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1st Jun, 2017

JCI Manchester Runs Successful I LOVE Manchester Event
by Simon Anderson on June 1, 2017 09:54



Last night JCI Manchester held their I Love Manchester Social at INNSIDE by Melia, the venue at which we held the majority of our National Convention in 2016.

The night was naturally Manchester themed, with Manchester Three Rivers Gin providing sponsorship on the drink front and the ever incredible Dean Mac providing our entertainment for the evening at no cost to JCI.

The event saw over 50 of Manchester’s business community come together in what was designed to be a recognition of Manchester’s strength in unity and a general celebration of our city.

It was a resounding success! The feedback we had from attendees was brilliant:

“Lovely event at INNSIDE Manchester, with President Simon Anderson saying exactly how we all feel!” – Beth Livesey

“It’s amazing to be part of an awesome team with JCI hosting this I love Manchester event” – Janey Leonard-Myers

“Great evening at the I Love Manchester Spring Social, especially the Manchester Three Rivers Cocktails. Deans Mac’s set was brilliant too!” – Cheryl Hill


The event achieved exactly what it set out to do. Members and non-members alike were all very impressed. We fully expect a few of those non-members to become members very soon

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30th May, 2017


For the second year running JCI Manchester have secured the European award for best Local Growth and Development programme. This means you could not be part of a better chamber in Europe if Growth and Development is what you are after! This is something that JCI Manchester massively pride themselves on - in particualr with our breakfast briefing series and the Manchester Young Talent Awards which we will be releasing information on very soon so watch this space.

From here, our programme is put forward against other award winners across the major parts of the world, including; The Americas, Asia, and Africa and it will be decided whether or not we will be worthy of best local growth and development programme in the world. If successful, we will recieve the award at the JCI World Congress event in Amsterdam in November! It's exciting times ahead for our Chamber.

We would also like to extend our congratulations to JCI London who won Best Local Chamber at the same awards. This is a monumental achievement given the great work that is done in the many local chambers across the world! We're all massively proud of you and wish you all the best at World Congress in November!   

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29th May, 2017


JCI Manchester and MTSG completed their 5th training walk for the 3 Peaks Challenge over the weekend, this time taking on Snowdon in Wales.

The mountain was the busiest any of us had ever seen it, so the struggle for parking lead to a late start. This didn’t deter the 15 strong group however, who decided to up the pace a little bit to get ready for the increased pace they would have to adopt on challenge weekend. No easy task in the heat!


Everyone in the group successfully finished the walk and are looking forward to the final training walk taking place next week which is Scafell Pike in the Lake District, which people are more than welcome to join us for! BOOK HERE >>>

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26th May, 2017

JCI Manchester I Love Manchester Social
by Simon Anderson on May 26, 2017 14:17


Its been 4 days since the tragic events of this week and the mood in Manchester remains a mixture of strength in unity and devastation for the tragic losses we incurred.

It's true to say that we are very lucky in Manchester. We support each-other and the world supports us too. We were absolutely overwhelmed by the level of support we received from our fellow JCI chambers across the world who took the time to send video messages to us from European Conference. You can view the video here >>> VIDEO

JCI Chambers across the world truly believe that peace is possible the world over and that the acts of a few who remain defiant that this should not be the case do not represent the majority of people around the world who share our belief. We as an organisation will continue to strive for this goal of peace and will not be deterred by acts of pure evil.

JCI Manchester are a strong Chamber. We continue to be strong even in the midst of this. Our events will still go on because we believe to do otherwise would be to give in to those who would have us change our lives. In the spirit of Love defeating hate we have decided to change the theme of our next social event which is scheduled for next Wednesday to and I Love Manchester theme.

What emerged from what happened was the immense community spirit that Manchester has - an attack that was designed to divide us has had the opposite effect on our city and brought us closer together. We are strong both as individuals and even stronger when we are together, hence why this event is still going ahead as planned, to bring our members and the business community of Manchester together to recognise the strength our great city and it's community that continues to stand strong in the face of terror.

We will be joined by our good friends Manchester Three Rivers Gin who will be sponsoring our drinks reception and providing a number of Gin based cocktails throughout the evening. Dean Mac, a well known Manchester musician, will also still be in attendance performing some Manchester classics.

We won't be fundraising on the night because there are a number of crowd-finding initiatives already in place to help raise money. We will instead be pointing people towards the Manchester Evening News donation page which has so far raised over £1 million to help support families of those injured and killed in the attacks. The link is here >>>


We hope you will be able to join us in what we hope will be a suitable event to recognise the strength of our Manchester community. You can book on through this link here - 

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13th May, 2017


On Sunday 7th May, 3 of the JCI Manchester Board – Simon Anderson, Daniel Thomas and Cheryl Hill – volunteered their time to help out at a bowls competition in Didsbury Park in aid of the Vine Project.

The VINE Project is a unique venture aimed to create a fund to support vulnerable children in a township in KwaZulu Natal who have lost their parents through AIDS. This is now the leading cause of death in South Africa

1. To support the formal education of the children and provide opportunities for vocational guidance and training.

2. To provide an income for the grandmothers and primary care givers by encouraging participation in income-generating activities, especially the traditional skill of bead work.

3. To encourage and guide supportive peer activities.

4. To raise international awareness of the social and economic needs of these children by encouraging supportive and informed global links. 

The project's focus is now on education and training.  Our objective is to enable the children we support to acheive their full potential through primary, secondary and potentially higher education.  We provide food vouchers, the necessary school uniform and all equipment needed to access education, as well as making their homes safe and comfortable to live in. 

Using the principles of fair trade the project buys traditional Zulu jewellery and needlework made by the grandmothers, who are caring for their own orphaned grandchildren, providing them with an immediate income.  Funds are raised in the UK by talks to interested groups, fund raising events and generous donations.

Every penny raised by the Project goes back to the children. We do not have any paid workers. The whole project is run by volunteers who spend a total of three months a year in the township with the children.

The event was a resounding success and Sonia McCann, one of the directors of the charity, had this to say:


Simon, I would like to thank you and the 2 other JCI volunteers for all your hard work helping to make last Sunday's bowling event such a great success. Having never run an event like this it was very much a step into the unknown but without Cheryl who took on the role as refreshment organiser and Dan who spent the whole afternoon running up and down the lawns helping to explain the rules it would never have worked. Not to mention yourself multitasking in a number of areas. The Vine Project, based in a township in South Africa, is a charity helping young people to access education and therefore to be able to move forward into a more positive future. It is so refreshing to find young people like yourselves involved with JCI who are willing to give their time and effort to help us raise funds to help this to happen. This year we have our 13th youngster at University doing a degree course where a few years ago they were not even able to get to school. On the day we raised over £700, had 40 people playing bowls and provided coffee and cakes for more than 60 people.  It was a great team effort and hopefully one that we can repeat in the future. Many thanks to you all, Sonia

Volunteering is a big part of JCI life, so if you're keen to volunteer your time for good causes then reach out as we could help you. Similarly if you have any projects that you yourself run and need volunteers for, get in touch and if we can help we will!

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13th May, 2017


One of the great things about JCI is the international element to what we do. Once you’re a member of a local chapter you are a member everywhere in the world. It is a truly global club/network of like-minded individuals.

On the morning of Friday 12th May an alumni of JCI Pakistan by the name of Ghulam Hussain made contact and asked to meet with the President as he was in Manchester on business! Somehow from the time we managed to pick up our public speaking trainer Eric from the airport and starting the public speaking training we fit in a meet and greet and an exchange of gifts. It was a very brief meeting with hundreds of pictures but what a testimony to how amazing our international network is! We thank Mr Hussain for making contact and hope he knows that he is more than welcome to any JCI Manchester event should he be in Manchester again at any point in the future! 

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13th May, 2017


Friday evenings are normally reserved for going for a few drinks after a hard week at the office. They aren’t normally the best time to host the relaunch of a public speaking club. Well at JCI Manchester we do things a bit differently! So do our membership it appears.

The event came about after very generous offer from Eric Fitzpatrick, renowned public speaking and presentation skills coach and author of book ‘Persuade on Purpose.’ He offered us a 90-minute training session on a Friday, an opportunity we couldn’t pass up given Eric’s reputation on not just the JCI training circuit but the general training circuit also.

The session was held at Grant Thornton, who kindly gave us a fantastic room along with some drinks and nibbles. The 20 people who attended the session were very grateful for these!

The talk began with an interesting demonstration that involved ripping paper! After this Eric took us through us through his top tips using his T.R.U.E. presentation method and what the structure of a good presentation was. His talk was thoroughly engaging providing lots of opportunity for learning through interaction. It was clear that given more time Eric could have gone on for hours and still kept us engaged, alas we had but 90 minutes. We massively appreciate Eric giving up his time to come talk to us on Friday, it was a brilliant session to re-launch the public speaking club.

We will be putting together a programme of sessions that members and non-members can take advantage of over the rest of the year. Those that particularly enjoy public speaking may wish to join us in Southampton for the conference where there will be the annual UK competitions, which are broken down into;

Public Speaking - a 7 minute prepared speech on a topic decided before the competition.

Ex-Tempore - a 2 minute, un-prepared talk where you are given a random object or word and you have to talk as well as you can for a period of 2 minutes, no more.   

Debating - A structured debating competition where the topic for debate is given to you by the other team 15 minutes before the actual debate begins. 

We will inform you about training for all of the aboce in due course! Look forward to seeing as many of you there as possible. 

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12th May, 2017

Mental Health is something that JCI Manchester pays particular attention to and we actively encourage our members to support in any way that they can. Jen Smith, JCI Manchester President in 2013 writes about her involvement with Manchester based charity AnxietyUK...  

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week – an event coordinated by the Mental Health Foundation. I, like many others, have thoroughly enjoyed attending many events this week in Manchester, raising awareness about mental health and encouraging people (and companies) to talk openly about the topic.

I was very recently appointed a Trustee of Anxiety UK and I firmly believe that mental health is just as important as physical health. If you are in good mental health, you can make the most of your potential and cope with life’s challenges.

An individual’s mental health doesn’t always stay the same - it can change as circumstances change and as you move through different stages of your life. Unfortunately, there remains a stigma attached to mental health problems, however, with national campaigns such as Mental Health Awareness Week, together, we can hopefully eradicate this stigma.

Chances are you, or someone you know, has been personally affected by anxiety. Whether that be a colleague who struggles with panic attacks, a family member who is paralysed by a phobia or your own difficulties with managing stress. For corporate entities, Anxiety UK has a number of mutually beneficial opportunities for organisations interested in partnering with us, including training opportunities for companies to widen knowledge of anxiety disorders, with the aim of increasing productivity, diminishing the stigma surrounding mental health in the workplace and reducing the number of absences due to anxiety related illnesses. For anyone wanting to know more about the work we do, please do not hesitate to contact me at

Anxiety UK is a dedicated national charity that believes that anxiety, stress and anxiety based depression are treatable and manageable. With over 40 years’ experience of supporting individuals and organisations, Anxiety UK is a user-led organisation, run by people with experience of living with anxiety or anxiety-based depression, supported by a high-profile medical advisory panel. A member of the Association of Mental Health Providers, the charity works to relieve and support those living with anxiety and anxiety-based depression, by providing information, support and understanding via an extensive range of services, including 1:1 therapy. For more information, please visit

Big thanks to Jen for giving up her time to write to us about her contribution to the Mental Health campaign.    







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12th May, 2017


On Saturday 6th May JCI Manchester and MTSG completed their 4th 3 Peaks Training Walk which this time was up Helvelyn. The third highest peak in England.  

This is one of the most challenging walks in the Lakes and a real test for anyone, particularly when taking on the always daunting Striding Edge.

Conditions were less than perfect with winds picking up as the walk progressed. Not ideal when you’re walking along something that from a distance looks like a knife edge!

I’m glad to say that all participants completed the very technically difficult walk successfully, which is a fantastic achievement given the very mixed ability of walkers we had.

Our next walk is up Snowdon over the bank holiday weekend. Another classic and one of the Peaks that features on the challenge! If you’re interested in joining us for this then please book yourself on using the following link -



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12th May, 2017


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! 



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