One of the few upsides of this pandemic is that we, slightly older women, have, in the main, embraced technology and the internet in particular. Many of us are living on our own and so meeting up with people online is a necessity. Boredom is also an issue of being in lockdown so we need new ideas to stimulate us. Finally we always need ‘joy’ in our lives so when I heard about The Joy Club I immediately welcomed the idea of an online club for retirees that suggests products and activities at discounted prices. There is a recent addition of some free classes – keep reading until end of article.
The Joy Club is a membership website for retired people that helps members to save more, so they can afford to do more.Hannah Thomson, founder
WHO STARTED THE JOY CLUB?
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 and independent 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.
The Joy Club launched at the beginning of December 2020 and so it is still in its infancy but nevertheless it has much to offer. I have tried it out and found it stimulating because it introduced me to ideas and activities that would help me get through the next few months and beyond.
TO SIGN UP FOR THE JOY CLUB
Signing up for The Joy Club is simple. All they want is your name, email and d.o.b. In addition you can add a picture for your membership card. And the cost of membership is £5 per month however they have kindly offered our readers a discount.
There’s plenty more to discover, unlock and enjoy at The Joy Club. If you’re not already a member you can SIGN UP and enjoy three months’ free membership (just for Annabel & Grace readers) by using promo code A&GNY21JOY. Redeemable until 31 December 2021.
Here are a few of the events and companies available to The Joy Club members that caught my eye.
BAKE WITH A LEGEND
Bake with a Legend is a Baking Events company that hosts public and private baking classes that are led by former Great British Bake Off contestants. Their online events allow you to join public classes where you will join a class led by one of their fantastic bakers and bake along with them as they guide you through every step of the process. You choose what class you would like to join and with which baker. Before the class you will be informed about all the equipment and ingredients you need prior to the event to ensure you are fully prepared.
I am sorely tempted to join Dan’s Online Rose & Raspberry Valentine’s Macaron Class on Sun 14th Feb 8.15pm or Howard’s Online Profiterole Stack Class on Sat 20th Feb 5pm. I am definitely going to join Howard’s Online Bagels & Parmesan Grissini Class on Sat 13th Feb 5pm as our family love Bagels.
The cost is £35 per class and Joy Club members get a 10% discount.
MOVE WITH EASE WITH ONLINE PILATES CLASSES
Pilates improves mobility, builds strength and develops control and endurance throughout the entire body to help you move with ease. In these live online classes, you will move mindfully through a range of movement that focuses on core strength, balance and full-body alignment to provide an invigorating movement experience. The live classes run for 60 minutes and are suitable for all levels, with little to no equipment required to join!
You can rent two online classes for one week for £4.50 and practice them as many times as you like or you can join a live online class for £3.50. There are other great offers available but perhaps try one to start off with to see if you enjoy. I am a great fan of both Pilates and Yoga and these online classes have meant that I can still exercise even during lockdown. After a class I feel energised, stretched and my posture has really benefitted. Pilates is the perfect exercise routine for most people over 65.
VIRTUAL STARGAZING WITH AN ASTRONOMER
Here is an unusual activity but is something that I have never thought of but my Joy Club membership suggested it to me.
Explore the wonders of the Universe from the comfort of home and let an astronomer take you on a virtual tour of the night sky. The usual price is £18 but Joy Club members pay £11.70. There are two weekly, early evening slot times available.
A live, interactive online Brush Party… Paint with us at home!
It’s all about fun! Grab a drink, settle down to your canvas and get ready to unleash your inner Van Gogh! You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve as their artist walks you through creating your masterpiece in about an hour and a half.
Your Brush Party pack includes paint, brushes, a wood framed canvas and entry to an online Brush Party of your choice.
They are all for you mixing it up a bit! So, if you feel confident, you can interpret their instruction any way you wish – maybe you’d like to change the colours to suit your décor? They love it when you go ‘rogue’! Choose from a wide range of scenes to paint! Great for absolute beginners and experienced painters alike. Most classes run from Thursday – Sunday, but timings may vary.
And for a product offer….
Try any Look Fabulous Forever makeup or skincare products
If you are readers of our online magazine you will have seen many features for this online make-up brand, Look Fabulous Forever, created by Tricia Cusden specially formulated for older eyes, faces and lips. Each product is designed to solve specific problems which come as you age from lipstick feathering and bleeding (lip prime is the answer!) to foundation which sinks into your skin and doesn’t last (try their award-winning face prime to solve this one).
Joy Club members get a 20% discount and the Look Fabulous Forever no quibbles returns policy means you can try their products, and return them for a full refund if they don’t suit you.
THE JOY CLUB PRESENTS (a new FREE initiative)
This gives members access to FREE, online talks, classes and events from experts. They are running these over Zoom, and the first three sessions they have coming up (in the next week) include a live yoga class (Thursday 7th Jan 3pm), the first meeting of The Joy Choir (starting Friday 8th) and a creative writing masterclass (Tuesdays starting 12th Jan). So hurry and join up.
Whilst I am not yet 65 (they let me in under the radar so that I could review it) I welcome the Joy Club for anyone over 65 as a wonderful addition to the online community that is growing daily. Any website that is pro-age is a friend of ours and we will continue to watch as The Joy Club expands.
Read Grace’s blog on The Joy Club website for the low down on how and why A&G came into being