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11th Jul, 2012

Visit to JCI Cambridge
by Simon James Bucknall on July 11, 2012 09:30


Blog » Random » 280px-KingsCollegeChapelWest.jpgI write this post on the morning of our JCI London 'Ten Outstanding Young Persons Awards' Night. Really looking forward to it - and we have more than ninety people booked. Super!

Last night, I paid a visit to our friends at JCI Cambridge - to deliver a workshop 'Talk The Walk' on communication and how to articulate your 'true value' as a professional. Imagine my delight to discover that, on arrival at Cambridge train station, the venue was all of 200 yards away!

As ever, a very warm welcome from chamber President, Patrick McCrae, and VP, James Mitchell. Thanks guys!

Cambridge have a very good relationship with top slaw firm, Eversheds, so we had a terrific space to work in - and a lively group of about 15 people, keen to learn and ready to push beyond the proverbial comfort zone!

If you're reading this and are within easy reach of London, why not come to one of our upcoming events? There's plenty to choose from - though I suspect spaces at tonight's TOYP event may be all but sold out!

Make It Happen!

Simon Bucknall

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9th Jul, 2012

The Suit Amnesty’s second annual campaign has come to a close and we are delighted to report that it has been another massive success. Across the country we had a whole host of businesses taking part and people have been as generous as ever with their unwanted workwear. From libraries to theatres and pension companies to banks, all sorts of companies and venues have been championing our cause and acting as drop-off points. And we’ve been graced by a raft of celeb support too – James Cordon, Ruth Langsford and Kate Walsh have been getting in on the act and helping us to spread the word.
All of which means The Suit Amnesty has been bigger and better than last year and shows what a caring, thoughtful bunch us Brits are. More than 3,000 suits have been donated (with more still to come), and our partner charities are over the moon, so THANK YOU!!

Me with the suits collected so far!!

Blog » Community » Me with suits we have collected so far!!.jpg

Here are just some of the things those involved in the campaign have been saying:

"Our wonderful suits make a big difference to homeless people's ability to get back into work. When they go to interviews, they really look and feel the part." Amanda Croome, Booth Centre Co-ordinator

“We’re delighted to have been involved for the second year running. The suits are really great quality and invaluable for our ‘Back to Work’ scheme – they give people a real confidence boost ahead of an interview.” Penny Roberts, Connection St Martins – London.

“Self confidence is very personal - a feeling someone has when they know everything, for them, is just right. We can help our clients prepare in lots of ways for employment and being well presented is a really important part of that.” Val Nevin, Assistant Director at the Cyrenians – Newcastle.

Blog » Community » Paul from the Cyrenians in Newcastle getting a new suit.jpg

Paul from Cyreians in Newcastle getting a new suit

“The Suit Amnesty campaign fits well with our objective to deliver help in the area of employability and we hope to be able to make a real difference to those that need it most.” Mark Menton, assurance director and community affairs leader for PWC North East.

Blog » Community » PWC with their stash of suits.jpg

Member of staff from PwC with their stash of suits

"Suit Amnesty created an extra buzz for our business as it got people talking and really seemed to strike a note with everyone who came into contact with us. The quality of the suits donated was impressive and the thought that they are going to such good use has been truly inspiring. Not only that but partaking in the campaign helped raise awareness of The Marketers' Forum as we were featured in the Guardian - re-gifting has been rewarding in more ways than one!" Abby Beckley from drop-off point the Marketers Forum.

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5th Jul, 2012

My Journey to Becoming a Young Trustee
by on July 5, 2012 18:57


I became a Trustee of Centre 404  Blog » Community » Me in action at JCI London Trustee Event.jpgseveral years ago. When I was asked I was already a volunteer at the charity, but I never imagined that I could become a Trustee. I thought being a Trustee was only for much older, mainly retired people. I really enjoyed learning about the organisation, meeting the key people and starting to contribute at a Governance level.  One day, along with the Chief Executive and two fellow Trustees, I was lucky enough to go to a national Trustee conference.

Once there I was shocked by how few young people were attending and began to look into things more deeply. I found that, according to Charity Commission research, the average age of a Trustee in England and Wales is 57. I decided to do something about it. Just over a year ago, I set up a group for Young Trustees on LinkedIn. I thought it would be a good way to encourage current and potential future Young Trustees to network and also for those with more experience to provide encouragement and advice. I was struck by how many people were interested and it was obvious that this was an area which was currently lacking support. Through Trustees Week awareness of Young Charity Trustee (YCT) built and it gave me the opportunity to reach out to other organisations.

In December 2011 I also put YCT on Twitter and Facebook and in spring this year we got a website, designed for free for us by the brilliant Inspiring Young People A few months ago I took on my first two volunteers who are already driving things forward. I have now managed to meet with a lot of organisations and charities who are interested in promoting Trusteeship and through their generosity and support, our message is starting to get out. JCI London has been particularly helpful. As well as promoting Trusteeship, I am also keen that YCT generally promotes opportunities for young people and shows them how they can fulfil their potential and JCI provides a great example of that. JCI London member Natalie Jewel recently gave a brilliant explanation of what can be gained by young people becoming Trustees Some of her key points were the pleasure you get from being involved with something that you are passionate about, the opportunity to learn new skills that will take your career 

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1st Jul, 2012

A First Timer at European Conference in Braunschweig
by Alekhya Mukherji on July 1, 2012 18:12


When I started my journey to Braunschweig two weeks ago I was not sure what to expect. I had heard many stories and great experiences from others at JCI but nothing really prepares you for the real thing until you actually take part.

Right from the start I met fabulous people. At the airport I met most of the delegation from Cambridge. It was an early start for all of us but we were all buzzing with energy! From the beginning I was impressed with the immaculate organisation of the conference. Everything was catered for - transport, food, drinks etc. Even if you felt you were lost (especially at the beginning) there was always someone from the Conference Organising Committee (COC) staff on hand to help you.

While going through the agenda before the EC I had decided to attend as many training courses possible, sprinkled with a few company visits to keep me busy; and the parties every night J .However, I would recommend any first timer to take part in the "First Timer" event at the start of any conference. It is a great starting point to understand how the conferences are structured and work and also guide you through the important parts of the agenda. It was also a platform to meet other people who are in the same boat and get introduced to Senators who have done it all and are there to help you get the best experience.

The training seminars available were varied and interesting (however dependent on trainer). Being able to learn and share experiences and best practices across Europe was very useful. You get many "aha" moments where you realize that there are other aspects you had not considered and enable you to think more broadly.

And finally the parties and UK delegation - the parties were fabulous. The locations were quirky, free-flow drinks and socializing with great people. A perfect end to each day! However, the highlight at each party was the UK delegation. We showed up in strength, stood out from the crowd and were the loudest and most cheeredJ Further, not to forget the galas and award ceremonies were very special - with one of our own winning the "Most outstanding new member" award.

Looking back it was a fantastic experience and I am really happy I took the opportunity to attend. You can only understand the international aspect and appeal once you attend an event like this. What stand out for me is the perfect organisation, the sponsorships and branding of JCI (something we should target in the UK) and the extraordinary people!

JCI UK delegation, European Conference


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24th Jun, 2012

JCI London members enjoy thrilling LSO performance
by Sarah Beckwith on June 24, 2012 20:50


Bah Bah Bah Baaah. Bah Bah Bah Baaah. The unmistakeable opening notes from Beethoven's Symphony No. 5. Apparently this represents fate knocking on the door.

We were treated to a stunning performance of the Symphony by the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) on Thursday evening. Music can truly can move and transport you and with the passionate and lively conducting of Gianandrea Noseda, it was inevitable with this iconic piece. The whole audience obviously felt it as the round of applause at the end of the concert went on consistently for well over five minutes.

Sofie Sandell, JCI London's 2008 President commented "I loved it and got goose bumps".

And that was just the second half of the concert. The first half set a totally different mood, with the emotive sounds of Angela Denoke's soprano soaring beautifully with the 100 or so musicians on stage for stirring performances of opera pieces: Wagner's Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde and Berg's Three Fragments from Wozzeck.

Thanks to the fantastic people at the LSO, JCI London members were able to buy tickets to the best seats in the house for just £10, less than one third of the normal price.

Look out for more exclusive offers coming during the LSO's autumn season.


Blog » Social » The LSO enjoy their well earned applause.jpg

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22nd Jun, 2012

Monday 18th June 2012 - 40th Anniversary of The Staines Air Disaster
by Simon James Bucknall on June 22, 2012 14:53


By Simon Bucknall, JCI London President

Staines air crash 1972On 18th June 1972, British European Airways flight 'Papa India' crashed shortly after take-off from London's Heathrow airport. All 118 passengers on-board were killed - including seven members of the JCI Belgium National Board. They were returning to Brussels from JCI European Conference that year, which was held in Edinburgh.

A special relationship has existed between JCI London and JCI Belgium ever since.

This year, a delegation of more than twenty-five Belgian JCI members and family made the journey to London to commemorate the 40th Anniversary. As President, it was my privilege to welcome the delegation at an informal reception held on the Sunday at Brown's Brasserie on the South Bank.


I was immediately struck by the extraordinary generosity of spirit and strength of those directly affected by the crash. Despite the sadness of the event, I did also sense tremendous strength and optimism on the part of those attending.

Staines memorial

On the Monday, we met at Waterloo station for the 8.37am train to Staines. Admittedly, due to one or two latecomers, a handful of us (ahem!) were obliged to take a later train. But we arrived in good time for prayers to be said at the official Memorial in the Moormead Sports Ground, followed by an 11am service at nearby St Mary's Church.

Olivier de Block is a JCI Member and aviation enthusiast. Put simply, you'll be hard pressed to find someone with a more in-depth knowledge of aviation disasters. At lunch, he talked us through the details of previsely how the plane came to crash - stalling at 1,500 feet before dropping like a stone over Staines Moor. The impact of the tragedy on aviation practice was profound - and remains with us today. The black box which records cockpit communications was introduced directly as a result of what happened that day.


In the afternoon, we were privileged to be invited on a private tour of the British Airways Training Centre, complete with state-of-the-art flight simulators, crew member 'dummy aircraft cabins' plus the opportunity to experience just how heavy an emergency exit door from an aircraft really is!

Extraordinary fact: emergency doors on aircraft are easy to remove at ground level; in the air, they are kept in place by the pressure of the air inside the cabin only.


All in all, an extraordinarily moving day - particularly for the family members, visiting the site and the UK memorial for the very first time. As for me, the opportunity to spend time with such a wonderfully spirited group of new friends from Belgium was one I shall remember for a very long time.

Tradition has it that in September each year, the President of JCI London attends JCI Belgium National Conference - to give a brief speech and to present the Staines Award, the most prestigious award a member of JCI Belgium can ever receive. I look forward to attending this year's conference, to be held in Flanders from 21st-23rd September. If you would like to accompany me (and potentially my wife and young daughter!) on the Eurostar, you'd be most welcome!

Just drop me an email -

In Remembrance...

Staines memorial

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21st Jun, 2012

JCI London recognising inspiring young active people
by Sofie Sandell on June 21, 2012 12:19


 JCI (Junior Chamber International) London proudly presents the winners of the "2012 JCI London Ten Outstanding Young People Award" (TOYP). This award is a prestigious local and international awards to recognise outstanding young professionals who excel and create positive change in their chosen fields.

Please join us at the award ceremony Wednesday 11th July, 6.45pm at the London Chamber of Commerce, 33 Queen Street, EC4R 1AP, you will have the chance to meet the winners and listen to their stories. The event is open to both JCI members and guests. Sign up to the event here

JCI London honours eight outstanding young people this year, and they may have the opportunity to represent JCI UK in the world TOYP final in Taipei, Taiwan in November. These winners exemplify the spirit of the JCI mission and provide extraordinary service to the Greater London community.  

"JCI's mission is to create positive change and I am delighted that JCI London is awarding eight truly outstanding people," says Solveig Malvik, JCI UK National President. "I believe that being active in your local community and provide service to humanity is the best work of life, and all JCI London TOYP winners have done this in different ways. They are great examples of active citizens and I hope you feel inspired by their achievements".  

The winners come from a variety of backgrounds and they are between 18 to 40 years old. They have all been nominated in one of the ten categories: business, economic, and/or entrepreneurial accomplishment; political, legal, and/or governmental affairs; culture achievements; academic leadership; moral and/or environmental leadership; human rights and/or voluntary leadership; moral and/or environmental leadership; scientific and/or technological development; personal improvement and/or accomplishment and medical innovation. 

"All winners are outstanding individuals who have accomplishes amazing things" says Sofie Sandell, JCI London TOYP project manager. "JCI London TOYP is a great way to showcase outstanding young professionals in London and we wish them all best in the world TOYP final later this year." 

The JCI London TOYP winners are

Andre Campbell, Business, Economic, and/or entrepreneurial accomplishment
Inspiring to inspire: For his passion to provide practical steps for young people to achieve their goals, regardless of their economic background
Read more about Andre

Bobby Kensah, Political, legal, and/or governmental affairs
A law unto himself: For increasing the engagement of young people in volunteering and setting a strong example that despite challenges, with dedication and perseverance, anything is possible
Read more about Bobby

Chris Busch, Academic leadership and/or accomplishment 
Academia in action: For driving forward young entrepreneurs to build their self-confidence, widen their impact and ignite innovation
Read more about Chris 

Jessica Elliott, Culture achievements
Dancing the dream: For her tireless dedication to empowering young people to feel confident and grow through dance
Read more about Jessica

Karen Pearson, Culture achievements
The radio star: For pioneering communication, expression and engagement through the radio and inspiring a young generation in the media industry
Read more about Karen

Katherine Sparkes, Moral and/or environmental leadership 
The global citizen: For her dedication and servitude to humanity, creating projects not just fit for purpose, but leaving a lasting legacy in the communities they touch
Read more about Katherine  

Noam Kostucki, Business, Economic, and/or entrepreneurial accomplishment
Leading by example: For his service to humanity in proving that altruism and dreams can and should be an integral part of enterprise
Read more about Noam

Rabia Bhatti, Political, Legal, and/or governmental affairs 
Triumph through adversity: For her passion and endless enthusiasm for creating positive change in her community and outstanding contribution as a leader in UK politics
Read more about Rabia

Watch the slideshow from the event


For more information and contact 

JCI London TOYP project manager: Sofie Sandell,
Read more about JCI London TOYP 

About the global JCI TOYP Award

Since 1983, JCI has honored over 200 individuals from 47 nations. JCI honours ten outstanding young people under the age of 40 each year. These individuals exemplify the spirit of the JCI Mission and provide extraordinary service to their communities. Whether through service, innovation, determination or revolutionary thinking, these young active citizens create positive impacts in their communities. Banners » JCI TOYP logo 2010 - for website.jpg

These ten young active citizens will be honoured at the 2012 JCI TOYP Ceremony and reception in November at the JCI World Congress in Tapei, Taiwan.

Past TOYP winners are John. F. Kennedy, Henry Kissinger, Anthony Robbins, Jackie Chan, Elvis Presley. And from the UK Sabirul Islam, Emily Cummins and Amar Latif.

Young men and women may be nominated in one of ten categories. The honourees will be selected by a panel of distinguished judges.

About JCI

We are a membership-based nonprofit organisation of 200,000 young professionals between 18-40. Through projects in more than 5,000 communities across more than 100 countries, members seek targeted solutions to local problems, creating a global impact.

Each JCI member shares the belief that in order to create lasting positive change, we must improve ourselves and the world around us.

We seek targeted solutions to the unique problems in our communities to build a better world, creating global impact.

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19th Jun, 2012

Think Local-Take Part
by on June 19, 2012 17:55


Jacob is eighteen and from Tottenham in London. “I first got involved in my local community when there was conflict between the younger and older generations on my estate,” he says. “There was tension because we wanted somewhere to play football and there wasn’t anywhere. A councillor lived on my estate and we asked her to help us out - we kept asking until eventually we managed to get a football cage.” “During that time we met a youth worker and he got us to join the Young Advisors. At first I got involved just to get the football cage but now I feel like I have the power to say something.” The skills, knowledge and confidence Jacob gained by taking action have made a huge difference, not only to his own future but to that of his neighbourhood. Since then, he has helped his local housing association improve their youth engagement strategy, and raised funds for new community resources.
Recently, he teamed up with London Civic Forum to lead Take Part Northumberland Park, a learning programme which helped neighbours of all ages get more involved and have a say locally. Later this year, he and other young people will contribute to the development of a new local initiative to tackle youth unemployment in Tottenham, led by their local authority. There’s a lot to get involved in. Did you know that all police Safer Neighbourhood Teams have their strategic priorities set by panels of local community members? Or that in each borough, a Healthwatch Community Panel will soon hold local health services to account? In most areas, councillors chair neighbourhood assemblies which engage with local government and sometimes make funding decisions.

Blog » Community » Participants in depth discussion.jpg

Particpants in intense discussion

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11th Jun, 2012

Monday 18th June 2012 - 40th Anniversary of the Staines Memorial
by Simon James Bucknall on June 11, 2012 07:12



18th June 1972 saw one of the worst disasters in the history of UK aviation.  British European Airways flight 548 crashed 3 minutes into its journey from London Heathrow to Brussels.  All 118 passengers and crew on board were killed.  JCI Belgium lost 7 members and 2 spouses, who were returning from the JCI European Conference in Edinburgh that year, many of whom were part of their national board.  Since this time there has been a close relationship between JCI London and JCI Belgium.

Blog » Random » Memorial service Staines - 4.jpg  Blog » Random » Staines Memorial.jpg

Every year a memorial service is held in Staines near the site of the crash. This year, which marks the 40th anniversary of the diaster will be particularly poignant.

As JCI London President this year, I will be attending to represent the Chamber. However, all JCI UK members - and JCI London members in particular - are warmly encouraged to attend the service, if available. A large contingent of JCI Belgium members and former members will be in attendance.

The ceremony will take place on Monday 18th June 2012.

10am - Prayers and Dedications in the Trident 'Papa India' Memorial Garden in the Moormead Sports Ground off Waters Drive, Staines TW18 4RP.

11am - Memorial Service at St Marys Church, Church St, Staines TW18 4YA.

Following the service, fellow Jaycees will likely be going for an informal lunch nearby.


The Staines Memorial Foundation

JCI Belgium set up the Staines Memorial Foundation after the crash to help support the education of the children of the victims of the crash.  Today it continues to support relatives of the crash victims, as well as being used to provide insurance for all JCI Belgium members when attending JCI events - which includes this year's European Conference to be held in Braunschweig, Germany from 13th-16th June 2012.


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7th Jun, 2012

Trang from London becme a member earlier this year and joined several projects immediately. Read what she has learned so far from being involved in JCI! 

Can you tell us about your background?Tran Nguyen Huyen Trang, JCI London
I am an experienced digital marketer. After two years working for Singapore Tourism Board in Vietnam, I decided to study abroad and see the world, then I went to the University of St Andrews for a Masters Degree in Marketing. I graduated last year and came to London in September to look for new ventures.

When did you join?
I joined JCI London in January this year. As I was new to London I was looking for professional networks to meet like-minded people. I came across JCI London's website and I was impressed by all the projects and activities for young professionals and entrepreneurs.

Can you tell us what you have been involved in in JCI London?
As soon as I joined JCI London I joined the business and training teams to see more aspects of JCI London. I've attended several events so far such as Happiness at work, the Magic@Work Series and Meet the Members to name a few. 
In terms of current projects, I'm helping to organise Social Media events with IBM in June and Google in September. Also, I'm part of the committee for the Public Speaking Club initiative, in charge of communication with the Club's members. And I'm involved in the JCI London TOYP awards with Sofie Sandell.

What have you learned from being involved?
There are a lot of different things I have learned so far from organising and participating in the events. Above all "Just do it". It doesn't matter what it is, how difficult it may look, the most important thing is start doing it. As long as you know what you want, start doing it in order to achieve your goal. A journey of a thousand miles just starts with this single-yet-important step. And of course, your attitude is also important, as long as you believe you can achieve it, you are already half way there.

What else would you like to do in JCI? Any roles? Projects?
In the long term, I would like to be involved in more projects with the International team. I'm always interested in meeting more members from other countries to learn more about their cultures and experiences. Also, I would like to enhance the marketing and partnership aspects of JCI London. We have a lot of high quality events so far. It's important to raise awareness and interests from the community and large corporations.

How is JCI different from other networks/organisations in London?
If you are a member you already see the differences between JCI and other networks in London. JCI is an all-in-one organisation where you can develop your skills or give back to society via different projects. 
For me, as a foreigner living in London, I love JCI London - I find it inspiring whenever I meet up with other members. Most of them are professionals and entrepreneurs from all different backgrounds and they always welcome new members and are willing to share and help each other to be more successful. And the most important difference: the bond between our members is much stronger than in other organisations.

If you could invite any speaker to a JCI event who would that be?
There are many people I would like to invite to a JCI event as a speaker. If you ask me to choose one I would like to invite Richard Branson for now. Lately, I have read one of his books - Screw it! Let's do it! And i totally love it. I would like invite him to come and share more inspiring stories with our members.

Who is the person who influenced you the most, and how?
There are many people who have influenced me in different ways. For me, I can always learn something from each person I encounter. By talking to them, listening and sharing experiences with them, I can see the world in different perspectives. Within JCI London, I would say the first person I talked to Ricky Kothari - JCI London's Business Director. Through his leadership and support in all the projects and business team meetings, he showed me that everything is possible. With the team support, each of us has the ability to lead and be successful in all the projects we embark on.

How would you describe him?
If I can describe Ricky, he would be an entrepreneur at heart, an enthusiastic leader and an excellent team player.

What is your hidden talent?
People say that Sagittarius is the most positive of the star signs. They never take no for an answer, and they always see the cup as half full, not half empty. Also, they'd always rather aim high and take on the adventure of life than get to the end of the road regretting that they didn't have a good go at making their dreams come true. 
Don't you think so? Why not catch up for a chat at the upcoming events, see if I really am a Sagittarius? I love to meet and talk to more people to share experiences and listen to their interesting stories. Also, if you need information about working in Asia, specifically in Vietnam and Singapore, I may be able to help. Connect with me at Linkedin for more details.

Can JCI help you with anything? Contacts? Ideas?
At the moment, I am looking for new venture in digital marketing. I've contacted recruitment agencies and companies so far. Given the fact that JCI is a large network of professionals and entrepreneurs, I would highly appreciate it if you could direct me to people who might be able to help me in my career. Thank you very much for your help in advance!

Thank you Trang, lovely to speak to you! 



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