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9th Apr, 2016

The challenge continues...
by Rafael Tselikas on April 9, 2016 21:39


Blog » Brighten your corner.jpg

As a JCI London2Ghana project director this year I am really excited to have with me an amazing team and really great people that are happy to help to create a positive impact education by delivering computers for pupils in Ghana. 

For us having a computer is something so normal as we can't imagine life without it, but for a kid in Ghana that means access to knowledge and education in a well connected world, and means making possible his dream to become a doctor, a journalist, a teacher. 

London2Ghana JCI team is working hard to deliver interesting events that help us to raise money for kids education. Get a new skill and do good! is the motto of our first series of events. 

Our previous event that has been a real success last week with amazing feedback from our participants is How to start your own business while still working organized in collaboration with our friends from SkillsGym.

The next event is already scheduled  on 4th May : The authentic you! How to keep your authenticity while telling your story. Ingrid who is the founder of Women With Voices will teach us how to become confident in public speaking and be authentic.

"I had no idea that being your authentic self could make me as rich as I've become. If I had, I'd have done it a lot earlier."  Oprah Winfrey

If you are keen to develop a new skill in public speaking and also help us to fulfill a kid's dream to become a doctor, you can book your ticket here  and join us on 4th May. 

Blog » Community » The authentic you.jpg

Post by JCI London2Ghana Director 2016, Anca Miraut

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2nd Aug, 2013

Keeping a Breast with JCI
by Soraya Bowen on August 2, 2013 20:48


On Sunday 30 June JCI UK launched its ‘Bra Bank Campaign’ supporting JCI London members and 2012 TOYP (Ten Most Outstanding Young) Person Honouree Katherine Sparkes annual bra campaign. Katherine runs a company called Flamingo Creative and charity Flamingo Foundation (UK registered charity).

Each year Flamingo Foundation run their annual Bra Bank Campaign asking women to donate their old, outgrown or unwanted bras.  JCI UK is challenging our chambers across the country to collect 1000 bras!


Your old bras are used as a currency, helping ladies in developing countries start their own businesses and moving them out of poverty. Sub-standard bras are recycled raising cash for Flamingo Foundation community projects. This project is a simple but unique way to contribute to Millennium Development Goal number 3: Promote gender equality and women empowerment. It is estimated that up to 80% women in the UK are wearing a bra that doesn't fit them properly. I’m sure that your old bras would end up on landfill site, so why not donate them to our bra campaign.

Take look at our collection so far from Birmingham, Sheffield and Doncaster.

Blog » Community » JCI birmingham collection.jpg

Blog » Community » JCI Doncaster bra collection.jpg

 JCI Birmingham bra collection                                                JCI Doncaster bra collection 

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20th Oct, 2012

Dream Team...the FUNdraising continues...
by Alexandra Illsley on October 20, 2012 21:28


On 7th October, after lots of training, the Dream Team ran the Royal Parks Half Marathon. 

Dream Team.jpg

Everyone did really well, Sandor overtook me and came in at around 2hrs (Ok, Ok it was 1 hour 48!) Joe and Soraya also did fantastic finishing 13 miles! David and Lina also did brilliantly though they are unfortunately absent from the photo but there in spirit as part of the Dream Team!
Most importantly we raised much needed funds for our partner charity, KIDS. However, it does not end there! You can still sponsor us here
The FUNdraising continues on the 5th November when we will be hosting a fundraising pub quiz and we would love to see you there! Booking details here:
Many thanks for your support! 

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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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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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4th Jun, 2012

Why I Became A Charity Trustee
by on June 4, 2012 13:56


Why did I become a trustee for SurvivorsUK in April 2010? It is a question I have asked myself when juggling babysitting and trying to get out of work early to attend meetings on time. Right here, right now I am quite clear it is for all the right reasons: I have had previous voluntary roles and I fancied taking a role that would be further outside my comfort zone than usual. Blog » Community » natalie jewell.jpg

I wanted to see something of the strategic side of an organisation and I was considering maybe moving career and becoming a company secretary. I knew I would need some board experience and thought a charity would be a good place to start. (As it happens I have realised that I am very happy being a nurse.) It is a small charity with 3 staff and several councillors and telephone helpliners.
So why SurvivorsUK? The charity exists to support men who have been raped as adults or sexually abused as children. It also supports partners, friends and professionals of survivors.

I was attracted to the charity because I much of my day job is about child protection and I had not really considered the impact on adulthood. As I said earlier, it hasn’t always been easy to fit being a trustee into my hectic schedule. I have a full time job as a school nurse practice teacher that can be demanding at times. The most important role I have is as a mother to my seven year old son. I also need to make time to spend with my husband (not as easy as it sounds because he is even busier than me!) Of course I try to attend JCI when I am available too.
I am particularly interested in the Community Projects and I have attended various evening events that have caught my eye. In truth I doubt I would be a trustee without the support of my husband and mother in law who have both babysat for me when I had meetings to attend. My diary is the most important tool I have. Everything I plan has to go into it or it will certainly be forgotten. And I tend to accept I am unlikely to be able to do things within a short notice period.                    

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31st May, 2012

JCI London partner with KIDS!
by on May 31, 2012 07:18


I am very pleased to announce that JCI London has chosen KIDS as your first charity partner of the year, so here’s to a very exciting year ahead! Hurrah! We are planning to work together to offer JCI members the chance to get involved with KIDS, helping to make a difference to families in your local area and further afield. So first a little bit about KIDS …..

Blog » Community » kids logo 1.png

KIDS is a national charity working with over 7000 disabled children, young people and their families. KIDS works with the whole family, enabling disabled children to develop their skills and abilities and to fulfil their potential, hopes and aspirations.

KIDS provides a wide range of services in the London Boroughs, including 5 Adventure Playgrounds, Parent and Sibling Support, Home Learning, Short Breaks (respite), Youth Clubs, Inclusion programmes and Transitions. 

Blog » Community » Our playgrounds provide an environment for disable children to play freely.jpg

One of our many playgrounds which allow allow disable children play freely 

Together these services support the whole family, helping children from birth into young adulthood. So what do we have planned for this fantastic year of opportunity? Well there are a few initiatives and events that you could consider getting involved with…..


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14th May, 2012

The City of London Needs Your Help!!!
by Soraya Bowen on May 14, 2012 07:53


Guest blog: Emma Plouviez from City.COM who is supporting the community team 

The City of London has under 10,000 residents – which is about the same population as one ward in any other London local authority. The majority live in the Barbican area, in the two famous architectural landmarks of the Barbican Estate and Golden Lane Estate. The other population concentration  is in the east of the City, around Aldgate, at the Middlesex St and Mansell St estates.

People living in the City are generally happy to live there, happy with the services and resources that are available to them, and feel well-supported by the City of London Corporation – and this is perhaps also a reflection of the fact that they are generally  not economically deprived and can expect continuing good health . However, as in any urban community, there are homeless and  marginalised people; there are lonely, isolated and unwell people. And in the east of the City, there is a concentration of  poverty and ill-health in Portsoken Ward which places it in the top 25% most deprived areas (‘lower layer super-output area’ as defined by the Office for National Statistics).

The City of London also takes seriously its responsibility for those less-well off communities which surround it. The City Fringe Partnership (CFP) was established as an economic development and regeneration partnership in 1996. Set up by the City of London Corporation and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets,  it was soon joined by Hackney and Islington and Camden.  The CFP's principal objectives were to increase economic growth and social inclusion in the area to the north and east of the City of London, which includes some of the most deprived communities in the country.


Blog » Community » Lord Mayor in 2011, Alderman Sir Michael Bear, at the launch of the Portsoken Community Centre in June 2011.jpg

2011 Lord Mayor Sir Michael Bear at the launch of the Portsoken Community Center in June 2011

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19th Apr, 2012

Community Team SOS: Cast off your workwear!!
by Soraya Bowen on April 19, 2012 18:34


Guest blog from Katherine Sparkes

JCI Member Katherine Sparkes wants your old suits to help transform lives!!!

Blog » Community » Katherine sparkes with some very nice cast offs.jpg

Katherine Sparkes with some very nice suits

These days, looking good is half the battle when going for a job interview and most of us will spend hours, if not days, before meeting a potential employer trying to decide on the perfect outfit. We want to look professional and stylish and it’s not unusual for job-seekers to buy a special suit just for the interview. But if you’re homeless or disadvantaged in some way and simply can’t afford a new outfit, how can you make sure you look the part?
Now in its second year, The Suit Amnesty, run by Katherine's CSR consultancy, Flamingo (, has been designed to directly tackle this issue. It calls on people right across the country to donate their unwanted workwear and last year's campaign received more than 2,000 suits in response. This incredible generosity even extended to designer items, and celebrities including Gary and Danielle Lineker got involved too.

Blog » Community » Katherine Sparkes (left) with Louise Willott from charity One25.jpg

Katherine and Louise busying sorting out the suits  (Left :Gemma, Right:Katherine)

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