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1st Jan, 1970

JCI Manchester attend the European Multi-Twinning Conference in Edinburgh

Posted: May 12, 2017 09:49 by Simon Anderson

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Vicky Biggs (Right) and Ilona Alcock (Left), both JCI Manchester board members, were lucky enough to attend this year’s European Multi-Twinning (better known as EMT) Conference in Edinburgh between 4th May and 7th May.  Hosted by the superb JCI Edinburgh, it was an action-packed weekend of socialising, networking and training. 

The EMT was established in 1979 and is a partnership between selected European circles of JCI. The underlying idea of the EMT is to strengthen the understanding between European countries and to promote European integration.  A number of JCI Chapters attended this year’s EMT from Iceland, Ireland, Scotland, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Germany and Finland and there were about 80 delegates in total.  JCI Manchester were lucky enough to be invited along as visitors so that we could find out all about the EMT to see if potentially we want to become part of this multi-twinning group.

The weekend started with home hospitality on the Thursday evening.  Vicky was welcomed into the home of Brian and Alistair who were fantastic, friendly and welcoming hosts who served up some really delicious food including the traditional haggis, neaps and tatties, beef stew and a delicious raspberry cranachan cheesecake.  There was of course some delicious drinks on offer including wine and Scottish whisky. 

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings, Vicky attended the President’s meeting as JCI Manchester’s Chief Delegate for the weekend.  Here she was able to meet all of the other Presidents and Chief Delegates from the other Chapters and learn more about EMT and contribute to the discussion in regards to EMT matters such as potentially inviting new members to join the EMT and whether the price for delegates for the weekend should be increased.  Vicky was also able to give feedback on how the various sessions during the weekend had gone. 

After Friday’s President’s meeting, Vicky was whisked off to the beautiful Edinburgh City Chambers where the official opening ceremony was held.  An opening speech was given by Lord Provost Dick Allen and who was also JCI Edinburgh President in 1986/7 and is still involved in JCI because he is a Senator.  Dick was also very accommodating by agreeing to pose in a huge amount of pictures during the course of the morning!  Vicky was able to put her public speaking skills to the test during the opening ceremony by delivering a speech on behalf of JCI Manchester.  We then heard from John Loughton who gave a really passionate and inspiring speech.  John is a high-profile and experienced social entrepreneur, youth leader, leadership trainer, campaigner and public affairs professional.  He is currently involved in the Royal Commonwealth Society, the Scottish Human Rights Commission and his own company – Dare2Lead.  John also won the TV series Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack in 2008!  After lunch on the Friday, the theme session (this year’s theme was ‘Talking About Our Generation’) was led by Andy McKechnie.  Andy is an international motivational speaker and was JCI’s International World Public Speaking Champion in 2006.  Andy delivered a very energetic and enthusiastic session which got us all thinking about past and future innovations and how that will change how we all operate both at work and at home. 

On Friday evening, Ilona and Vicky attended the infamous ‘Getting Acquainted Party’ (GAP) party.  This is an event which features at every EMT weekend.  The theme for the GAP Party was “EMT’s Got Talent” and Vicky and Ilona really enjoyed watching the talents that were displayed by the different Chapters.  Not much more can be said about this because “what happens at the GAP Party, stays at the GAP Party”! 

Saturday’s activity involved everyone displaying their teamwork abilities as all of the delegates were split into teams and we navigated our way round Edinburgh’s sights, taking pictures and answering questions.  This activity was really enjoyable and it was an opportunity to get to know people we hadn’t managed to speak to very much in the previous days.  This challenge was made all the more enjoyable by the fact the weather in Edinburgh was beautiful!  In fact, we were really lucky with the weather all weekend because it was sunny and dry for all 4 days!  On the Saturday evening, there was a traditional gala dinner which featured awards, presentations, bagpipes, a delicious 3 course dinner and ceilidh dancing!  Congratulations to all those who picked up awards on the night.  Vicky was yet again able to display her public speaking skills by delivering a closing speech thanking JCI Edinburgh for their fantastic organisation of the weekend and also thanking all of the European Chapters for making us feel very welcome for the entire weekend.  

Before Vicky and Ilona hopped back on the train to Manchester on Sunday evening, there was just time for a farewell brunch at the Urban Village Hotel in Edinburgh (the gorgeous hotel where we had been lucky enough to stay all weekend).  We were also lucky enough to witness Chris Henry, one of the organisers of EMT 2017 be awarded the title of JCI Senator. 

Overall, the EMT was an action packed and fun filled weekend.  It was Vicky’s first JCI International event and has really opened up her eyes in terms of JCI as an international organisation and what it can provide in terms of training, networking and meeting new people.  We’d really like to thank JCI Edinburgh (particularly Leeanne Bradley, Chris Henry, Steven Crawford, Stuart Bradley, Samantha Paterson and Olivia Dunnett) for being such welcoming and friendly hosts.  It was a fantastic event and you did JCI and Scotland proud! 



Posted: May 12, 2017 09:49 by Simon Anderson with .

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