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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 a vibrant online community that provides inspiration for a joyful retirement. Members can try something new at a wide variety of live online classes, talks and workshops and enjoy growing library of on-demand content to watch, listen to and read at their leisure. Whether you’d like to learn a new skill, work on your fitness 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.
Helen Brown

About me: My name is Helen Brown, I’m 59, and I live in the Orkney Islands.

Originally, I was studying for a degree in Geophysics, with aspirations to be a vulcanologist. However, things took a bit of a turn when I became ill at the age of 29. Climbing mountains was no longer an option, so I switched my degree to software development. Over the years I have worked part-time in numerous roles. I have taught IT, ran database systems, and carried out consultancy work as a Business Analyst and Systems Analyst. I’ve now retired from working life, but still find my time occupied with sorting computer problems. I will be teaching adults IT (on a voluntary basis) at the local Learning Centre later in the year, and look forward to meeting new faces.

Likes: My passions are gardening and playing video games. I hope to become the oldest “gamer” in Scotland. I love going to the gym, even though my husband and I are often the oldest in the place – by far! My best moments in life are when I get to see my daughter who lives in Cornwall.

Dislikes: I dislike it when people waste the health they have. I also hate rudeness, selfishness, and injustice.

My advice to live by: Do unto others as you would have them do to you.

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.
Peter Harrison

About me: My name is Peter Harrison, I’m 71 and I live in Hertford.

My working life was mainly spent in Further Education, initially as a teacher. I then spent most of my time as a senior manager in colleges and focused on improving the learning experience. In the early 2000s, I gave up my job to set up a business supporting colleges to raise standards, particularly to meet Ofsted expectations.

Likes: I love to travel and so far I have been fortunate to travel to many corners of the globe. There are still many more places on the bucket list – budget allowing. I enjoy tasting various cuisines as I travel and also relaxing with a glass of wine at home. I like to keep active working out at the gym or doing yoga, Tai Chi and going on long walks. I support Liverpool Football Club and go to as many matches as I can get tickets for!

Dislikes: I hate bigotry and injustice. I dislike politicians who routinely lie. On another level, I dislike Tapioca and ‘skin’ on custard!

My advice to live by: Why not?

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!

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.

Sarah Bradnum,
Communications Lead

Sarah (or Bradders, as she’s more commonly known) is the Communications Lead 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!

Kathy Woolley,
Senior Commissioning Editor

Kathy is The Joy Club’s Senior Commissioning Editor – a role that enables her to seek out exciting and inspirational content to give our members the most joyful experiences possible. Kathy is drawn to working in mission-driven organisations where she’s able to make a positive change in the world. Prior to joining The Joy Club, some of her proudest achievements include leading the content team at Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity and leading on content for an award-winning initiative to improve primary science at the Wellcome Trust. Outside of work, you’ll most likely find Kathy pottering about in her kitchen or cycling between Somerset’s finest wild swimming spots and cider producers (when the weather allows!).

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.

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.

Our extended family

Emma McFerran,
Chair

Emma the Chair of the Board of The Joy Club. She is CEO of Lyst, the global fashion shopping app used by 200 million shoppers every year. She joined Lyst in 2014 as Legal and Operations Director and has been a key part of the growth journey, in roles including Chief Operating Officer and now Chief Executive Officer, across Series C and beyond. She brings her operational insights to the Board, for the next exciting phase of our journey.

Tania Boler,
Non-Executive Director and Investor Director

Tania Boler is a Non-Executive Director and Investor Director 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.