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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".

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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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28th Apr, 2016

JCI UK partners with JCI Poland to help a child!
by Abdulkader Aljandali on April 28, 2016 11:49


JCI UK together with JCI Poland and the technological start-up company Talking 2 Rabbit launched a charity campaign aimed at the purchase of a drainage vest for seriously ill little girl Maja, suffering from cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis is an incurable genetic disease, which floods the lungs, pancreas and liver with thick mucus. Some children with cystic fibrosis do not live to adulthood. 

Little Maja’s  story Maja was born in a small village in Poland. Since she was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis her parents have been giving her the same routine treatment every day: clapping her on the back, a form of manual drainage of the lungs inhalations, during which the girl twists, bends, trying to escape, crying with the pain. This might change with your HELP!

For Maja to be able to breathe normally, a drainage vest is needed urgently. This device cleanses the respiratory system. Thanks to the vest, instead of the usual hours of painful and unpleasant treatment, it only takes a few minutes! She will use it daily like other healthy children and can go to school, play sports and enjoy life as a little kid! Unfortunately Maja’s parents cannot afford to buy the drainage vest by themselves.

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Wonder How you can help?

1. Like the project page on Facebook:

2. Click “LIKE” under the action banner which you can then share on your timeline to spread the word about the project and have more people involved.

3. Sign-up at  and start recording your voice over the Internet.


Recommended steps:

1. Check that your laptop or desktop has Chrome or Firefox and  equipped with a standard microphone (built-in or external). Note: Mobile devices like smartphones or tablets are not compatible with the web-based recording platform!

2. Make sure that you have stable Internet connection and try be seated in a silent room.

3. You will be asked to read out loud general English sentences and German names and locations displayed on the screen (as a British native speaker, German language skills are not required) which takes about 10 minutes!


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26th Apr, 2016

JCI Twinning 2016
by Abdulkader Aljandali on April 26, 2016 11:24


Twinning is definitely one of the best traditions that the JCI family has successfully adopted since its inception. I have had the chance to participate in few twinning weekends during my JCI career and also the privilege to organise one in JCI London last year. Back then, we had delegates attending from Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland. The weekend started on Friday night with dinner at Dishoom in Shoreditch; the highlight on Saturday was the comedy club session where guests enjoyed British humour first-hand! On Sunday, our twins were invited to join the peace conference organised by JCI London back in September.  

There are many benefits for twinning among which I would like to cite a continuous cooperation with fellow Jayces across within and across borders which is key to the survival of any local organisation. I am aware that JCI Cambridge, Southampton and London intend to organise a similar events this year. If any other chamber are looking to organise a twinning weekend this year, please let us so that we can support you and help you make the most of your experience. 

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For chambers that would like to explore twinning agreements with chambers across Europe or beyond, please get in touch as we have been contacted by national organisations from the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Finland, Morocco and Norway; they have all expressed interest in findings JCI partners in the United Kingdom. I am personally in touch with the international directors of the above-mentioned chambers and happy to facilitate contact and cooperation accordingly. If anybody wants to find more about twinning agreements and the JCI twinning policy, please let me know, I shall forward the policy document to those interested; It contains the information that you need to start up your twinning journey. For those of you who are new to JCI, twinning can be defined as:

"A relationship instituted between two Junior Chamber chapters in different countries. The motivation to twin originates from the members in two chapters who wish to establish a mutual understanding and friendship. The objective is to exchange personal visits, ideas, projects and culture. With modern communication and transportation systems, distance is no longer an obstacle. For this reason, chapter twinning is easier now than ever before. Twinning usually starts with correspondence between two chapters. This form of international cooperation does not require regular visits, and the link lasts for as long as the two chapters wish. One simple exchange of information is all that the cooperation requires. These activities enable chapters to make contacts with foreign chapters which may eventually twin in the future."

For any queries related to international events, please get in touch as we would love to help :)


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23rd Apr, 2016

NOM2NOM in Eindhoven, NL
by Abdulkader Aljandali on April 23, 2016 15:03


I had a lovely weekend attending my first NOM2NOM event with the JCI UK Team from the 8th to 10th of April 2016. The weekend took place in a small town nearby Eindhoven, a must visit destination for nature-lovers and those who would like to escape the stress of the city. JCI UK has twinning partnerships with the national organisations of the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland. A total of 32 members from the 4 countries participated in the event which aims to maintain and strengthen existing relationships between JCI national organisations. 

The weekend started on a Friday afternoon as delegates were greeted, shown their accommodation and then invited to join the drinks reception that was taking place in the main hall. During the reception, I had the chance to get acquainted with the Swiss team and was pleasantly surprised to find out that JCI Switzerland is in the process of implementing the Know How Transfer project to their members the chance to shadow member of parliament in Bern this coming  September. The Swiss Know How Transfer programme is a benchmark of a programme run by JCI Europe in Brussels and I am delighted to say that JCI UK is working on a similar proposal that would enable our members to experience politics first-hand in Westminster!

We had a knowledge sharing session on a Saturday morning where Sarah and Ben gave tips  on how to write an award proposal; I personally found the presentation extremely informative and couldnt hep taking notes which I had summarised as follows:

  • Apply: familiarise yourself with the applications process
  • Fill in the forms: make sure that you included all the paper work required
  • Take a lot of photos and videos: do this throughout the project 
  • Tell a story: connect the dots for the jury 
  • Explain why you have chosen the project
  • How you are going to do it: talk to us about the process you have used
  • And prepare yourself to win: get ready for celebrations!

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Saturday afternoon focused on team building as we were given the chance to compete in teams against each other. The activities we performed in that afternoon were reminiscent of past training/activities I did when attending various leadership academies with JCI; the bottom line was that together, we can always have fun, learn and make an impact! Sunday morning we bid farewell to our lovely hosts and we started the journey back to the UK. Another memorable event added to my JCI CV :)

If you like to learn more about any of the topics mentioned in this blog, please feel free to email:

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22nd Apr, 2016

Pound a Day 2016 - Coming Soon to a Chamber near you!
by Katie Jackson on April 22, 2016 13:13


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What is Pound a Day?
The Pound a Day project is now into its fourth year and continues to grow year-on-year. This year we are doing it slightly later in the year to correspond with World Hunger Day (28th May 2016), to really understand the impact that hunger brings on our communities, not only locally, but nationally and internationally.

To take part in the project you will need to: 

  • Limit yourself to a £7 weekly shopping budget, for both food and drink
  • Donate the difference between your £7 budget and your normal food and drink spend through the Just Giving page

Rules include:

  • You can use basic seasonings of salt and pepper from your cupboard. However, you cannot use additional spices such as chilli and garlic unless you buy them from your budget
  • You can use oil for cooking purposes, but only in small qualities. It cannot be used in large amounts for things such as salad dressings unless you purchase it specifically for such dishes
  • You cannot use sauces or condiments such as mayonnaise or ketchup unless you purchase them from your £7 budget
  • You can buy items that come in large quantities, such as tea bags, split it and exclude the percentage of money for the amount taken out. However, you must declare this before the event and make sure you are not tempted to cheat and dip into the part that is from outside your budget! 

So how can you get involved? 

  • Register your interest to our UK Community Director - Katie Jackson - by emailing 
  • State how much your weekly shop normally costs, so we can work out how much you will be looking to donate at the end of the week 
  • You will then receive details of the Just Giving Page and a designated Facebook group (to share ideas with other participants and recipe ideas)
  • We are big fans of social media so whether funny or serious, get posting! We would love to see your shopping list, recipe ideas and meal photos. We also want to know how you are doing throughout the event; is it easy? Are you struggling? Be sure to use the hashtag #jciukpoundaday when tweeting so we can share ideas and keep each other motivated.

If you do not feel that able to commit to the full challenge, consider giving up a luxury item, such as alcohol or your favourite sweet treat, and donate what you would have spent.

How can I sponsor other members that are taking part? 
A Just Giving page will be launched shortly and will be shared on our social media channels, so watch this space and get donating! 

If you have any questions about the event please contact Katie Jackson on

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16th Apr, 2016

National President Q1 Review
by Sarah Beckwith on April 16, 2016 15:12


In this video blog National President Sarah Beckwith reviews JCI UK's year so far and what we have coming up over the next few months.

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13th Apr, 2016

Untitled post
by MichaelSteel on April 13, 2016 22:00


7th Apr, 2016

Member of the month - Brogan O'Callaghan (JCI Sheffield)
by Sarah Beckwith on April 7, 2016 23:12


Time to meet the member of the month for March - Brogan O'Callaghan from JCI Sheffield.

Blog » meet the members » Brogan.jpgBrogan has been a member for ten months and after six months of membership stepped up to the role of membership director.  She was nominated by JCI Sheffield President, Gareth Carson, for her outstanding contribution to the council team, especially in organising a Meet JCI Sheffield event.  Gareth says:

"Brogan has brought so much to the council team so far this year and is determined to help us achieve awesome through membership recruitment. This month Brogan organised a Meet JCI Sheffield evening. Brogan came up with the concept of the evening and arranged the whole event using the skills of different members to achieve what was needed".

All Brogan's hard work certainly paid off as three new members and a new corporate partner were recruited on the night.

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Meet JCI Sheffield Event

Brogan is an example of a member making the most out of the development opportunities in JCI and putting what's she learnt into practice.  Gareth goes on to say: 

"Brogan also attended JCI UKs Marketing Academy earlier this month and has then taken an active role in helping and supporting with the marketing of the chamber. Brogan has recorded several videos with the team and is always looking at new ways in which we can reach potential new members".

Brogan receives £50 off the cost of a ticket to the National Convention in November.  To nominate a member of the month who has "chosen extraordinary" in their JCI activities, please e-mail National President, Sarah Beckwith:

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4th Apr, 2016

National Training Team
by James Lambert on April 4, 2016 13:06


As Personal Development Director for JCI UK I am delighted to be able to announce that we are launching a National Training Team (NTT). The purpose of the team is to support individuals who either are already training JCI Courses or would like to train these courses in the near future.

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Applications are open to join the team and to download an application for please click here

To join the team members will need to have attended the following courses (or be booked to attend them soon)

1) Has attended and passed the tests for JCI Impact and JCI Achieve (in the last 3 years)

2) Has attended 2 out of 3 of the following: JCI Presenter; JCI Admin and LEAP.

I am excited to annouce that JCI UK will be holding its first Training Academy on the weekend of 4/5 June 2016 for members of the NTT. If you would like to be part of the first intake please let me have your completed application form for consideration by 30th April 2016 at the latest.

If you have any questions about the National Training Team or any questions about Personal Development opportunities in JCI UK please send me an email

James Lambert

JCI UK 2016 Personal Development Director


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