Joy Club’s Head of Product. She brings experience across startups, scale ups, and FTSE 100 companies in education, publishing, and hospitality to the role, having most recently worked at FANZO to bring sports fans together to create memories. Creative, commercially minded and strategic, Kav enjoys working across our teams to build the best experiences for our Joy Clubbers. Before joining the world of tech, she worked across politics, journalism and as a dancer, facilitating Indian dance workshops with UK older people’s charities. Kav is motivated by using tech to solve socially impactful problems and is really excited to work on bringing joy to retirees.

Kav is centred in frame and smiling at the camera. She's wearing a white top.
Sarah Bradnum,
Senior Communications Manager

Sarah (or Bradders, as she’s more commonly known) is the Senior Communications 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. An award-winning PR professional, she came to The Joy Club having previously held positions in healthcare marketing and communications organisations and within the creative industries. Never one to be put in a box, Bradders has worked in a variety of roles, including as a professional actor, writer and theatre-maker, having produced critically acclaimed shows in London and across the UK, as well as appearing in various episodes of Doctors and Casualty!

Chris Simpson,
Senior Software Engineer

Chris joins us as a Senior Software Engineer, following four years at the travel company On The Beach. During his time there he honed his skills around UX, accessibility, and software design principles and patterns. As part of the Engineering Team at The Joy Club, Chris aims to help deliver robust, scalable systems which are accessible to our members and a joy to use. As well as burying his head in code, he enjoys solving problems as part of a team and mentoring junior team members. In his spare time Chris enjoys gardening, gaming and long dog walks with his family that preferably end with a lovely pub lunch.

Chloe Meade,
Community Operations Manager

Chloe is the Community Operations Manager at The Joy Club. She leads the Community Team to ensure that members are getting the best experience possible – she’s responsible for overseeing the live online events programme, our customer service channels and helping to develop our vibrant community. Chloe also volunteers with a Manchester-based charity that aims to alleviate digital exclusion amongst young people at risk of homelessness. Outside of work, she is a keen artist and can often be found sourcing inspiration in her local countryside with her greyhound, Dorian. Chloe is propelled by her passion for diversity and social change and puts her high EQ into good use at The Joy Club by facilitating meaningful connections across the membership base.

Tom Webb,
UX Designer

Tom is the UX Designer at The Joy Club where he focuses on optimising the digital experience for our members. Once a project manager, he has since graduated as a full-stack designer. Tom has also held multiple roles within agency settings where he designed products within the e-commerce and energy industries. He brings to this role experience of listening to customer and business needs and using them to drive the creation of fun and functional digital products. Tom also draws on his passion for user-centred design, helping to create new features for The Joy Club that will delight our members and bring about positive social change. In his spare time, Tom loves all things active – you’ll likely find him running around on the tennis court or sweating it out at the gym.

Sippy Gupta,
Senior Product Manager

Sippy, an engineering MBA graduate, came to The Joy Club with over seven years’ experience working closely with clients as an Account and Product Manager. Most recently, she worked as the sole Product Manager for the fast-growing startup Snap-It, establishing their product management practice, building their user journey from the ground up and ultimately improving user retention. Driven by a desire to solve problems faced by customers, Sippy is passionate about transforming services to ensure that they have a positive impact on people’s lives. Outside of work, she loves spending time running, shopping, meeting new people and exploring every cafe and restaurant in search of the best hot chocolate money can buy.

Keegan Bagnall,
Software Engineer

Keegan began his journey in software engineering after obtaining his degree in Computer Science and joining South Africa’s largest Electronics retailer, BT Games, as a web developer. Driven by a passion for web development, Keegan studied full stack development in a coding bootcamp during his free time and used his learnings to develop software that increased e-commerce productivity. When he’s not immersed in all things techy for work, you can find Keegan reading into new cryptocurrencies, gaming or watching football matches.

Alice Garnett,
Content and Editorial Manager

Alice comes to The Joy Club having worked at startups within the wonderful (and quite niche) worlds of ethical chocolate and slow news. At these companies, she worked on content, email marketing, social media and enhancing member experiences – ideally placing her to curate and manage The Joy Club’s member-focused content and social channels. In her spare time, Alice enjoys frequenting beer gardens, East London cafés, vintage shops and galleries with her friends. Originally from Derbyshire, she also appreciates the occasional escape to the countryside where she hikes and hangs out with her adopted cat, Stanley. When she’s not socialising, flaneuring or taking in the country air, Alice writes a blog on all things love and modern dating.

Emily Reed,
Community Events Executive
Emily is smiling at the camera. She has curly brown hair and wears a white shirt.

As part of the Community Team at The Joy Club, Emily creates insightful, inspiring and unique events for our members. Whilst coordinating our online events programme behind the scenes, Emily is also a friendly face on the platform and loves to build great relationships with our members, speakers and instructors. She is a graduate from Oxford University with a BA in English and an MSt in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. At university, she founded the Anthropocene Research Group, organised the Oxford Feminist Thinking Seminars, chaired Balliol Feminist Society and ran events for First-Gen Oxford – a society for first-generation university students. Outside of work, Emily loves cooking, being creative, playing board games and spending time at the beach with friends and family.

Emily is smiling at the camera. She has curly brown hair and wears a white shirt.
Josh Attwell,
Strategic Partnerships Executive

Josh is the Strategic Partnerships Executive at The Joy Club, where he uses his expertise in building relationships and analytical thinking to grow mutually beneficial partnerships. He brings experience from his time at various purpose-driven tech startups, including working as a growth consultant for fintech company Percent. He particularly enjoys exploring how technology can drive social change and deepen our connections with one another. A recent graduate in Maths and Philosophy from the University of Oxford, Josh spent his time at university trying to make a positive difference in his role as JCR President of New College, building community and making Oxford more accessible to those from underrepresented backgrounds. Outside of work you’ll find Josh exploring galleries, keeping fit or chatting with friends in the pub.

Jake Setters,
Community Events Executive

In his role as Community Events Executive, Jake is responsible for finding engaging experiences for our members to enjoy. He is passionate about increasing inclusivity and access in everything he does and is committed to nurturing a safe space for our members. He loves spending time with both members and event facilitators, to make sure everyone gets the most out of their experience with The Joy Club. Prior to joining The Joy Club, Jake worked in a variety of creative roles at venues including The Royal Albert Hall, The Roundhouse, the Tate buildings and Battersea Arts Centre. Outside of work, he loves watching and playing football, making and finding music for his radio shows, attending forward-thinking and innovative events and spending time with his family back in Norfolk. 

Our extended family

Tania Boler,
Chair

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 Weeresinghe,
Non-Executive Director

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 Reddin,
Talent Advisor

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 startup, hired a fund team and, as an advisor, helped over 70 startups build high performing teams. Jane is currently the Talent Director at AlbionVC.

Alex Asseily,
Advisor

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.

Vassilis Angelopoulos,
Advisor

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.