Twinning Weekend 2015

Twinning Weekend 2015

July 16, 2015 12:23 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

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Twinning Weekend 

We had an amazing time on our Twinning Weekend with JCI Mayo, Ireland. We caught up with some of the attendee’s to find out thier favourite parts of the weekend!

Last Friday (26th of June) we at JCI Sheffield had the pleasure of welcoming JCI Mayo here for the weekend! This is the third year the twinning weekend has taken place and the 2nd I’ve attended. We kicked off the weekend with a spot of supernatural hunting in Sheffield with a Ghost Tour from ‘Mr P Dreadful’. This was a fun way to learn a bit about the city centre through gruesome and sometimes funny stories. After working up a thirst on the tour, we had our hunger and thirst spooked away with a re-fuel at Bloo88 on West Street.

On the Saturday we kicked off doing what we do best and making an Impact at one of our charities this year RSPCA Sheffield. We helped them by scrubbing the kennels and giving the dogs somewhere clean to walk and play. Once this was over some of us walked dogs and another group helped train the dogs. Some of the training involved hiding treats in boxes and getting the dogs to find the treats we also tried clicker training. The morning was typically rewarding helping the brilliant staff at the RSPCA and finding out about the fantastic work they do in bringing the dogs some joy after sometimes horrific treatment.

After a quick lunch we then went for training delivered by the witty Derek Reilly who taught us all some fantastic tips on how to Net- work with others but also forge relationships rather than just collect- ing cards. As always the training was informative, interactive and fun much similar to the Linkedin Training he delivered a few years back. We then in typical JCI fashion hit the town for dinner at Mama’s and Leonie’s and then hit a few bars to end a busy Saturday.

The Sunday picked up where we left off on the Saturday with Effective Communication delivered by Mark Smith and Keira Keogh. We learnt about different things to consider in how we communicate and how it can have huge impact on results in our personal and professional lives. We learnt a lot of brilliant techniques in how we can improve how we communicate with each other and that actually to be an ef- fective talker we must first listen to others and think before we talk.

The weekend all in all was fantastic meeting old friends and making some new and exploring new places in Sheffield and also seeing places I’ve been in a new light. Mark and Gareth couldn’t have planned a better weekend and I can’t wait for next year.

The highlight of the event for me and I suspect a few others was going to Go Ape in Buxton. We all went round the various bridges, zip lines, jumps and high wires. It was to say the least nerve racking, a lot of us overcame some hugely difficult courses and pushing ourselves. The best part of Go Ape however was none of the bridges or zip lines; it was the group of people I went with and how supportive everyone was to each other. At various most of us had a “moment” where we struggled to tackle a bridge or let go on the zip wire but the support from everyone around you was fantastic. For me this is basically what JCI is all about and perfectly sums up what we do. No matter how tough it gets there will always be someone there to support and guide you.

Neal Stirk, Community Action Director, JCI Sheffield

“This was my 3rd year attending the JCI Twinning is Winning weekend with our amazing twins JCI Sheffield. I really look forward to this week– end and it embodies what JCI is all about with all areas of opportunity covered. One of my passions in JCI is attending and delivering training.

At the weekend, on Saturday afternoon, I was able to deliver one of my favourite JCI recommended courses “Networking” as this ties in per- fectly with my day job working with BNI in the Ireland. I saw lots of “light bulb” moments in the room and if you haven’t already attended I’d highly recommend it.

Then bright and early Sunday morning when all our friends are in bed nursing a hangover we attended the new JCI Effective Communica– tions course. It was my first time attending this course and our Presidents Keira and Mark delivered an informative and humorous session where we all learned how to listen and communicate better in our personal, social and work lifes. ‘Okey Dokey’ and ‘obviously’ were the key words of the morning. Already looking forward to the 4th year of twinning in 2016.”

Derek Reilly, Sentator, JCI Mayo, Ireland

The JCI Sheffield – Mayo twinning weekend was a fun packed social weekend. Following the haunting ghost tour we celebrated the first night of twinning with colourful cocktails and delicious pizzas at Bloo88. It was a great opportunity to chat to new members from both chapters.

The following night we sat down to a fabulous meal at Mama & Leonies followed by a drink or two in teapots at All Bar One. A few JCIers continued the party with some epic dance moves into the wee hours.

JCI Sheffield President and Deputy President kindly opened up their home to us on the last night for a tasty BBQ. It was a perfect way to end a fantastic weekend

Lulu Ni Dhurcain, JCI Mayo, Ireland

What can I say about the trip to ‘Go Ape’ on our recent Twinning Visit to Sheffield? It was so much fun, while at the same time challenging! It made us work together as a team, and bonded us as friends.

It started with the staff giving us some very thorough instructions on how to stay safe during the activity. They must be complimented on their enthusiasm, and professionalism at all times, especially when re- sponding to a small emergency in our group. Next we hit the high ropes, and I volunteered to go first as I have no fear of heights, and was dying to get going!

Once we were confident, it was time to head off and ‘Go Ape’. There was five courses altogether, with a mix of challenges that included swinging bridges, rope ladders, zip wires and the unforgettable ‘Tarzan Swing’ that led to the physically challenging cargo net.

We had a great time, and it was fantastic to see the people with no fear motivating and encouraging the others to face their fear. Lots of people found the Tarzan swing and cargo net really, really tough, but everyone got through it! My partner for the day was fellow Local President Mark Smith. We had a great routine going where I would go first, and then give him tips and encouragement to come after me! I loved seeing him face his fears, and overcome the challenges, whereas he was very apprecia- tive of my patience and support!

We all completed the entire course, and headed home totally exhausted but happy. I can’t let a piece on ‘Go Ape’, go past, without mention– ing the best thing about the whole day, which was the singing on the way there and back in Deputy President Gareth’s car. Safe to say Sam Smith’s CD was repeated a bit too many times and we all were hoarse by the end of it!

Until the next adventure,

Keira Keogh
2015 President, JCI Mayo 

Our visit to the RSPCA!

Each twinning trip we attempt to cover all the areas of opportunity in JCI – Community is one of the areas. So on Saturday morning 4 JCI Mayo and 7 JCI Sheffield members headed off to the RSPCA to help out and volunteer!!! The RSPCA is one of the UK’s largest charities, promoting animal welfare, animal rescue and prevention of animal cruelty. 

On arrival at the shelter the JCI Mayo members were amazed with the facilities onsite, a large site with state of the art buildings, kennels and cattery and a few large green areas with training pins. Having volunteered at a local privately run shelter, the Mayo SPCA, this was like a palace thanks to voluntary donations, amazing staff and volunteers! 

After a health and safety briefing we divided into groups and were brought to the dog kennels, unfortunately the cattery was closed to the public that day! 

The staff, many of whom started out as volunteers, were so dedicated and caring to all the dogs (big and small). With up to 78 dogs to look after at any one time the staff were assigned approx. 15 dogs each that morning!

Seeing all the dogs greeting us all we wanted to do was play and cuddle with them but we were told that the dirty work had to be done first 🙁 

So we started into by cleaning the indoor and outdoor kennels. Wash, disinfect, scrub, rinse and squeegey each kennel, and this has to be done every day, all year round!!! With 11 extra workers that morning the staff were delighted to get through this in half the time but not for them – for the dogs, this meant they could get longer outdoor play time!!  

These dogs all come from harsh backgrounds so the staff use a traffic light system to know what level of human contact the dogs are happy with.

Some volunteers brought their dogs for a walk through the garden area and along the paths within the large enclosed site.

Others brought their dogs to do scent and find training with direction from the staff they picked up some great techniques on how to train and reward the dogs correctly. There were some new arrivals who are still weary of humans so some volunteers did trust building training one on one in the kennels. 

It was a beautiful sunny day and all the dogs were so happy to be out in the green that you would wonder how any human could treat them badly but thanks to the work of the staff and volunteers they have grown to trust and enjoy life again. 

All these dogs are looking for loving homes either through fostering or adoption. Two of the dogs we met that day, Barbara the poodle and Susan the bulldog, have since being fostered by JCI Sheffield members.

We had such a great time at the RSPCA, it was hard to say goodbye to the gorgeous dogs we met that morning, if we were allowed I think there would have been a few coming back to Mayo!! But have brought home some great ideas to help in our local community in the Mayo SPCA! 

Hearing the stories and demand for the services of the RSPCA showed us just how much our help is needed both in Sheffield and Mayo. 

So how can YOU help? Volunteer, Donate, Foster and Adopt!!! 

#BeTheChange #AcceptTheChallenge #BeBetter all mottos of JCI this year and very fitting for the RSPCA visit. 

Deborah McAndrew, JCI Mayo

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This post was written by Ryan Pilkington

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