fbpx

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

David Hoyle

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.

Keji Dixon
Keji Dixon, member of The Joy Club and of the Member Steering Group

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.

Keji Dixon, member of The Joy Club and of the Member Steering Group
Keith Barnes

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.

Jillian Cox

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.

Mary

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.

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,
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!

Clare Riddle,
Partnerships Manager

As Partnerships 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. When not on the lookout for new partners, Clare is spending time with her family and friends, going for woodland walks and pub lunches and enjoying her new hobby of swimming.

Sophie Attenborough,
Partner Marketing Manager

Sophie’s career has been centred around building strong relationships. She began at an Airbnb-management startup as a Client Success Manager, driving customer retention and fulfillment. She then moved to a managed IT service provider as an Account Manager, from which she gained extensive experience working with businesses of multiple 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. Outside of work, she finds great joy in growing a wide variety of houseplants and is trying her best to perfect her golf swing.

Ellie Cole,
Community Manager

When she’s not going for a nice long walk in the park or relaxing over a pub lunch, Ellie loves to help us build meaningful relationships across our member and partner ecosystem. As well as working directly with our member community, she 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!

Hannah Brown,
Junior Copywriter

Hannah is the Junior Copywriter for 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 and loves getting overly invested in discussions about books, TV and films.

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,
Member Success Manager

Chloe is the Member Success Manager at The Joy Club where she focuses on nurturing community and helping our members to get the best out of their membership with us. Chloe has past experience in community with co-working start-up, The Wheelhouse, where she worked to help enrich member experience and foster a sense of “buzziness” among the network. Outside of work, Chloe is a keen artist and can often be found sourcing inspiration in her local countryside with her greyhound, Dorian (she also has four cats at home that would join if they could!). She holds an MA from Keele in Politics, and is propelled by her passion for diversity and social change. Chloe puts her high EQ into good use at The Joy Club, facilitating meaningful connection across member events and interactions.

Igor Prato Luna,
Community Executive

Igor (pronounced “ee-gor”) joins The Joy Club as a recent graduate from Durham University, where he studied Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. As a student, he loved getting stuck in with the local Durham community by volunteering at schools and local care homes. He also co-founded the Environment and Ethics Committee at Grey College, bringing together a community of students working to create positive social change. Igor’s previous work at a letting agency in Aberdeen in forming meaningful connections with tenants. As part of the Community Team at The Joy Club, Igor is building our community of members and helping them to have the best experience possible. Outside of work, Igor finds joy in spending time outdoors, playing guitar, reading and painting, and is always eager to cook for his loved ones.

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,
Product Manager

Sippy, an engineering MBA graduate, joins 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.

Kelly Van Roy,
Community Executive

As Community Executive at The Joy Club, Kelly is passionate about bringing fun and engaging events to members. She has been involved in a wide variety of events and activities during her academic career and while living in Japan, where she spent three years teaching English to young students. A recent graduate from City, University of London’s International Politics and Human Rights MA, she is excited to bring her personal love of learning and adventure to The Joy Club community. In her free time, you can catch this Filipino-American at the theatre, dancing salsa, or reading fantasy and graphic novels.

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 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.

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.