JCI Barnsley through the eyes of a Past President

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JCI Barnsley through the eyes of a Past President

Posted By admin |08 Sep 2013
JCI Barnsley through the eyes of a Past President


Hopefully this might provide a little bit of inspiration if nothing else, and it's really just an insight into what I've done while I've been involved in Chamber life.

Nigel joined Barnsley Junior Chamber in 1992.  By the time I joined in 1994 we had two young daughters aged 7 and 4 years old, but despite that, and full time work, we did spend almost the entire rest of any spare time we had enveloped in Chamber activities.  We've both been Presidents of our what is now JCI Barnsley (in 1997 and 1999), Nigel was the Treasurer for about 15 years, and for many years we were joint editors of the local magazine the Barnsley Banter which at its peak, was an 8-page A4 colour printed monthly publication; I was on the National Board one year, and we were on the organising committee of various local and regional business network events and personal development training courses.  We have attended regional and national events all over the country, as far south as Jersey, north as far as Durham, west as far as Londonderry and east as far as Holland (via Hull).  All of those events had elements of training, business focus, personal development and LOTs of socialising.  We have made a lot of friends in Chamber over those 20 years, some of whom are still on our Christmas card list, and others who we meet up with year in year out at the Annual Dinner.

Blog » Regional Awards Dinner » Group shot regional awards 2012.JPG

Membership in Junior Chamber has provided so many opportunities for us, and we've made the most of it.  One of the most important things I've been able to take away from my Chamber career was the confidence I gained doing the various different things.  I would NEVER have dreamt of standing up 14 years ago in front of an audience of over 150 people, giving my Presidential speech at the end of my year.  My knees knocked and my hands shook throughout the 20 minutes or so, but I went and sat down a very proud lady for what I had achieved. 

You can be a member of Junior Chamber between 18 - 40 years but you can still stay involved for a lot longer than that.  When Nigel and I each turned 40 years old we both thought we would be far less involved in Chamber life due to what is commonly known as "ageing out".  However, in September 2000 Nigel and I were made Senators of JCI, which gives us lifetime membership of this organisation.  This is the highest recognition given to members who are regarded as having done a whole heap of things, which it is fair to say we had done, but it is also fair to say we've hung up our boots to let the younger generation get on with things in their own way.

This is just a little insight into what the possibilities are of being a member of JCI, its just up to you to go and get it.  The next generation of members of JCI Barnsley is doing a brilliant job so far, and look set for a very prosperous future.  Remember the 4 year old daughter I mentioned at the top of this piece?  Well she's one of this year's new recruits to JCI Barnsley and has got stuck in herself and is now embracing all things JCI.

Laura Mackfall

JCI Barnsley Past President and Senator