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19th Oct, 2015

Florian's experience of LEAP 2015
by James Lambert on October 19, 2015 15:27


Florian Bay from JCI London attended the JCI UK Leadership Excellence in Action Programme (LEAP) in August 2015 and shares with us a summary of his experience.

It was filled with a mixture of curiosity, excitement and nervousness that I set out on the afternoon of Friday 21st August for Birmingham and LEAP. I had been advised by my good friend and mentor Sarah Beckwith to attend. This coupled with my interest in leadership sealed the deal and my ticket was booked in May.

I did not know what to expect bar that I would be thrown out of my comfort zone. Beginning in my case with sharing a room with a stranger, that was a lovely lad from JCI Sheffield, Oliver. The programme for the two days seem rather thorough and soon after its introduction, it was off to breaking the ice. A still don’t know how I managed to finish the name game but I did it. As for the “tick tock” game that followed, I think that it’ll stay in my mind for life. The various group exercises done throughout the week-end where interesting, with my favourite one being the toxic waste bucket. We sure were under pressure in the final group task but that was part of the plan to make everyone show their true colours.

LEAP » Helium Challenge.jpg

Ah these colours, these personality insights to be more precise. I think that they’ve changed my way of interacting with others now and I now find myself wondering how to best handle others based on these insights. The result in my case, a deep purple, came as no surprise in a way but helps me understand why I seem to “get it” more with some than with others.

Before LEAP I used to say that I was “finding my feet” with regards to JCI. But this is no longer the case now as I’ve gained a much better appreciation of what the organisation has to offer. The magic worked its effect and I am now a fully fledged Jaycee convert! I am now very much looking forward to apply the skills I’ve learnt in LEAP. Be it as training director of the London chapter next year; in the two Toastmasters club I preside; Or in the workplace!

Florian Graduating from LEAP 2015


Choose extraordinary! Take the LEAP!

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30th Sep, 2015

Meet the Member - Beth Livesey - JCI Manchester
by Fiona Silvester on September 30, 2015 13:40


Membership » MTM-Web-Banner2.jpg

Many thanks to our lastest member to answer my questions - Beth from JCI Manchester

Which chamber are you a member of?

How long have you been a JCI member?
1 year

What made you join?
I wanted to throw myself into something new and meet a broad range of people. It certainly does that. Manchester has so so many networking groups for young professionals,  I wanted an unpretentious fun atmosphere and that's what JCI Manchester offers. 

Membership » Beth Livesey.jpg

What is the most interesting JCI event you've been to and why?
I would have to say our second charity event of 2015 - The Rum Emporium at Manchester House. Not only did we raise over £1800 in one evening, I learnt so much about rum. Did you know Mount Gay is the world's oldest rum?!? Well you do now :)

Had JCI presented any unusual/interesting opportunities?
JCI offers interesting opportunities and challenges daily. As Marketing Director for JCI Manchester each day throws something new at you. I would say climbing over a 10 meter wall from my friend's shoulders and running over tyres was certainly an unusual day. We filmed the promo video for our sportsday and it was such fun - stay tuned early 2016 for that one, it will be a fab day!

We also have the Manchester Young Talent Awards coming up and being involved in those is brilliant. Juggling work, JCI and real life certainly has been fun. I cannot wait to be there on the evening celebrating all the best aspects of Manchester. The sense of community and pride is unrivalled by another city when Manchester is on form. There's no better place... and I'm not biased at all :)

What is your job/career/profession/business?
I work for JMW Solicitors in Manchester as Marketing Executive.

Has JCI had any impact on your job/career/profession/business?
JCI offers you an extra string to your bow. It's recognised and it's impactful. I work for a previous president of JCI Manchester and JCI senator Joy Kingsley who believes in JCI and what it offers. It's great to have that commonality and guidance with senior management.

Who is a leader you admire?
My mum. She is a different type of leader. Not a world leader or Nobel peace prize winner, but she has certainly ensured she guides me in the best possible way and I couldn't ask for anything more.

What's your proudest achievement?
Winning my JCI UK 'Feel Proud' Awards of course :) what else could I possibly say!

If we came to your home and looked inside your refrigerator, what would we see?
Cheese! Lots of cheese. I love cheese!

What is a good weekend to you?
Spending a weekend with my family and my boyfriend all together. It's something that doesn't happen often now we are all older, but you can't beat it when it does.

Tell us something crazy/dangerous/inspiring/unusual you have done
I love anything with a bit of adrenaline. I did a track day many years ago in a Formula Ford (a mini F1 car to those who haven't heard of it). I am a bit of a petrol head so loved every second. Unfortunately it went a little wrong when a Lambo undertook me and I spun off the track into the tyres. I ended up writing off the car, with whiplash and broken knuckles. It could have been much worse though so I'm thankful for that! It has certainly put me off track days slightly though!

Thanks Beth

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3rd Sep, 2015

Meet the Member - JCI Barnsley - Bev Mackfall
by Fiona Silvester on September 3, 2015 14:44


Membership » MTM-Web-Banner2.jpg

Well we've had one Mackfall on the blog so far, it's time for another...

Which chamber are you a member of?
JCI Barnsley

How long have you been a JCI member?
One year (since August 2014)

What made you join?
Peer pressure...!!  My younger sister had joined before me (despite JCI being on my radar years ago), and my parents (both Senators) had been triumphing the benefits of joining for some time...  Following a few free taster training sessions and possibly a social evening meal out at the Restaurant of the Quarter, I downloaded the application form and sent off my registration, with the intention of throwing myself into the fray with my first official event as a member being the JCI Barnsley Annual Train Pub Crawl 2014.  And so it began...

Membership » MTM Bev Mackfall.jpg

What is the most interesting JCI event you've been to and why?
Everyday Improvisation, hosted by JCI Sheffield during 2015.  It was one of the first few events I went to outside of Barnsley, so it was daunting meeting new faces, especially when you're shy, and in a world where you're trying to make good first impressions, but this event was all about breaking down the walls and being careful with what you say, by saying silly things, jumping around, shouting and throwing the boulder of JUSTICE.  This was a great event to be uninhibited in!

Had JCI presented any unusual/interesting opportunities?
I like the opportunity's I'm getting to build friendships and networks across the region and potentially the country as I attend more and more events that are organised.  This time last year I wouldn't have imagined I would be travelling across the county to attend training sessions, or meeting people from one of the most northern cities in Britain (here's looking at the Aberdeen twins...!), nor taking part in training sessions like Extempore where confidence and speaking in public is required...

What is your job/career/profession/business?
Credit control/accounts assistant in a local Window Fabricating company.

Has JCI had any impact on your job/career/profession/business?
Possibly indirectly JCI has impacted my performance in the skills and qualities I've developed such as confidence in speaking, time management, and hopefully tips from an "assertiveness at work" training session I've recently attended.

Who is a leader you admire?
I'm not sure I could name anyone specifically without going away for another month and thinking about it, but I admire confidence and conviction in a leader, someone with a purpose, who can encourage their "followers" to be an effective team in their campaign (whatever their campaign may be...)

What's your proudest achievement?
It may be quite personal and hopefully not too self-indulgent, but my proudest recent achievement has been losing a significant amount of weight through Slimming World's healthy eating - reaching target and maintaining it.  It feels quite insignificant in comparison to others who I imagine would be proud of jumping out of a plane, climbing Everest or crossing the Sahara, but for now I'm taking small steps.  I've been watching the Run With Us team this year, spear headed by Joe and Debbie Worthington, and felt inspired - perhaps this time next year I'm going to be Feeling Proud of JCI achievements, which in turn benefit the community rather than me! 

Where's your favourite place to eat?
This is so difficult, as I've been to a number of beautiful restaurants recently across Yorkshire where the food has been heavenly...!!  But my favourite local haunt is the 8 Oz Burger Company in Barnsley, found on the Victorian Arcade.  I'm slowly working my way through their 30 various burgers on the menu, but keep getting distracted by the specials. 

What is your perfect weekend?
A three day weekend...!!  With a balanced mix of sunshine, friends, good food and maybe cocktails (proper, good, quality cocktails where the barman doesn't need to check the menu for ingredients...!!)

Tell us something crazy/dangerous/inspiring/unusual you have done
I'm a bit of a music and film fan, and don't see anything strange about going to the cinema, a gig or festival on my own - I feel like everyone else in attendance is there for exactly the same reason, so I'm in a room full of likeminded people.  I may not go as far afield as Manchester at 10pm (to come home at 3am!) on my own, followed the next morning by a day of official JCI training courses looking like a zombie though...  I had to insist in February to Emma and Mark in Sheffield that I wasn't bored of Achieve and Impact!  Promise!!

Thanks Bev!!



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30th Aug, 2015

Planning action for 2016
by Sarah Beckwith on August 30, 2015 09:16


What do you think JCI UK should be setting out to achieve in 2016? We want to hear your views!

As deputy national president it is my responsibility to prepare the national Plan of Action for 2016. I want to create a plan that is ambitious, inspiring and relevant to all JCI UK members. In doing so we can all work together to make JCI UK a bigger, better, stronger organisation.

Some of the things we will be considering include:

  • What national events should we keep doing? Which ones should we change/replace?
  • What causes and/or charities should we support? 
  • How can the national board support local chambers and members?
  • What projects can be run in local chambers and combine together to attract national recognition?
  • What initiatives can we introduce to improve communication, marketing, administration, etc?

All ideas are welcome: the more creative, ambitious and extraordinary the better!

We will be holding a planning session after the AGM on 12 September at 2.30pm at Sheffield Hallam University. Everyone is welcome.

If you can't make it, please feel free to drop me a line about your ideas (I'm happy to a set up a call to talk):

P.S. There are still 2016 national board positions and project lead roles available. Get in touch to find out more.


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29th Aug, 2015

Membership is power!
by Drew Charman on August 29, 2015 19:46


Membership is power

Having just sent out one of my regular emails to the 2015 JCI UK Local Presidents, Deputy Presidents and the National Board team which commenced with a section on Membership I thought I'd post that particular element here as it's a pertinent reminder about what local Chambers, and indeed other membership organisations, can do to ensure a good focus on membership is retained

We all know that membership retention and growth in particular are two constant hot topics for JCI and similar organisations – locally, nationally and indeed globally.  We are a membership-based organisation and without continued focus on this we essentially cease to exist.

Membership Tree

Unfortunately members don’t grow on trees and there’s no one solution which fixes all but there are a number of best practice hints and tips to help with membership activities.  JCI UK Membership Director Fiona Silvester has previously shared some of these with the local Chambers via their Membership Directors and I would encourage local Council teams to keep referring back to these.   

But what else can you do?  Well, there’s lots!  Off the top of my head:

- Regularly engage with your members personally – I can’t emphasise enough how much the personal touch helps.

- Remember the JCI UK Pathways Framework and get members to utilise it by following it and getting involved with both attending and helping organise events.

- Start planning (if you haven’t already) your New Member Evenings for September/October.  A good NME is a great way to introduce potential new members to the benefits of joining your orgnaisation

- Work on your websites – an up-to-date content-rich website is one of your primary marketing tools.

- Keep blogging and posting articles to ensure your our online marketing presence is current.

- Don’t forget to engage local business and community leaders to champion the benefits of joining an organisation like JCI.  Meetings with HR Managers/Directors of firms inyour area plus meetings with the Chamber of Commerce and other similar groups/orgs can be a great way of getting your chamber/organisation back into people’s minds, and can also help forget those all important strategic partnerships.

- Encourage your members to attend events at all levels – it’s not a big secret that getting members to attend national and international events over and above local events usually results in a long lasting membership for most as members get to see that there's much, much more to the organisation than they might already know.  Bursaries are usually available to help with this.

- Consider introducing a local recognition/reward scheme to acknowledge all members who have brought in guests.  It doesn’t have to be big – even a little gift such as chocolates or a card to say thank you can speak volumes.

- Even if there is low attendance bookings for an event, still go ahead with it.  Just one impressed attendee can generate great feedback and important leads.  Continuity matters so don’t give up!

- Remind, repeat and reiterate!  Don’t leave renewals to chance. Make sure there is plenty of warning for your members over and above the emails they automatically receive from JCI UK.

- Don’t forget we’re approaching Membership Impact Week (or month for some) so plan what your chamber will be doing to promote this.

Working effectively together with your leadership team, including your Membership Director, is key.  Work closely together and always keep your eye on this important part of running an effective local organisation.


Drew Charman
2015 National President - JCI UK National Board
Senator #73605

Tel: +44 7730 594408
Twitter: @JCI_Drew

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21st Aug, 2015

Introducing our candidates for Deputy National President 2016
by Sarah Beckwith on August 21, 2015 15:56


We are very excited to announce that there are two members standing for the position of Deputy National President 2016. The person elected will go on to be the JCI UK National President in 2017.

It is fantastic that we have two passionate and dedicated members who have put themselves forward for this role. The candidates are Michael Steel from JCI Southampton and Mark Smith from JCI Sheffield. You can download their intention to stand documents by clicking on their names.

Over the next few weeks leading up to the election, you will have the opportunity to get to know the candidates further via blogs, videos and newsletters. We encourage you to read the candidates' intentions to stand, listen to their ideas and ask them questions.

The election will take place at the JCI UK AGM on 12 September in Sheffield. Each local chamber will be able to vote for their preferred candidate and we encourage you to let you Local President know your thoughts on this important decision for the future of JCI UK.

If you have any questions about the election process, then please contact 2015 Deputy National President Sarah Beckwith.


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20th Aug, 2015

2015 UK TOYP Honouree - Jane Burston
by James Lambert on August 20, 2015 07:30


Jane Burston has been selected in the final 20 of the world competition. Please see below why Jane was selected as a JCI UK TOYP honoree.


TOYP » 2015 TOYP Winners » Jane Burston.jpg

As a strong believer that climate change will be the defining issue of her generation, Jane Burston takes no shortcuts. Cycling to work daily, supporting energy reduction and sustainability initiatives in the office and attempts not to fly for work whenever possible, Burston is wholeheartedly committed to leading a conscious lifestyle that sustains the earth.

In 2008 Jane co-founded Carbon Retirement, a social enterprise that reformed emissions trading and carbon offsetting, securing government and NGO clients. The social enterprise won itself and Burston numerous awards for outstanding innovation and entrepreneurship. During this time Burston began volunteering much of her time to advocate for sustainable climate practices and improve emissions trading. It was in 2011 that Burston made the move to the National Physical Laboratory to establish and run the Centre for Carbon Measurement, providing the measurements critical to ensuring we can mitigate and adapt to climate change. The Centre is the first of its kind in the world, bringing together the work of 120 scientists. At the Centre, Burston grew funding and partnerships significantly in the area of climate change including developmental links with the World Economic Forum, the UK Department for Energy and Climate Change and the Climate Change Committee.

Burston is dedicated to creating a future where people have a better quality of life, in a way that protects the planet and preserves the same quality of life for future generations. She is dedicated to her principles both personally and professionally, making a real difference to a global challenge.

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19th Aug, 2015

Meet the Member - Abdulkader Aljandani (JCI London)
by Fiona Silvester on August 19, 2015 09:07


Membership » MTM-Web-Banner2.jpg

Introducing the lovely Abdulkader.

Which chamber are you a member of?

How long have you been a JCI member?
8 months

What made you join?
I went to the last world congress in Germany and realised how big and amazing JCI is so it felt like a privilege to be part of such an exceptional network of young people!


What is the most interesting JCI event you've been to and why?
Field visits to Porsche and DHL in Leipzig, Germany organised by JCI World Congress committee. An eye-opener to the almost perfect management style that makes the German companies what they are today. Thanks to JCI contacts, I went back to visit the same sites with my students last February :)

I have been to the EA in Sweden recently and had a blast!!!!

Had JCI presented any unusual/interesting opportunities?
Yes - I have a full network of JCI friends now which have been invited to join us for the twinning weekend organised by JCI London in September! I am also looking forward to connect with other JCIs next month when I attend the Know How Transfer event in Brussels!  Also, I am in touch training directors in the UK to organise workshops for JCI members!

What is your job/career/profession/business?
I work as a Senior Lecturer (Quantitative Analysis) in the higher education in Regents University London. I am also the director of a startup company that delivers training in business and financial forecast, MC Analytics.

Has JCI had any impact on your job/career/profession/business?
Yes - please see above!

What's your proudest achievement?
PhD in Quantitative Analysis Finance

Membership » Abduller London 1.jpg

If you were given the chance to enter the Big Brother house would you?
I would probably shy away!

Tell us something crazy/dangerous/inspiring/unusual you have done
Quitting my job as a manager in Toyota Motor Corporation and going back to university to pursue my dreams!!


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18th Aug, 2015

New Partnership
by MichaelSteel on August 18, 2015 16:38


We are delighted to announce that Youth Employment UK (YEUK) have joined us as our latest partner!

Untitled folder » YEUK_new_logo-June2015.png

YEUK is the leading campaigning and membership organisation dedicated to tackling youth unemployment in the UK.

They believe that their approach to youth unemployment is unique and sustainable and one that will have the biggest impact on the growing crisis. Their campaign is supported by an advisory board of members who have extensive knowledge and experience within youth employment which ensures that they deliver on their mission detailed below.

- To support young people (Age 16-24) not in employment, education or training (NEET)
- Bring together organisations working to support NEET young people, in order to share ideas, information and best practice; to encourage collaboration.
-Encourage organisations to become members of Youth Employment UK CIC and sign up to the Positive Youth Charter
-To support employers to reduce barriers which currently prevent young people from gaining employment
-To support schools to cultivate well equipped employees of the future
-To improve links between business and education
-To support young people with quality information and sign posting of the services and opportunities available to them
-To listen to young people's voices
-To campaign as one central voice on matters regarding youth employment to government

To find out more information about YEUK visit their website at:

"I am thrilled to have YEUK on board with JCI UK. Both our organisations are making so much positive impact within the lives of young people and together our voice becomes louder. I have been truly inspired meeting some of their Youth Ambassadors and am extremely excited about future work and projects together." 
Michael Steel, JCI UK Strategic Partnership Director  

"YEUK and our Youth Ambassadors are proud to partner with JCI UK. Together, we will be even more effective in helping to bridge the gap between the needs of young people and employers. We are looking forward to bringing together our regional teams with JCI Members and working on local projects to support our vision of a more youth friendly culture among UK employers."
Sylvia Mclevy, Youth Ambassador Mentor Youth Employment UK

More information on how you get can involved will be made available through your local JCI UK Local President shortly.

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14th Aug, 2015

Small Talk Project: Investing in Inter-Cultural Dialogue
by Drew Charman on August 14, 2015 17:16


 Small Talk Project


It gives me great pleasure to announce the Small Talk Project – a fantastic ‘nearly-all-paid-for’ cultural exchange training programme which I've been working on, on behalf of JCI UK, with JCI Malta and 3 other NOMs (JCI Estonia, JCI Jordan & JCI Morocco).

Initiated and led by JCI Malta, this project has been a few months in the making.  Each participating NOM has had to apply for EU / Erasmus funding.  I’m pleased to let you know that following our successful application, JCI UK has been allocated 10 delegate spaces with travel funding worth 8,200 Euros.


What’s it all about?

The European Union since its inception has always underlined the importance of respect for diversity - be it cultural, religious or linguistic.  In fact, a very important term has been coined that is synonymous to the European Union - ‘unity in diversity’.  Despite the drive by the EU to underline the importance of intercultural dialogue and inclusion, at times people tend to focus on what divides the people coming from different backgrounds and cultures rather than what unites us especially in light of what is currently happening in the world and in the immediate vicinities of Europe. The key is therefore to find common ground while appreciating the differences and focus on dialogue.

It is for this reason that JCI Malta decided to come up with a project that focuses on inter-cultural dialogue and inclusion.

This course will offer an opportunity for delegates to reflect on issues which are common to all of us; a Europe which is made up of different cultural minorities and how we can improve dialogue between the different cultures co-existing in one country.

The training course will thus focus mainly on three issues:


  1. Inter-cultural dialogue enhanced through inter-cultural communication
  2. Inclusion and young people within a European context
  3. Project Management and active participation of young people


As the team from JCI Malta have put it “This training will result in opportunities to actively participate; thus stimulating initiative and innovation. Therefore, the event shall generate an environment to support partner’s capacity building in the region on topics of inclusion and intercultural communication.”

The course leaders will use informal learning tools and outdoor education throughout this training week.  Graduating delegates will be awarded the Youth Pass – an official European certificate which assesses key competencies to be a better 21st Century citizens.


When & where is it being held?

27th September - 3rd October 2015 (Rabat, Malta)


What funding will delegates get?

The course plus all accommodation and meals will be free to the delegates (inclusive from arrival on Saturday 26th through to departure on Saturday 3rd October).  A travel budget of 8,200 Euros has been secured for JCI UK’s 10 nominated delegates, representing 820 Euros each – more than enough for a return flight and transfer costs.

Reimbursements of travel costs will be paid upon submission of all original receipts, tickets and boarding passes of both departure and return trips to JCI Malta.

Delegates will be housed in single rooms at the training and hosting facilities of the Archbishop Seminary in Rabat, Malta in a quaint and calm environment.


Who can apply?

We want those JCI UK members who might not normally have the opportunity to travel abroad to benefit first and foremost from this amazing opportunity.  Those members who have already been to conferences, academies or other events abroad (even with the assistance of a JCI UK or Senate bursary) are still free to apply however please note that preference will be given to those members who have yet to experience an international conference.

The course is open to non JCI members too, but again preference will be given to JCI UK members first & foremost.

Delegates must be free to attend during the dates outlined above. 


How do people apply?

As stated above, we want to maximise the benefit of this amazing opportunity.  Although we have a very limited time to market this event, we expect a number of people will want to attend due to it essentially being free. 

All interested applicants should apply to Drew Charman (JCI UK National President) Sarah Beckwith (JCI UK Deputy National President) and Wasim Alfaisal (JCI UK International Director), stating their name, chamber, contact details and why they would like to attend (i.e. what they expect to gain from attending).

The National Board team will review all applications to decide who to put forward based on this information, as well as which individuals/chambers we believe will most benefit from participation.  Successful applicants will then be directed to complete an online registration form.


Application Deadline(s)

JCI UK member registration of interest = COB Tuesday 1st September

Online application submission for successful UK delegates = COB Friday 4th September



More information on the project can be found on Facebook and on the dedicated website link below:

Facebook Event Page:

JCI Malta website information:



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