Mark my words - Update from National President (June 2019)

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Mark my words - Update from National President (June 2019)

Posted By admin |04 Jun 2019
Mark my words - Update from National President (June 2019)

How are we half way through the year already? We've finally hit June - and we're showing no signs of slowing down!

This week is National Volunteers Week (1st-7th June) so it definitely seems apt to think about all the great things we have achieved so far this year within JCI UK and the contribution that our members - who are all volunteers - have made! Don't forget, make sure that you've logged your ACE hours (Active Citizens Experience) so we can recognise and celebrate your achievements later in the year.

So, we're 6 months in to 2019. What has JCI UK been up so far?

Some of the 2019 JCI UK National Team #StepUp


I'm sure you know that our focus for the year is on health and wellbeing (Sustainable Development Goal number 3).  We kicked off the year with a brand new campaign - Step Up January - where we encouraged members to exercise for at least 30 minutes every day in Jan.  I was really impressed with how many members and chambers from across the country stepped up to the challenge, and I'm delighted to say that this project was one of the top 4 National Flagship Events at the JCI Europe Awards!

Did you #StepUp?

In March, we held ‘Mindful Matters: Step Up your Mental Health Awareness’: our first mental health conference. Attendees heard from a number of great speakers who touched on a whole range of issues, such as mental health in the workplace and self-care.

If you want to find out a bit more about the challenge of mental health in the workplace, you can read this piece about the impact it has on young people in particular. You might even recognise the writer....

Who's that handsome fella?

Training - Skills development

Our Communications and Marketing team went on their first roadshow, visiting Belfast, Southampton and Nottingham to deliver training on how local chambers can market their events.

In March, we ran JCI Facilitator for the first time in the UK, which offers a new approach to training delivery.  We are grateful to Keira Keogh National President 2019 of JCI Ireland and Derek Reilly National President 2014 of JCI Ireland for running the session, and I know our graduates are keen to put their skills to practise!

May saw the return of the Public Speaking Academy. As well as providing delegates with development opportunities, we were pleased to have Charlotte Scothern from JCI Rotherham delivering this training with Sarah Beckwith. This was the first time Charlotte had trained, and it was great to see both trainers and trainees learning new skills!

Public Speaking 2019 Graduates with trainers Sarah Beckwith, Charlotte Scothern and National President Mark Smith


We were pleased to welcome our international Vice President assigned to Europe for the UK Marcin Badura (from JCI Poland) in March.

Representatives from National Board visited Belgium from our annual ‘NOM2NOM’ weekend, joining members from the National Boards of JCI Belgium, JCI Netherlands and JCI Switzerland as part of a knowledge share, as well as a chance to develop some key international relations.

Representatives from the National Boards of JCI Belgium, JCI Netherlands, JCI Switzerland and JCI UK meet for the the annual 'NOM2NOM' weekend, this year in Belgium.

James and I have led on joint motions internationally asking JCI as a whole to consider their environmental impact, particularly at international events. I put forward motions both at the European Presidents Meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria (Feb) and at European Conference in Lyon, France (May).

Speaking of European Conference, I'm delighted to say that JCI UK won the European Debating Competition. A huge congratulation to our team from JCI Southampton - Ed Palmer, Fee Francis and Sophie Delaporte - who fought off three rounds of debating and beat Norway in the Final!

On top of that, JCI Nottingham won the most outstanding new local organisation award- so a huge well done to everyone in the chamber for all of their work last year.

JCI World President 2019 Alex Tio, JCI UK National President 2019 Mark Smith, JCI Nottingham President 2019 Phoebe Benta, JCI Executive Vice President for Europe 2019 Viktor Omarrson

JCI UK also featured in the top 4 in the following categories:

  • JCI Southampton for Most Outstanding Skills Development Program
  • JCI Manchester for Most Outstanding Local Organisation
  • Step Up January for Best National Flagship Project


We have developed a national partnership with Westfield Health to offer members a discounted health insurance cash plan. If you want to find out more, just get in touch.


We've revamped the Chamber Taskforce, working closely with representatives from the British Senate and the JCI UK Foundation to develop the resources and information available to local Chambers.

Chamber Taskforce hard at work at their meeting in February

National Board was pleased to welcome Lucy Collins from JCI Sheffield to the January meeting and Phoebe Benta from JCI Nottingham to our June meeting.

"Attending the (June) National Board meeting was a great opportunity to share my thoughts and feedback on how my chamber is running from a local level. It was great to be asked my opinion on certain issues and being a part of the overall JCI UK 5 year strategic plan discussions". (Phoebe Benta)

We have launched our #ISteppedUp award to recognise members who have pushed themselves outside of their comfort zones and have already awarded dozens of members with their badges.

There's still a lot more to come over the rest of the year. If training's your thing, we've got our first national Business Academy on the 29th & 30th June, and LEAP on 20th - 22nd September.

If you prefer international events, then make sure you've booked JCI World Congress in Tallinn, Estonia.

And finally, who could forget, National Convention hosted by JCI Belfast with the theme of Breaking Barriers. 

We'll be Breaking Barriers in Belfast!

Mark Smith - National President 2019