Posted By admin |02 Jun 2013

Picture this, on a standard Saturday I am stood in the queue at my local chip shop waiting to order when suddenly my phone starts beeping frantically with multiple texts. Wondering what on earth was happening I began to understand-

“You won! Congratulations European winner!”

“Congratulations you won the European award. Really well done. So proud”

“Barnsley won best growth award at European level!!!!”

So now I’m stood in the queue still, tears welling up and frantically trying to reply to the texts. I think the people around me thought I was upset at having to queue so long to place my order!!!

I can’t begin to describe how proud and privileged I feel, the chambers achievements in 2012 were amazing and I was over the moon at how my presidential year had turned out. To carry on that award winning feeling into 2013 is amazing and I’m so honoured that the fantastic council team I had last year and the brilliant members have been recognised at not only regional and a national level but also for the first thing EVER to bring home a European award to Barnsley.

2012 saw 125% membership growth and saw members recognised for their efforts at Regional & National awards. Our members turned up to every event going, sharing the enthusiasm and passion for JCI across the town, region and the country. I was always impressed with how the members would go out of their way to get involved, wanting to make a difference to their community and themselves at every opportunity.

61 years Barnsley has been active within JCI and I said in my incoming and outgoing speeches that I wanted to put Barnsley firmly back on the JCI map and I can safely say I did. I bet the majority of the people in the gala dinner in Monaco haven’t ever heard of Barnsley, our small town in Yorkshire but I know they certainly have now!

Winning awards leaves you with an amazing feeling. I had an emotional year personally in 2012 and driving the chamber on to such success makes me burst at the seams with pride. I know Charlie is continuing this drive and passion this year and the chamber is active on so many different levels that I am admiring from a distance, well okay, 90 miles away and hoping that I can inspire action of this high standard into JCI Birmingham this year.

Well done JCI Barnsley, this award is for the members, the Council team and the fantastically supportive Senators, WE DID IT!!!


Kirstie Barnett

JCI Barnsley 2012 President