On average, we now spend more than 20% of our lives in retirement. For those of us expected to live into our 80s (and that’s most of us), we are on track to enjoy at least 16 of those years either retired or semi-retired.
Gone are the days when retirement meant slowing down and settling in with the pipe and slippers. Modern retirement is - ideally - an opportunity to enjoy life on your own terms. Spend more time with family, finally see the world, write that novel you’ve had floating around in your head for the last 20 years, explore wild swimming - it’s your retirement! In the immortal words of Ralph Waldo Emerson:
“Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.”
As the Founder and CEO of The Joy Club, I’m dedicated to helping people to make the most of this time of their lives.
Inspired by my granny
I was initially inspired to create The Joy Club by my Granny Jean. For her, retirement was the most joyful time of her life. Her retirement adventures included backpacking around New Zealand solo, volunteering in Bulgaria and becoming an amazing painter!
Photo below: Hannah Thomson and Granny Jean
The Joy Club was born
After more than a year of research and preparation, we launched The Joy Club on 8th December 2020. My diary entry for that day reads:
‘Very joyful day, we launched and the first doses of the vaccine were administered!’
Indeed, The Joy Club journey and the pandemic have been interwoven. Covid shaped the idea by dictating that we had to find a way to deliver joy online only, and it also meant that I had to hire a team of people that I had never met in real life (though you wouldn’t guess that, from the genuine care that we feel for each other and for what we’re trying to create!). Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention and I think that adage neatly fits our story.
“I can’t believe the vast array of activities on offer – there is something for everyone.” - Mrs Robson, member of The Joy Club
The Joy Club two years on...
Two years after we first launched, The Joy Club has welcomed thousands of members from right across the UK - from Penzance to the Shetland Islands!
In the last year alone, we’ve hosted hundreds of live online events - covering everything from Tai Chi, Pilates and face yoga to live concerts, wine tasting and even a live tour of La Mancha; we’ve published hundreds of articles - over 70% of which are written by the members themselves - and we’ve introduced an extremely popular ‘on demand’ section, where members can access a library of talks and classes to enjoy at their leisure.