** Posted on behalf of Michael Steel – 2014 Immediate Past President, JCI Southampton **
European Conference 2014 – Malta. When you say it out aloud it sounds amazing…and for JCI Southampton and JCI UK it really was!
JCI Southampton attended the conference with four members, which made up a strong JCI UK delegation of close to seventy members. The opening ceremony had the usual JCI pomp and the setting was really spectacular. For those who have not been to a JCI international event – it really is something special. Over 45 countries represented and flags galore. Seeing members representing their countries and chambers really is something.
The training on offer was… actually, we just need to jump ahead before we all combust!
For the first time in our 56 year history – JCI Southampton won TWO European Awards!!!
…and were shortlisted in five from seven categories.
Naturally, we all went crazy with excitement and the moment was absolutely euphoric.
The European awards we won were:
– Best Local Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Programme – Costa Academy & Apprenticeship Training Scheme
– Most Outstanding Local President – Michael Steel
The CSR award for the Costa Academy & Apprenticeship Training Scheme really was reward for a two and a half year long project aimed at Southampton’s disadvantaged young people getting into employment. A project costing £30,000 and part funded by a National Lottery grant for which JCI Southampton wrote, submitted and managed while the project was being built. We’ve made real impact supporting new apprentices in Costa Coffee – six of which came to the European Conference 2013 in Monaco.
Most Outstanding Local President in Europe = wow. Just so overwhelmed. I remember at my first European Conference in 2011, Tarragona Spain, when Claire Evans from JCI Leeds won the award for the UK (the last UK president to do so). I thought back then how hard it was to be local President let alone winning in Europe – and then my name was called out. Those who know me well will know generally how well composed I am…all out of the window! I just remember everyone screaming and me jumping to my feet – madness and Katie Ogley from JCI Doncaster screaming at me to get to the stage to get the award…great moments.
Being local President in 2013 for JCI Southampton was an amazing honour and we had an amazing year. I must say I had a great council team who all put in many many hours of hard work and I thank them greatly. A special mention goes to Drew Charman, previous President to JCI Southampton and now Deputy JCI UK President. Drew has been a constant support to me through the years with the Costa Academy and my time as President – very much appreciated.
Malta did an amazing job and delivered a conference many of us will never forget. The gala dinner setting was breath-taking and the parties…oh the parties…were utterly fabulous. There was a moment at the Finnish party when a girl fell in a swimming pool and had to be rescued by a James Bond…it was Eurotastic!
As well as JCI Southampton winning European awards, JCI Sheffield’s Mark Able Smith won ‘Most Outstanding Member’ in Europe – amazing! JCI UK had members in the final of the debating and public speaking competitions, which was a fantastic achievement – it really was a Union Jack party!
We now move onto the World Congress which will be held by JCI Leipzig in Germany. Promises to be another classic!
Remember anyone can attend the conferences, so if you’re thinking it could be fun… IT WILL BE!
We’ll be speaking about the many benefits of attending at future JCI Southampton events.
Categorised in: Charity
This post was written by Drew Charman