I can’t quite believe we are already in early March – as they say time does really fly when you are having fun and making an impact! (Ok so I may have added that last bit!).
In the last few weeks some of my highlights have included: visiting JCI Southampton to attend one of our Communications and Marketing Roadshows; delivering training to JCI Nottingham on ‘how to develop your business idea’ as well as travelling to Sofia in Bulgaria for the JCI European Presidents Meeting. Of course I also launched the JCI UK ‘Step Up Award’ to recognise the achievements of our members in pushing themselves out of their comfort zones – please keep the nominations coming!
Visit from our Vice President
I was delighted to welcome our Vice President for Europe, Marcin Badura (from JCI Poland) who is assigned to the UK to visit us over our Mindful Matters weekend. Marcin sits on the JCI World Board of Directors along with the World President, 4 Executive Vice Presidents, Legal Counsel and a team of other Vice Presidents. They are responsible for the running of JCI globally and are supported by the HQ staff team and are there to serve us as JCI members and to support us as JCI National Organisations.
Marcin was able to meet many of our members at a couple of social evenings: a curry on the Friday evening and Italian on the Saturday evening. He also joined us for our Mindful Matters conference and then also attended our National Board meeting on the Sunday.
Mindful Matters: Step Up your Mental Health Awareness
Our first national conference of the year was up in Sheffield on Sat 2nd March focusing on health and wellbeing, with a particular focus on mental health. It was great to see representatives from so many JCI chambers across the country who were able to make it for the event. Young people in particular have to face so many stresses and strains in today’s society and it’s this that can stop us from feeling empowered to create positive change – the heart of what it means to be a JCI member.
Speakers and workshops focused on mental health in the workplace; the impact of exercise and activity on how we feel about ourselves; and even a 10 minute mindfulness practice. Delegates got to hear from a panel of experts with personal lived experience of dealing with mental health challenges as well being able to ask key questions. Those attending were asked to make a personal pledge as to what they will do to challenge mental health stigma and also had chance to start thinking about designing a project using the JCI Active Citizen Framework that would have a positive impact on health and wellbeing.
I was also delighted to announce the latest benefit for JCI UK members, courtesy of our new partnership with Westfield Health. As a JCI UK member, you are eligible to buy Westfield Health’s Advantage Health Cash Plan at a special rate – 20% cheaper than if you purchased the same cover yourself, directly. More information will be coming your way in the next few days
We rounded up the day by announcing the winner of our Step Up January competition. A huge congratulations to Lindsey McAteer from JCI Doncaster, who took home a health and wellbeing hamper full of lots of goodies. Well done to everyone who joined in throughout the month – you can check out our summary video here.
National Board meeting roundup
On Sunday, National Board met for the second time this year to discuss a variety of topics including:
- Update from Europe – hearing about initiatives coming from JCI Europe and our VPs, courtesy of Marcin!
- Membership – JCI UK has seen growth in January which will also be helped once a couple of issues with renewing corporate members have been resolved.
- Training – Facilitator course was run for the first time on 9th and 10th March in Birmingham. Public Speaking Academy has just gone on sale, and you can get your tickets here. Our inaugural Business Academy bookings should go live later this month.
- Award entries – Local Presidents have been given notice about deadlines to submit award entries for European Conference. JCI UK will also enter an award entry for our Step Up January project. TOYP nominations will be going live in April, but reach out to your local board about running your own local TOYP awards!
- Chamber Taskforce – had a very productive weekend strategy and planning session with lots of support from the British Senate and JCI UK Foundation – expect more to come from them soon.
- Strategic Plan – The team has been looking at our 5 year plan and how we can involve more members in the planning.
The next National Board meeting will take place in June in Belfast. If you are interested in attending it, please get in touch with our Admin Director Vicky Biggs.
This post was written by Mark Smith