ACE is back!
Established in 2011, ACE (Active Citizen Experience) is the free-choice volunteering programme which recognises the positive contribution that JCI UK members make in their communities through active involvement in a diverse range of activities.
The ACE programme was initially created as a lcoal chamber activity for JCI Doncaster, but due to its popularity and success it was quickly established as a programme for the whole of JCI UK.
Katie Ogley, former Local President of JCI Doncaster, came up with the original concept believing 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. JCI UK couldn’t agree more! Volunteering can be a very personal thing and one of Katie’s favourite quotes about volunteering 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’. We believe that it is these small actions which add up to make big changes – something which JCI is all about.
The scheme has 3 standard accreditation levels – Bronze, Silver and Gold. Members are awarded certificates for the number of volunteering hours (between 10 and 30 hours) that they contribute to community projects. These can include volunteering with a local charity, participating in fundraising activities such as being sponsored to run a marathon, working with Scout or Brownie groups, or just completing simple gestures like supporting an elderly neighbour.
Since 2011 JCI UK members have actively engaged in the programme and, in some cases, actually contributed more hours than the highest level ACE award category! Here is why they do it:
“The ACE programme is a really great way to log all your volunteering hours, not just what 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 or projects!”
Mark Smith (JCI Sheffield)
“The great things 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 and I felt honoured to be presented with my award.”
Jenny Storey (JCI Barnsley)
Since there is clearly so much passion for this area, we added an additional level to the awards in 2014! There is now a Platinum award for any members who contribute more than 100 hours of voluntary service in any given year.
To log hours all you have to do is complete the sections on the ACE form each time you undertake an activity.
Let’s get volunteering and make a difference in our communities! For more infomation visit www.jciuk.org.uk/ace.
2015 JCI UK National President
Categorised in: Charity
This post was written by Drew Charman