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3rd Feb, 2016

Get Involved - Does Britain Need a Pay Rise?
by MichaelSteel on February 3, 2016 00:20


Interested in sharing your views about the Living Wage? Passionate about the rights of workers or do you side with employers who think the Minimum Wage is far too high. JCI UK members have been invited to take part in an audience TV show in partnership with BBC 2 this Spring in Manchester which discusses 'Does Britain Need a Pay Rise'. Want to take part? We'd love to hear from you! Contact your local chamber team for more information.

Strategic Partnerships » BBC Two Logo.png

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27th Jan, 2016

Personal Development in 2016
by James Lambert on January 27, 2016 14:33



My name is James Lambert and I am honoured to be the 2016 JCI UK Personal Development Director.

Personal Development is one of the main areas of JCI and it is certainly the area where I have gained the most from my membership. I stepped up to the role of PD director as I want to make sure that each and every member has the opportunity to develop themselves and learn something new.

Our three academies are back again this year and all are due to be held in Birmingham as it is the most central location for all chambers.

Marketing Academy (5/6 March)

Public Speaking Academy (14/15 May)

Leadership Academy (19-21 August)

A recent development for JCI UK has been the establishment of a National Training Team (NTT) to help give members who want to get experience of training that opportunity. More details of the NTT will be released in a blog very soon along with details of how to join the NTT and also details of our brand new academy for 2016 – the JCI UK Training Academy which will be held on the first weekend in June.

As well as the academies the official JCI courses will be run around the country and are a great way to find out more about JCI and how to get the most out of your membership and give back to your local community.

Also, there are various opportunities to receive training at a European Level including at European Conference in Finland in June.

Finally, in addition to the courses run at a national level please support training events in your local chamber and speak to your local training director or local president if you want any particular type of training.

Over the coming months I will be telling you more about some of the opportunities available to members and would strongly encourage you to push yourself out of your comfort zone and “Choose Extraordinary”.  

If you have any ideas about things related to Personal Development and how we can offer members more opportunities and support I would love to hear from you. Please email me at

James Lambert

2016 Personal Development Director

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24th Jan, 2016

Flying High with Condor
by MichaelSteel on January 24, 2016 20:28


JCI UK is pleased to inform members of our new partnership with Condor Office Solutions in 2016.

Strategic Partnerships » Condor_can_do.jpg

Who are Condor?

For almost 25 years Condor Office Solutions has been striving to deliver a quality of service and support on Canon photocopiers and printers which is second to none.

The Company, based in Southampton in Hampshire, was founded in 1987 with a clear focus on providing informed and honest sales advice backed by a quality of service which would delight our customers. Covering the whole of the UK, Condor provides an award winning service.

"Condor are an innovative organisation sharing the ethics and principles of us at JCI UK. Condor have provided a truly amazing offer to all JCI members across the UK. Looking to start your own business - look now! - Condor have put together an unbeatable package which includes a host of free equipment and for the benefit of our members."
- Michael Steel - 2016 Deputy National President, JCI UK

"We are really excited to be partnering JCI UK and are thrilled to be offering members this exclusive offer. Tailored just for JCI UK members, it's our way of helping the leaders of tomorrow with first class office equipment to make business easier."
- Peter Robinson - Director, Condor Office Solutions UK

The Condor office is only available to JCI UK members so please contact your local chamber for further details.

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24th Jan, 2016

Membership Opportunities and Rewards
by Sarah Beckwith on January 24, 2016 20:11


Last weekend I attended two black tie dinners. At the first I was sat with some members in their early twenties. In the second, I was with senators (lifelong members), some of them in their 70s and 80s. The thing that united them was a passion for JCI. It was fantastic listening to stories from our senators from around the world and how they had benefited from JCI. The world and the organisation may have changed a lot since they were active members, but what JCI can do for its members has not.  

Blog » from the president » JCI Barnsley dinner.jpg  Blog » from the president » Senate Drumming Out 2016.jpg

The JCI Barnsley Dinner and Senate Drumming Out

JCI is a membership organisation. People join for a variety of reasons, but I believe that the one of the main reasons that they stay is the other inspiring members that they meet. We need new members to keep the amazing energy of this organisation going and ensure as many people as possible benefit from JCI membership.

If you ask a room full of members how they heard of JCI, often at least 50% say through a friend. So this year, as part of our Plan of Action, we're asking members to spread the word even more about JCI UK. We want to reward you for doing so. Any member who brings in 10 new members to JCI UK this year, will have their JCI membership paid for next year. It doesn't have to be members brought into your own chamber - any JCI UK chamber counts, as long as they heard about JCI from you.

We also want to celebrate the successes of our members. Every month we will reward a member who has chosen extraordinary. This could be by pushing themselves outside their comfort zone by taking on a new challenge, going above and beyond for their local chamber or JCI UK or helping out fellow members in some way. The winner each month will receive £50 off the cost of a national convention ticket. To nominate a member please e-mail me at at least five days before the end of the month.


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5th Jan, 2016

Welcome to JCI UK in 2016!
by Sarah Beckwith on January 5, 2016 21:51


Happy New Year!  It is with great excitement that I’m writing my first post as JCI UK National President.

The start of a new year is always a great time of optimism and focus.  It brings hope for what exciting things the new year will bring and resolution as to how we personally can create improvements in our own lives.  JCI is an organisation which can certainly help with goals such as expanding your network, learning a new skill or experiencing a different culture.

As with all resolutions, dedicating time and effort to JCI is a choice, however, I believe it is one which can result in extraordinary rewards.  That is reflected in the theme for the year “Choose Extraordinary”.  If you are hoping that 2016 is going to be a year that’s a little bit special and different, then I promise you can find that in JCI.

You can find the Plan of Action for JCI UK in 2016 here.  These are our goals for the national organisation.  We have a very enthusiastic national board team eager to start working in collaboration with local chamber council teams and members to ensure we make this organisation as strong as it can be and serve our members to the best of our abilities.  If you spot an area which interests you and you’d like to help out, then feel free to get in touch with me or any of the national board team.

I truly believe JCI is an organisation filled with incredible opportunities.  I reach my 10th anniversary as a JCI member in 2016 and have found a new challenge, skill and something unexpected through the organisation every year.  Keep an eye on this blog for news on special offers for JCI UK members and plenty of opportunities to get involved with some very exciting projects.

And finally...don’t forget to sign up for our first national event of the year, Inspiration Day, being hosted by JCI Sheffield.  You’ll be able to meet the National Board team, get inspired by some fantastic speakers and find out what it means to be a JCI UK member in 2016.

Wishing you all an extraordinary 2016!

Sarah Beckwith
2016 National President

Blog » from the president » National Board 2016.jpg

The 2016 National Board Team

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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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