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Saturday 23 September

Ageing Without Children

Finding Community in Elderhood

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Event details

Join us for a panel hosted by Jody Day (psychotherapist, author, founder of Gateway Women, former founding member at Ageing Without Children, now nurturing her emerging Gateway Elderwomen project).

Building connections and community as an ageing person without children can be a daunting challenge without the easy potential connectors of adult children and possibly grandchildren. Finding and developing connections may ask us to be a little more creative, brave and persistent than we’d like, yet the rewards can be profound.

Join our panel of older people without children as they share both the challenges and delights of ageing without children, and what practical steps they are planning and taking to build robust communities of care and connection to support and delight themselves, and those around them, as they age. Let’s challenge the narrative that it’s all doom and gloom!

Approx 60 mins

Included in the Festival Pass: Members: £18 / Non-members: £20
(each ticket is subject to a £1.50 booking fee)
This event only: Members: £4.50 / Non-members: £5



Jody Day
Jody is the British founder of Gateway Women, the global support and advocacy network for childless women, founded in 2011. She’s the author of what many professionals consider to be the ‘go-to’ book on the topic, Living the Life Unexpected: How to Find Hope, Meaning and a Fulfilling Future Without Children (PanMac 2016/2020). Chosen as one of the BBC’s 100 Women in 2013 and a UK Digital Woman of the Year in 2021, she’s a global thought leader on female involuntary childlessness, a psychotherapist, a 2017 and 2022 TEDx speaker, a founding and former board member at the UK Charity Ageing Without Children and a former Fellow in Social Innovation at Cambridge Judge Business School. Often referred to as the founder of the ‘childless movement’ and less often, but more memorably as ‘the Beyonce of childlessness!’, she’s been an Ambassador for World Childless Week since its inception in 2017. After a lifetime in London, she now lives in West Cork, rural Ireland, where she’s completing a novel (featuring a childless heroine of course!) and nurturing her emerging Gateway Elderwomen project.

Julie Greenan
Julie has just entered her 70th year and is settling in north-east England, swimming in the North Sea as often as possible and wondering how you put down roots as well indulge your wanderlust. Originally from Sheffield, South Yorkshire, at the age of 59, she embarked on ten years’ living in Spain and teaching English, having planned to ‘live in another country for a year’. She is childless as a result of fertility issues and personal circumstances. Julie is single, writes about this and that, and continues to consciously create a life worth living by seeking out whatever brings her joy and awe.

Mike Sparks
Shortly into the new millennium Mike retired from his 30 year profession in the Financial Markets. After running a Charity for 5 years he found himself working in the Antiques industry looking after Auction Houses. Mike is Childless not by Choice.

Jen Flint
Jen is a leadership coach, mentor, independent celebrant, and speaker. She lives by the seaside in the North-East of England with her dog, Pip. She enjoys spending free time in her off-grid cabin in Northumberland. During lockdown, Jen joined an online writing group, determined to fulfil a long-held ambition to write a book inspired by her father’s life. To her surprise, Wild Egg began to download, and invited her to create the very story she had searched for seven years ago. Wild Egg is for those women who are questioning whether motherhood is their path and considering the childfree-road-less-travelled.

Robin Hadley
Dr Robin Hadley is a world expert on male childlessness and ageing. His recent book, How is a man supposed to be a man? Male childlessness a Life Course Disrupted has received excellent reviews and his research has been widely published in international and national media. His PhD (Keele, 2015) examined the experiences of involuntarily childless older men. His counselling and own experience of childlessness led him to self-fund his MA and MSc on the desire for fatherhood and the levels of desire for parenthood in childless people and parents. Robin is a founder member of the campaign group Ageing Well Without Children and he is highly sought after as a consultant on research projects.

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