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The Joy Club, an online community tackling loneliness, raises £1.1m

The Joy Club founder

The Joy Club, an online community platform tackling loneliness among retirees, has raised £1.1m in a funding round from VC firms and several notable angel investors, including Google Maps co-founder Lars Rasmussen.

Co-designed by a team of retirees, the Joy Club aims to tackle an epidemic of loneliness among elderly people. The Campaign to End Loneliness estimates that 1.4 million older adults in the UK experience severe loneliness, and predict the figure will rise to 2 million by 2025.

For a monthly subscription fee of £5, the Joy Club offers the nine million retirees in the UK access to an online community space that hosts events, classes, and experiences to encourage retirees to engage with other people.

Members can also communicate with each other in the Joy Club’s online social space.

A beta for the platform was launched in December 2020 During that time, research was conducted among the 5,000 members to further develop the platform.

The platform was inspired by the life of company CEO Hannah Thomson’s grandmother.

“My Granny Jean found retirement to be the most joyful and socially connected time of her life, but few are as lucky,” Thomson said.

“Stopping work can be a cliff edge for many people; your routines are stripped away and lots struggle with recalibrating their identity, despite having lots of living left to do.

“That’s what The Joy Club is here to solve. We want to create the community, inspiration and opportunity people need to thrive in later life.”

The Joy Club also received backing from Calm/Storm Ventures and Alma Angels.

Lucanus Polagnoli, co-founder and managing partner at Calm/Storm Ventures, said: “Fostering social connections and being part of a community is a critical factor in living healthier lives.

“And as our society ages, being able to stay mentally and physically well is becoming more important than ever. We believe there’s a huge market potential for an agetech brand that doesn’t speak down to or infantilise its audience.”