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23rd May, 2016

NTT » Leap 2016 Banner.png

JCI UK have four bursaries available, each being £75, to grant to members to cover part of the cost of attending our award winning National Leadership Academy, LEAP (Leadership Excellence in Action Program) in August 2016.  This is a highly thought after national academy that has trained over 100 JCI UK members since it was first launched back in 2012.  Don't just take our word for it - check out what previous delegates have said here.

Please find below the terms and conditions of applying for a bursary, and what you need to consider before applying.

The bursary application form is a GoogleDoc, and can be found by clicking this here. If for any reason you are unable to open the link, please contact Mark Smith 2016 National Finance Director who will arrange to send you the application form in a different format for you to complete and return.

To book your place on LEAP, click here.

Terms and Conditions

1. Before the bursary is applied for, the member must first book a place on the LEAP academy through the Eventbrite event. The member must also be a fully paid up member of JCI UK.

2. The bursary is for the value of £75. The balance of the ticket price of £60 (for a limited edition ticket) must be paid for by the member, once they have been notified their bursary application has been successful.

3. The application must be received by 28th June 2016 to be considered by the LEAP team. 

4. Applications submitted will be sent to Mark Smith (2016 National Finance Director for JCI UK), who will remove any reference to a member's name/chamber/role, and will then send the body of the application to the LEAP committee for consideration. This is to ensure the applications are considered without any bias or prejudice against the candidate and is to make the process transparent and fair.

5. Successful bursary applicants will be notified by email, and will then be required to pay the balance of the ticket price to JCI UK to complete their booking.

6. Unsuccessful bursary applicants will also be notified by email, and will be required to pay the full ticket price to JCI UK in order to complete their booking.

7. After the academy, the bursary recipients may be required to promote their LEAP experience via the following means:

    a. A blog/newsletter article for their local chamber website and/or JCI UK website

    b. Presentation to their local chamber members or council team

    c. Other means as agreed with the LEAP Conference Organising Committee (COC team)


We look forward to seeing you at this years LEAP!

Best wishes,

Gareth Carson

2016 LEAP COC Director


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22nd May, 2016

JCI Winchester
by MichaelSteel on May 22, 2016 10:58


JCI UK are thrilled to announce that we have granted Provisional Organisation status for a new chamber - JCI Winchester.

JCI Winchester will now begin the process of working towards full affiliation to JCI UK and we look forward to seeing events coming up and giving development opportunities to young people in the area.

Michael Steel

2016 Deputy National President - JCI UK

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20th May, 2016

Meet National Board - Phil Cockayne
by Ryan Plikington on May 20, 2016 14:00


Meet National Board

Phil Cockayne, 2016 JCI Yorkshire Regional Group Chair


Philip Cockayne

Local Chamber:

JCI Bradford

How long have you been a JCI member?

Since November 2013

What made you become a JCI member?

I was looking for a way I could improve my professional outlook outside of work but also put my skills towards a good cause

What is your role on National Board?

As the Regional Group Chairman for Yorkshire, I oversee the Yorkshire region (currently made up of 6 chambers; Barnsley, Bradford, Doncaster, Leeds, Rotherham and Sheffield). I support the local presidents and chambers in the region, help find new opportunities, introduce JCI to new networks and act as liaison between the National Board and the chambers of Yorkshire

What made you want to take on this role?

My skills have always been more strategic in nature (i.e. finding new partners and organisations to work with, groups to support, networking in the region) but also helping apply lessons learned from Bradford across the region (including sharing other lessons from across the region to ensure best practice is being adopted across the region. I also already have a good network across the region so I wanted to apply this at a regional level for JCI rather than at the Bradford level.

What positions have you held within JCI prior to National Board?:
Deputy President at JCI Bradford (2014)
President at JCI Bradford (2015)

What advice would you give to members who are thinking to take on roles within their local council?
JCI is a bit like the gym - if you sign up for membership and don’t do anything with it, don’t be surprised that you’re not getting better. But to apply the same analogy, at the gym you have different workouts based on your goals (cardio for weight loss, weight lifting for bulking, HIIT for tone etc.) The same applies to JCI - be clear on your goals. I’ve always known what I’m good at and what skills I want to improve. By using JCI as a platform, I can continue to grow my skillset outside of work and do some good in the process. So, if you want to rise through the ranks in marketing, take up a Marketing Director role, if you want to do more fundraising, take up a Community Director role. Use JCI as the widely recognised and respected organisation it is and see your career prospects improve as you develop.

If you could choose one national JCI event to attend in 2016 which would you choose?

National Conference’s are always brilliant

Do you have a goal for 2016?

I have plenty:
• Ensure best practice is being shared and 
applied across the region

• Help newer, less well-established chambers grow membership and drive engagement

• Increase exposure across the region (via press, other media outlets etc.)

• Find partners JCI can work with (either community, networking or training) at a regional level 

Blog » Phil 1.png Blog » Phil 2.png Blog » Phil 3.png Blog » Phil 4.png 

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18th May, 2016

My JCI Journey: Mark Smith
by MarkSmith on May 18, 2016 21:30


I will start at the very beginning! I first found out about JCI Sheffield when I saw a tweet promoting an open evening aimed at young professionals in Sheffield back in 2012.  It grabbed my interest partly as I thought I could meet other 'like minded' individuals, but also potentially to meet business owners and entrepreneurs who might be interested in supporting the childrens charity SAFE@LAST that I work for.

I toddled along to the open evening, quite happy going on my own as in my mind I was in work mode so I was use to doing such things, whereas if I thought it was going to be purely a social occasion, then there was no way I would have gone on my own as I would have been too nervous!  Everyone was very friendly and I listened with interest about all the things JCI has to offer.  I remember the first thought was that it must be too good to be true and must cost an arm and a leg to be involved with.  When I found out it was only £10 per month, I filled in my membership form there and then and set up payment the next day!

One of the early ideas that really appealed to me was being able to attend so many different training workshops.  I would always consider myself to be pretty good at time management and organisation, so I wouldn't take a day out of work or use the little bit of work training budget I do have to go on such a course, but because such training events and workshops are included as part of the JCI membership, I snapped up every opportunity available.

I have also relished the international opportunities that JCI have presented - through JCI, the world certainly looks smaller.  I would never have dreamed about nipping over to the Netherlands for the weekend if its wasn't for JCI.  I would never have expected to have ever visited Japan but I went to World Congress there last year and actually delivered my own training course on event management too!  With JCI I have also travelled to Malta, Turkey, Germany, Ireland, Sweden, Netherlands and I am looking forward to going to Finland and Canada this year and Switzerland and Amsterdam next year.

It was an absolute honour to serve as Local President in 2015 and to lead the chamber and work alongside such an incredible team with the theme of 'be the change'.  Some of the highlights of my presidential year was hosting the lustrum dinner (held every 5 years) for Past Presidents, celebrating 100 years of the JCI global movement, launching a small grants scheme for local groups, delivering training at European Conference (Turkey) and World Congress (Japan) and leading the chamber in being awarded 'most outstanding JCI chamber in the UK'.

JCI Yorkshire » MARK SMITH MS & KK be the change.jpg JCI Yorkshire » MARK SMITH JCI Sheffield 2015 Annual Dinner VIPs.jpg

I could literally go on for pages and pages about how I have grown as a person through JCI - developed my confidence, developed existing skills, learning new skills and lapping up such a wide range of extraordinary and simply awesome experiences and meeting some people I now consider to be my closest friends.  As well as on a personal level, I have also benefitted on a professional level as JCI Sheffield have supported SAFE@LAST for several years in terms of fundraising, giving up hundreds of hours volunteering in all sorts of ways at events and I even recruited a trustee from JCI!  This year I am proud to be Immediate Past President for JCI Sheffield and also to serve on the JCI UK National Board as National Finance Director which is providing a whole set of different development opportunities and experiences for me.  Quite simply, I love JCI!

World President visit Sheffield 2016 » MS GC PD SB PC.jpg JCI Yorkshire » MARK SMITH CS RT MS debating World Congress 2015.jpg

My only regret - not knowing about JCI much earlier.  So if you are reading this and think you would like even a smidgen of all the positive and exciting things I have mentioned...come along to an event and try it out - what have you got to loose?

One of my favourite quotes by Henry Ford:

 "Whether you think you can or you can't, you're right!"

Thank you JCI!

Mark Smith

JCI Sheffield member since 2012

Most outstanding JCI member in the World, 2014

Get in touch by email, or follow me on twitter!

Blog taken from JCI Sheffield 'Steel City News' May 2015 magazine - read more here.


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13th May, 2016

Get involved in training
by James Lambert on May 13, 2016 12:57


I took on the role of Personal Development Director in 2016 as that is the area of JCI in which I have gained the most out of membership through attendance on courses on a local, national and even international level.

Over the last 18 months I have been working with some of our more experienced members to plan a Training Academy to train members who are interested in training both within JCI and potentially externally too. The first National Training Academy is being held in Birmingham on 4th & 5th June 2016. 

Even a couple of years ago I would not have considered myself good enough to deliver training courses. However in the last year I have had experience of co-training at our Leadership Academy (LEAP) and in January I got to co-train JCI Impact with Dan Senter on the day after Inspiration Day and now believe that by attending the Academy next month I will learn lots of new knowledge and tips about training from experienced JCI trainers.

The academy is open to ALL JCI UK members with an interest in training. The cost of the weekend (including a night in a hotel) is a bargain at £90. To sign up please click here 

If you have any questions about the National Training Academy or any other aspect of Personal Development please email me

I look forward to hopefully seeing you there! 


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9th May, 2016

Member of the Month - Héloïse Mignot (JCI London)
by Sarah Beckwith on May 9, 2016 12:45


Our member of the month for April is Héloïse Mignot from JCI London.  Héloïse is the JCI London Social Director for 2016 and is also leadingBlog » meet the members » Heloise Mignot.jpg on a major project for the chamber.  

Her roles this year have allowed her to develop her event management, negotiation and social media skills.  By taking the lead on the London Refugees project: ‘JCI London to Calais’, she has recruited team members, initiated partnerships with JCI France Chapters, initiated collaboration with JCI Syria and chaired meetings. 

JCI London President Rafael commented:

"Héloïse's contribution to the 2016 board has been extraordinary. Her energy, passion and work ethic have produced 2 headline social events per month including international dinners, celebrating the diversity of the London chamber and continuity of our Thirsty Thursday's with some exciting new developments. 

Héloïse has also initiated the exciting new community project London2Calais, aimed to help refugees in Calais and potentially elsewhere (i.e. Syria). She has managed to generate a lot of positive energy and interest around that project and there is good chance, JCI London together with Chapters from JCI France will deliver concrete positive action that will address this current challenge."

Congratulations to Héloïse for her hard work and fantastic personal development.  She receives £50 off the price of a national convention ticket.  

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A French-themed dinner organised by Héloïse 

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8th May, 2016

From the lowest point on Earth, to the Highest me I can be
by Sarah Beckwith on May 8, 2016 16:47


Blog » International » Sightseeing in Jordan.jpg

Training and Development is a strong pillar of JCI, being one of five domains encompassing Business, Social, Community & International sectors of the organisation.  I was delighted to participate in a Leadership, Peace & Personal Development Training which took place in Jordan from 24th- 27th March 2016 with 92 other delegates from Lebanon, Nigeria, Syria, Denmark and Jordan. The training was held at the endearing Dead Sea Spa Hotel and was wittingly entitled "From the lowest point on Earth, to the Highest me I can be", promoting peace & leadership through self-governance.

The excitement of being in the Middle East & reconnecting with my Jordanian friends from a previous JCI Intercultural Training in Malta last year, gave me a greater incentive to go, making me feel right at home. Having kept in touch since then, it was no wonder that any excuse to go to Jordan was an irresistibly easy choice to make!

The trip started with an airport pick up by friends, who took us through the scenic route of alluring trees and fascinating landscapes with mountainous backdrops beyond the seas, right through to our spectacular 4 star hotel doorstep.  The following day, after some much needed rest we had the pleasure of dipping in the Dead sea to relax & rejuvenate with all those fine minerals before attending the opening night dinner where guests and honoured members were welcomed in true JCI style.

Blog » International » Epi and the team.JPG

During the next three days, we had the training conducted by the inspirational 2006 World President Lars Hajslund. Anyone who has trained with him knows you are in for a treat as he embraces the new trends in training where non-formal learning ensures that participants are taught in a fun inclusive team setting. Here are my key takeaways from the training:

  • Self mastery is key in becoming an effective leader- Emotional empowerment comes through studying & understanding your recurrent life patterns. 
  • Build effective teams and relationships by understanding different personality types through colour psychology (Red; Blue; Green and Yellow people- Carl Jung Theories).
  • The key to success is ‘Third Solutions'. This is achieved by holding 2 strongly opposed ideas in your mind at the same time and fusing the good aspects of each into a third solution that is better than the single ideas on their own. This helped us explore new approaches to challenges and solutions that transcend borders.
  • Embrace multiculturalism through understanding & celebrating differences - diversity inclusion enables the creation of peace in our homes, communities and work-spaces. There is always a reflection of ourselves in others.

We all came up with quotes for our JCI worldwide "Peace is possible", campaign, and here's mine:
"Peace to me means having the freedom to say, do & be who you are within moral, legal & ethical boundaries while allowing others the same freedom in order to bring about tranquillity, reconciliation & lack of violence"- Epi Mabika

Blog » International » Epi graduating (1).jpg

We rounded off the trip with a visit to the enchanting Petra, taking the heritage tour with horse-riding & enjoying a great serving of authentic chicken shawerma.

I now have an open invitation to visit friends in Lebanon & a re-invitation to Jordan for a ‘Storytelling & Leadership' workshop, all to enhance transferable skills that I can use not only in JCI, but in my own life and business as well. The possibilities are endless! JCI has opened tremendous doors of continuous development and friendship opportunities, and in the words of our World President Pascal Dike, "You get out of it, as much as you put into it". I truly feel like a global citizen & have reciprocated the invitation to my fellow Jaycees, letting them know they have a home in London whenever they decide to visit.

We are now working together on a project to help refugees in Calais as part of the "Peace is possible" campaign, collaborating with JCI Jordan for long & short term project ideas; JCI France for project liaison & participation, and we will be involving other JCI chambers in Europe for long term sustainable solutions for refugees and peace promotion between nations. We are embodying the parts of our JCI Creed which affirm that "the brotherhood of man transcends the sovereignty of nations". Together, we can make a difference in becoming leaders and ambassadors of peace.

By Epi Mabika, JCI London member

Blog » International » Jordan graduates.JPG

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2nd May, 2016

Hi All,

For years now, JCI UK have been looking at how to make paying for your membership easier. It’s been a bit of a faff having to complete the sign up for, then go to your back and set up a BACS or Standing Order. It can also be a pain when it comes to renewing as well, you either have to make another BACS payment or potential set up a new standing order and if you don’t remember to do so, then you membership can lapse and you have arrears to sort out.  It’s not a very nice experience and it’s something we’ve been wanting to change for a while now, but not been able to find the right solution.

Earlier in the year, we found out about GoCardless, a quick and simple to use system that takes Direct Debit payments for organisations of all sizes from local scout groups and sport clubs, right through to companies like The Guardian and Funding Circle. It made taking repeat and one off payments easy to do whilst being low cost and no long term contracts or ongoing fees.

We decided to run a trial of the system with three chambers, Rotherham, Sheffield and Barnsley, to see how it worked. Over the trial period, it was clear the sign up process was quicker and ongoing payments were easier to manage and members had a greater view of what was happening with their membership.

As the trial was such a success, it was voted on at National Council on the 23rd April 2016, that JCI UK would use GoCardless for all recurring membership payments going forward and also offer the ability to pay yearly via the system as well.

We’re now in the process of rolling moving all current members who pay via standing order to the new GoCardless system. We’re doing it in stages so your chamber might not be for a month or so, but you will get an e-mail explain exactly what you need to do shortly. It only takes five minutes to switch over and will provide you with a better membership experience.

The reason we chose GoCardless is that is has very low fees (just 1% per transaction), at no point does anyone from JCI see you bank details (which at the moment, occasional we can see depending on the bank that has sent the standing order payment), and it’s a really simple system to use from both a members perspective and a admin perspective.

The new system will also be integrated into the new member sign up process as quickly as possible on both the current JCI UK website and the new JCI UK website (more info and another blog coming on that one soon!).

Below is a selection of questions we’ve been asked during the trial and since, but if you have any others, please let me know and I’ll be happy to answer them for you. You can drop me an e-mail to

It’s a low fee of 1%, but the standing order option is free. Aren’t we better stay with that? Whilst yes there is a charge, it is envisaged that by automating this process and eliminating paper being send to head office, we will save more in head office fees than the 1% processing fee.

What happens if people are signed up for a year, isn’t it going to just take without warning them? No. The Go Carless system would not automatically take the payment when the year is due for renewal.  As currently, members would get an email before the membership is renewed advising that their membership is due for renewal and supply them with a link to pay again via GoCardless, as well as the option to change to monthly or quarterly payments.

Will anyone in the organisation see my bank account details? No. At no point will any individual’s bank account details be seen by anyone in JCI UK. They are stored securely on the GoCardless system and we have no access to them so they are completely secure.

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1st May, 2016

A month in the life of a National President
by Sarah Beckwith on May 1, 2016 11:22


So what is it really like to be National President? What do we actually do? Well it's been a busy month, so I thought I'd share some of the highlights:

On 8-10 April, myself and six of the national board team travelled to Eindhoven in the Netherlands for our NOM2NOM weekend with our national twinning partners. This was a fantastic opportunity for the national board team to get to know their counter-parts and share best practice (you can read Abdulkader's blog here). For me the close relationship with my fellow national presidents from Switzerland, the Netherlands and Belgium is really important to be able to talk to those sharing the same experiences you are going through and also to liaise about international issues we'll be discussing when we represent our countries at the JCI EUropean Conference in Finland in June.

Blog » from the president » NOM2NOM Presidents.jpg

The NOM2NOM Presidents: Jeroen from the Netherlands, myself, Sarah from Belgium and Martin from Switzerland

The next weekend I hopped on a train up to Edinburgh for the JCI Scotland national conference. JCI UK also has a very close relationship with JCI Scotland and JCI Ireland. There are several twinning relationships between the nations, lots of hanging out together at international conferences and the national presidents and other members each attending each other's conferences/conventions. It was great to see six other members and senators of JCI UK there. The weekend was packed with fantastic workshops, keynote speakers and speaking competitions and culminated in a black tie gala with ceilidh. It was during the gala that I and Brian Smyth, the national president of JCI Ireland, made our friendship speeches to Patrick Hughes, the national president of JCI Scotland. You make quite a few speeches as national president, but this one was a bit different, being a somewhat teasing take on the friendship. I was therefore quite nervous to get the balance right between humour without crossing the line too far! Patrick still seems to be speaking to me so hopefully the speech hit the right note (or else he's biding his time until he gets to return the favour at the JCI UK National Convention in November).

Blog » from the president » Friendship speech.jpg

Delivering the friendship speech at the Scottish National Convention

Last week was another huge learning experience for me as we had our first National Council meeting of the year. I had to chair the meeting using the JCI UK Constitution and Roberts Rules of Order, a parliamentary procedures system which is designed to allow everyone to be heard and votes to be taken democratically. Although I've sat in many meetings as both a local president and national board member where Roberts Rules have been used, it's a bit of a different experience controlling the meeting yourself. In the afternoon, we heard from Kaspar Ilves, our international Vice President, who taught us about strategic partnerships, something his home organisation of JCI Estonia is particularly good at. The knowledge sharing continued as Yorkshire Regional Group Chair, Phil and JCI Canary Wharf President, Andy (with special guest appearance by JCI Swindon President, Faisal) shared the benefits of using as a platform for reaching potential new members.

Blog » from the president » National Council.jpg

My tools for chairing the JCI UK National Council meeting

On Sunday, I sat down with the local presidents to talk about how their year is going so far. This is one of my favourite parts of being national president. Our local chambers are the most important part of JCI UK, so I love hearing about the projects and events they are running and facilitating finding solutions to make those chambers even better through discussion and sharing of ideas.

Other activities throughout the month included:

  • Numerous conversations with National Board members
  • Writing up a report on the recent World President visit for JCI HQ
  • Meetings in person and via Skype in preparation for our upcoming Public Speaking and Training Academies
  • Creating my first ever video blog! Not easy for someone who isn't the most technology savvy
  • Lots of e-mails with local presidents, members, potential members, senators, head office, other national presidents and partners
  • Skype meeting with our appointed Vice President from the JCI International Board of Directors
  • Representing JCI at the Worshipful Company of World Traders Tacitus Debate which is supported by a partner of JCI London, the London Chamber of Commerce Commercial Education Trust

I hope that has given an insight into some of what I get up to as National President.  If you have any questions, please drop me a line:


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30th Apr, 2016

What it means to me to “Choose extraordinary”
by Sarah Beckwith on April 30, 2016 10:47


Everyone who has joined JCI did it for a specific reason and everyone who has been in the organisation probably stayed for others.

I personally joined JCI because I wanted to make new connections within the city and extend some of my marketing skills. I stayed in JCI because I realise that there is more to learn that I could have imagine and that I actually love to learn.

JCI will connect not only people but also organisations. We were last year approached by the American Embassy to join a program they have created. At first, my reaction was to think that it is another commitment, that I won't have time for it and then I remembered that opportunity rarely knock at the door, you have to create them.

I decided to apply for the program and was successful after a few days. The program aims to reinforce the link between the young leaders in the UK and the American government giving you access to monthly invitations to attend virtual talks or physical events.

 Now, have you ever seen on TV or looked at pictures in the news and thought how do ordinary people attend ''THESE" events? I have an answer, maybe not the only one but one. These people choose to push their boundaries, they choose a life where they are not scared by the unknown, they are not scared by the lack of sleep, they are scared of what they could be missing by not seizing an opportunity. That for me is my definition of "Choose extraordinary", our 2016 National Theme.

On Thursday 14/04/2016, I received an email from the American Embassy, inviting me to attend President Barack Obama speech in London Saturday 23rd April 2016. Yes, that's right, the American ambassador wrote an email to invite me (and program participant) to meet with "POTUS".

Blog » Misc » Celestine AmEm Post.png

Due to the high demand, a ballot system was organised and I was placed on the waiting list. I can fairly said that I was not bothered to be on the waiting list but I was honoured and proud. I have the privilege to be part of an organisation that is well recognise in the world and that give me the opportunity to meet Barack Obama. How many of us can actually say it? I was part of the 500 members onwards in the UK who have been given the chance to receive an email offering me the possibility to attend Barack Obama speech in London. If I didn't realise straight away how amazing this opportunity was, the faces and the reactions among the people I decided to tell reminded me how "uncasual this is". One of my favourite was " Now, I wish I had joined the program".

What I've learnt and that I would like to share with you is to make sure you don't live with regrets, don't miss out on an opportunity to choose an extraordinary path because you are afraid you won't be able to commit or you won't have time. If an opportunity arises, you will find a way to make time for it.

Joining a group of young professionals such as JCI is like planting seeds and waiting for it to grow. Opportunities like meeting the President of the United States of America don't happened by coincidence, I had to plant my opportunity by joining JCI and joining the US Embassy program and I just waited for it to grow and seized the opportunity to meet him.

Célestine, 2016 Local President, JCI Southampton

If you have any questions about JCI please do get in touch with me





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