Ladies and gentlemen, ACE is back!
Established in 2011, ACE (Active Citizen Experience) is the free-choice volunteering programme which recognises the positive contribution that members make in their communities through active involvement in a diverse range of activities. This programme was initially created as an activity for my local chamber, JCI Doncaster, so I am excited to see it succeed in my year as Community Director for JCI UK. I believe that, in addition to participating in organised JCI activities, members should be allowed to choose activities which are special to them and be acknowledged for this. Volunteering can be a very personal thing and one of my favourite quotes is from Margaret Mead who said ‘never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has’. It is these small actions which add up to make big changes.
The scheme has three different accreditation levels – Bronze, Silver and Gold – with members being awarded certificates for the number of volunteer hours (between 10 and 30 hours) that they contribute to community projects. These can volunteering with a local charity, fundraising activities, such as being sponsored to run a marathon, working with Scout or Brownie groups, or just simple gestures like supporting an elderly neighbour.
There are a number of members who have actively engaged in the programme and, in some cases, actually contributed more hours that the highest level ACE awards! Here is why they do it:
“The ACE programme is a really great way to log all your volunteering hours, not just what you do with JCI but in any setting. It really gets you to think about how you are having an impact on responding to the outcomes of the Millennium Development Goals. I was really shocked with how many hours I logged, often averaging 30-40 hours a month, which is like doing an extra week at work time wise on a range of projects!”
Mark Smith, JCI Sheffield
“The great thing about ACE is it takes into account what you do both in and outside of JCI. It was an amazing feeling to have my hard work recognised by my Chamber and I felt honoured to be presented with my award in January for all my efforts last year.”
Jenny Storey, JCI Barnsley
Since there is clearly so much passion for this area, we are adding an additional level to the awards this year! There will now be a platinum award for any members who contribute more than 100 hours of voluntary service in 2014.
To log hours all you have to do is complete the sections on the ACE form each time you undertake an activity.
Lets get volunteering and making a difference in our community! For more infomation visit www.jciuk.org.uk/ace or contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Communtiy Director, JCI UK
Categorised in: Charity
This post was written by Katie Ogley