How JCI has changed my life
by Tracy Anderson on June 29, 2013 18:51
Back in 2007 I joined JCI Boston after my colleague Alli Cowell persuaded me to go to their business visit- the walkers crisps factory in Lincoln. I loved the visit and everyone was so friendly so I decided to join.
I ventured outside my local chamber in 2008, Hull for the regional dinner and Manchester for National awards. At this point I was hooked and wanted to get involved more. After a couple of
years on council, I decided to step up as president of JCI Boston in 2011.
I am so proud to have been president of my home town chamber we definitely punched above our weight that year and people certainly had heard of JCI Boston. My confidence grew and I learnt lots of new skills.
I met my partner through JCI, a lovely Yorkshire man from JCI Barnsley, Richard Grange. Boston and Barnsley have become close chambers and are collectively known as Bosley. We try to get to each other’s events so we know the A1 quite well.
So last year in November Richard and I decided to move in together. This meant I was relocating to Yorkshire.
My new employers Smith Craven had heard of JCI as they used to be a patron of JCI Doncaster and I was lucky enough to have a group of friends already in Barnsley. The move to Yorkshire didn't seem that daunting.
I am certainly not the same person that joined back in 2007 and wouldn't be here in Yorkshire if it hadn't been for JCI.
I have decided to transfer my membership to JCI Barnsley on 1st July as I have this enthusiasm for JCI again now in Barnsley. I will always have JCI Boston in my heart and wish the chamber every success in the future.
Past President 2011
My 30th birthday experience in Monte Carlo
by Tracy Anderson on June 9, 2013 11:20
A sold out European conference in Monte Carlo
Allison Cowell and Tracy Anderson the JCI Boston representatives
Once I realised that 2013's European conference was going to be in Monte Carlo I quite fancied it (hanging out with the rich and famous), when I realised the date.... there was no buts' I was going to turn 30 out there!
The conference this year was a complete sell out, with a record number of delegates of 2749 attending from all around Europe and the world.
I met up with my fellow JCI Boston member Alli Cowell, my travel companion and roomie. On the date of our flight it wasn't long before we met our first Jaycee- we had only got to the airport carpark! Once over the channel and safely in Nice we spotted more jaycees, I think we might made the southern regional group chairman Drew Charman jump when he got on the bus and was greeted with a loud ‘Drew'
We made it to Monte Carlo just in time for the UK delegates meeting at our base, the Novetel Hotel. Lina and Tim gave us a quick guide of the conference along with useful practical information. Once checked in our priority then was to make our way over to the conference centre to get registered! We needed that badge before we could do anything at the conference.
The first night was the opening ceremony night, we decided to brave the walk and only got lost twice!! At the stadium entrance we bumped into our National President Emma Eastwood and Immediate Past president Solveig Malvik who had arrived from London after meeting the queen to pick up the Queen's Jubilees volunteering award for JCI UK.
The ceremony kicked off with being introduced to the VIP guests which included the world president Chiara Milan, the EVP and chairman of the conference JCI UK's very own Lesley Young and Prince Albert of Monaco- (Prince Albert is a JCI Senator). Each national president and chief delegate were also introduced to the stage and Emma Eastwood got a fab reception with Union jacks flying high! All the VIP's gave a speech and the conference was declared open. All delegates were then directed to the welcome party where hot dogs, candy floss and popcorn was served.
Thursday day one of the conference. I decided to go to the morning show. An energetic session which I found myself running onto the stage to go under a bed net for a competition. One of our fellow UK delegates was lucky enough to win a ticket to world congress in Rio.
After the show, I then walked around the trade show. It was here I found a technique on how to sell our Nothing but nets wristbands. Alli knows quite a few people in JCI she would introduce my to them, then during the conversation I would ask if they would like a wristband- it seemed to work well! I also managed to collect all the postcards for the JCI Malta competition.After a spot of lunch we headed back to the hotel and had a quick dip in the pool to prepare ourselves for the evening's antics.
We first met up with the Bansi group delegates for pre party drinks. The Bansi group is made up of the UK, Scotland, Ireland, Malta, Australia and New Zealand. The European night took place at a night club called the Ni Box, right next to the ‘tunnel' with a view of the Mediterranean sea. A perfect night to watch the sun set.
Friday day two of the conference was the day of competitions, I choose the debating to watch. The room was jam packed ad it was a great atmosphere in the room, the loudest supporters were from JCI Catalunya. The UK team of Sarah Beckwith, Katie Ogley and Michael Steel were drawn against our friends from JCI Scotland. After a tight contest JCI UK made it to the next round to take on JCI Finland, despite their best attempts JCI UK didn't make it to the next round.
The evening's entertainment was the JCI Malta party. Some UK delegates helped volunteer on the night serving beer, I made sure I did I couple of runs to help out.
Saturday was the final day of the conference, I choose this day to be a tourist. I do like a bit of motor racing so I walked the Formula circuit, as the conference was only 3 days after this year's grand prix, the grandstands, pit lane, advertising boarding's were still up. The casino had an collection of sports cars outside it and the port had a collection of shiny big boats.
After the lap I made it back to the conference centre and cheered on the JCI UK's runners doing the challenge ‘ no finish line'
Saturday evening meant is was posh frocks and black tie, The UK delegation met on the hotel's roof terrace for pre-gala dinner drinks were first timers Kay and James gave out the UK awards. We then headed of back to the conference centre for the awards ceremony. We were the first delegation to arrive and got good seats.
I am very pleased to say the JCI UK came back with two European awards! James Lambert of JCI Southampton won the first timer's competition (a very worthy winner) , and JCI Barnsley won the best local growth and development program. As now a resident of Barnsley and soon to be member of JCI Barnsley and I am very proud of their achievement. I was also given the responsibility to make sure the award returned safely to the UK.....so no pressure!
The union jacks were flying high for EVP Lesley Young who gave a closing speech. We then made our way to another room to the Gala dinner. After a four course meal, the UK delegation made another first by getting to the dancefloor.
It was quite a memorable night celebrating JCI UK's achievements......... but that wasn't all at midnight the DJ announced the clock had turned 12 and I instantly had JCI UK members run to me to wish me happy 30th Birthday.
On reflection I had an amazing time, met some old friends and made new ones, I networked internationally and celebrated with a fantastic UK delegation. I recommend to all JCI members to experience at least one international event, so maybe I'll see you next year in Malta.... I'll be there!!!
Tracy and Nigel Wilkinson with JCI Barnsley's European award
Inspiring romantic action
by Tracy Anderson on February 10, 2013 12:31
For the week leading up to Valentines Day we are 'Inspiring Romantic Action'.
Share your most romantic experiences on our Facebook page and if you don't have a story then start doing something romantic because there are prizes for the best stories.
Visit the JCI UK facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/JCIUK
In the local press
by Tracy Anderson on February 10, 2013 12:27
JCI Boston features in this weeks Boston Standard....
Read our story by clicking the link below:
£1 a day diet for 7 days
by Tracy Anderson on February 10, 2013 11:59
JCI Boston took on the challenge of the first National community project of the year, a £1 a day diet for 7 days to raise money and awareness of poverty for charity, save the children and Nothing but Nets. This focus came from one of the UN Millennium Goals (which JCI actively supports) to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.
Participants of the diet were Alli Cowell and Jen Curtis, they were asked to work out how much their average weekly food & drink spend was, subtract £7, and donate the difference to the cause.
There was also an option for supporters of this event, people who did not do the diet were asked to sacrifice 1 thing that week, such as a bottle of wine, and donate what it would have cost. Tracy Anderson gave up alcohol for the week.
As if the challenge was not going to be hard enough, Alli, decided it would be a good idea to host a dinner party during the week to add to the challenge.
The idea sparked after a friend of hers said that she could cook a meal from an empty cupboard, it was more like a dare than a challenge, but before she knew it the idea was on the table and Jen Curtis and Alex Hackett, one of JCI Boston's newest members, said they were ‘in'. So pooling a grand total of 3 whole English Pounds, the next big decision was ........ what on earth shall we eat.
A traditional starter is soup, so this seemed like a good place to start, but to be honest the purse didn't stretch that far, so instead a starter of Asda Smart Price Chicken Super Noodles seemed like the next best thing, and much to I think all of our surprise the 22 pence spent was a 22 pence well spent, they were really nice.
Ok one course down, one to go....... We needed something filling, we live in Lincolnshire, there could only be one thing for it Sausages, sadly again the purse would not allow for lovely thick Lincolnshire sausages, it did however stretch to Asda Smart Price sausages. 12 of the little beauties for the bargain price of 88 pence. This also meant that 3 could be kept back for another meal another night. With my bargain hunting eyes while shopping, can you imagine the delight when I stumbled upon some reduced priced potatoes on the shelf, and no this time it was the Extra Special range, our dinner party just became posh! So there it was the perfect meal in the making - Bangers and Mash. Alli is pretty partial to cheesy mash, but on this occasion it was not possible to have her traditional style creamy, stringy, cheesy mmmmmmm mash, and being as there was no budget for milk or butter to go in the mash there seemed only one thing for it, spread cheese....... Et voila main course is served.
Desert, the best bit of the meal some may say. Well there were 3 empty plates so it seemed to go down well. Chocolate swiss role and custard, oh yes you guessed it, the good old Smart Price range came good for us again, with a swiss roll coming in at 25 pence and the whole tin of custard for only 17 pence, it really was a sweet desert all round.
Ok so the promise was a five course meal, three courses down 2 to go. Well all good dinner parties have a cheese course. Again a small amount of imagination was needed to pull this one off, but we did it. Holding back some of the spread cheese from the mash potatoes, meant that we had enough for some plain cream crackers and a soft cheese, cheese board. The 4 grapes used for presentation purposes had been borrowed, and so couldn't be eaten, and were indeed given back.
Finally the end of the extravagant dinner party had come, when a fine selection of black coffee, water or a cheeky fizzy orange was laid before us. Fizzy orange was a steal at only 45 pence from Aldi.
With our bellies full, and our awareness most certainly raised, we did have a fun night, but it makes you grateful for so many of those small things you do take for granted when out shopping. The total shopping bill came to £2.96.
Jen Curtis, JCI Boston's 2013 President and a solicitor at Sills and Betteridge says "living on £1 a day was certainly a challenge. On such a low budget I found it almost impossible to eat a balanced diet and there were times, particularly at the start of the week, when I was hungry."
JCI Boston also took this project to the next level. Jen and Alli was joined by Alex Hackett and Michael Hallett Boston's newest members and visited Centrepoint Outreach in Boston to see how poverty effects the local community. John Marshall, Chief Executive, was kind enough to share his time, explaining the work they do with homeless and vulnerable people, with social and economic needs.
Michael commented on the visit, "Upon joining my local chamber of JCI one of the areas which I wanted to get involved with more was the work of supporting our local communities through charity. When we visited Centrepoint Outreach I was astonished.
Centrepoint Outreach is a marvelous charity which supports homeless, lonely and vulnerable people of the local community. It does this in a variety of ways, through receiving donations and income through its charity shop, offering advice on such matters concerning debt issues and budgeting, as well as providing basic materials for those in needs including food parcels and home furnishings. I was amazed at the amount of effort all those involved put in and the organisation of it all, like a well-oiled machine. It is certainly great to know that there are those in Boston which are doing their bit for the local community. Since then I have certainly had time to reflect on my life, I often think now how trivial some of the issues I worry about are compared to the trials and tribulations of those less fortunate than myself. All in all I thoroughly commend Centrepoint Outreach for their great work, I look forward to helping them in the future."
Alex Hackett also commented, "Without Centrepoint Outreach Boston, those genuinely unfortunate local Boston people that cannot afford the simple things in life, (which most take for granted, food, a shower, heating, bedding and in some cases a place to stay), would have remained hungry and cold in the sub zero temperatures this winter.
We owe a great deal of thanks to those at Centrepoint Outreach Boston who have helped not only the homeless, but also families who cannot afford the very basic necessities of life. I feel that Centrepoint Outreach Boston is a very worthwhile charity for JCI Boston to support and I for one look forward to offering all I can."
JCI UK exceeded its target of raising £1,000 for charity. The money raised will be divided between 2 different causes, save the children and Nothing but Nets (JCI's global charity dedicated to eradicating malaria in Africa.)
You can still donate, visit the just giving page. http://www.justgiving.com/JCIUKpoundaday
Inspiration Day 2013
by Tracy Anderson on January 28, 2013 21:32
The first national event of the year saw members around the UK gather at the Jesus college in Cambridge. This would be my 4th inspiration day so Cambridge had their work cut out, but I wasn't disappointed.
Despite a fear of not being able to actually get there because of the weather, the snow held off in Cambridge and the journey down wasn't that bad at all. I was greeted by James Mitchell, JCI Cambridge's president for 2013.
The event started with a welcome from Patrick McCrae and James, then the 2013 JCI UK National president Emma Eastwood took to the stage and told us all about her ‘Inspiring Action' theme, introduced us to the national board for 2013 and told us what events to look out for in 2013.
Next there was a presentation from Ruth Hockaday from Save the Children. The first national community project of the year was the£1 a day diet for 7 days, Boston members Allison Cowell and president Jen Curtis were presented with their certificates for achieving this, and a cheque for a massive £1423.22p was then presented to Ruth for the money raised throughout the UK.
The next activity meant were we split into groups and were all given a UN millennium goal. We had to come up with a project that could be used in the UK to help achieve/support our goal.
The group debriefed, then it was time for Patrick Knight. Patrick a JCI member from the USA had flown in from Miami to give us a training session on how to ‘Jump Start Your Chamber.' Now this was a tried and tested theory, when Patrick was a local president his chamber attracted 152 new members!! I got a lot out of the session and have pages of notes.
After a spot of lunch, we wrapped up to hit the streets of Cambridge for the treasure hunt, and with all JCI treasure hunts they required a photo competition! My team consists of Diana from Cambridge (we gave her the map!), Tim from Leeds, Katie from Doncaster and Ricky from London. The hunt took us through parks, around colleges and shops. We manage to get a picture in the top 3 thanks to mine and Tim's acting skills!
After some fresh air, we returned back to Jesus college for Patrick Knight's second session of the day.... and all I will say is wow, what a powerful story. Patrick stood in front of all and told us how he was a victim in a tragic shooting incident on Thanksgiving in 2009. He told us about his story of survival and recovery after he was shot by his brother-in-law who also murdered his wife and her twin sister.
Patrick was shot in the stomach and was in a coma for three months. When he woke, he had to relearn how to do everything from talking to writing. This is an emotional story, truly inspirational and brought inspiration day 2013 to a close.
The evening saw us return to the Jesus college in black tie and posh frocks for JCI Cambridge's gala dinner.
JCI UK is awarded The Queens Diamond Jubilee Volunteering Award 2012
by Tracy Anderson on December 13, 2012 20:07
We are very proud to announce that JCI UK has been recognised with The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Volunteering Award 2012.
JCI UK is one of 60 recipients of the award which is the highest standard of recognition given to volunteer groups across the UK and we were recognised for the wide range of initiatives that we have undertaken over the year. This ranges from projects including the launch of a training and apprenticeship academy for young people in Southampton in conjunction with Costa Coffee to the Leadership Excellence in Action Programme that was launched in August, amongst others.
So we want to say THANK YOU to all our members, senators, patrons, corporate supporters and friends! It is those who give their time to make a real difference in the communities in which they live and gain valuable skills and experience along the way that have made this happen!
Special thanks also go to JCI Senator Tracy Viner from the Cathedral Archer Project and Wayne Clark, Managing Director of Best Companies Partnership LLP, who both gave supporting testimonials for the award. Wayne said of JCI UK: "JCI UK is the most inspirational organisation I have ever come across. In my daily work I advise organisations on how they can get more engaged employees, but I've never met a group as engaged as JCI, and this blew my mind."
"The first time I met JCI members I thought they were a crazy bunch to use their Saturday to run and attend a conference. I've come to learn that this is what JCI members do. They spend their free time and holidays to make their communities better and to better themselves in the process."
We are exceptionally proud to have been recognised with The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Volunteering Award 2012. It is an honour to think that JCI UK is one of only 60 organisations the country to win this award! It's a great end to the year!
For more information please visit:
Our Immediate Past President
by Tracy Anderson on July 29, 2012 17:01
Meet Tracy Anderson
Length of membership: 5 years
Role(s) held with local chamber: Current Immediate Past president
Why did you join JCI: For social reasons, to meet new people and make new friends
How has your membership had an impact on your personal development?
JCI has given me confidence in myself and my abilities. I've never been a fan of public speaking but after doing the JCI Presenter course I had the confidence to give a presentation at the Boston Business club and my outgoing president's speech.
I have also developed so many skills, such as networking, uploading content on a website, editing a monthly newsletter, organising events.
What do you enjoy most about your membership of JCI?
The buzz! I have attended so many JCI events and come away with this buzz. It's hard to describe but you feel inspired to do something, you've met old and made new friends. This buzz around JCI UK is brilliant at the minute and I really want to be part of the National Board in 2013. The opportunities you get are endless in JCI, it's up to the individual how much you want to get out of it. It's true what they say; they more you put in the more you get out! I have to say I've got lots and intend to get more out of JCI.
What is your favourite area of JCI opportunity?
I would have to say community. Last year as president of JCI Boston I made sure community projects played a big part of my year. As a chamber we raised over £850 for the JCI Nothing But Nets campaign which meant we helped save 275 lives, and my highlight was our Easter Themed Hook a duck Market stall on the Boston Market on Global Malaria Day.
What did you gain from attending your first national/international event?
My first national event was attending the National awards ceremony in Manchester, this was when I really got JCI, meeting liked mined people from all around the UK. I've been hooked since and attended every national awards ceremony. I'm really looking for to this year's National convention in Belfast.
What is your most memorable experience within JCI?
So far, I would have to say last year, hosting the regional awards last year in my home town Boston and being a multiple award winner, I then went on to be awarded nationally as the most outstanding leader!
I say so far because I really excited to be attending the European Conference next year in Monte Carlo.... for my 30th Birthday!
by Tracy Anderson on July 29, 2012 15:49
In July we travelled up the A1 to Retford for their Fake Festival. You might be thinking this is a bit random, but last year the fake festival event came to Boston. We attended the event in 2011 and when we heard that it wasn't coming to Boston again we researched where we could go and for us the line up at Retford caught our eye.
Basically a fake festival has official tribute acts of our favourite indie rock bands, and at Retford the line included tribute acts for the foo fighter, oasis and the Killers.
We managed not to get wet but had appropriate footwear on 'just in case!' We sang, danced and drunk. For me a perfect social event!
JCI Boston: small but perfectly formed
by Tracy Anderson on July 29, 2012 15:41
Ilona Alcock from JCI Sheffield visited JCI Boston for the first time when she attended our first monthly training session. She tells us about her experience:
Usually at JCI training I expect to learn skills I can take back to my workplace, to gain knowledge that will assist my chamber and to meet exciting new people. Whilst Kate Senter's "Why doing good is good for business" session for JCI Boston delivered on all three counts, I got a little more than I bargained for.
There were five attendees on the course, and the whole Chamber is not much bigger. But before you write JCI Boston off as insignificant you should know those attendees include Alli Cowell, 2011 National President, and Tracy Anderson, candidate for 2013 JCI UK Community Director. The enthusiasm, passion and determination of all present to improve themselves and their local community was inspiring.
Kate took us through the four key areas of CSR and the business benefits of having a structured CSR programme. We discussed what it means to "do good", what experiences we had from our employers and chambers, and shared ideas of how JCI's community focus can be used as a selling point to businesses. I won't give too much away as I'm keen for Kate to repeat the course in Sheffield soon but a key takeaway for me was to look at all angles. CSR, as with so much in life, is not black and white.
During my visit I also discovered that cauliflower rolling is a controversial way to celebrate the jubilee. That businesses in the Boston area use village fetes as networking opportunities. That places like Mucktown and Gypsy Bridge actually exist. And did you know that if you visit near Christmas you'll be able to see Yorkshire sheep eating the cauliflower stalks?!
A lot is made in JCI of our international aspect. You can travel to the far ends of the globe and discover an array of exotic cultures. Sometimes we focus so much on other countries that we forget that life on Britain can vary enormously from county to county, and from town to town. The challenges we face in Sheffield differ from those faced in London, in Cambridge and in Southampton.
However, the fact that these challenges can - and should - be addressed by young people remains the same. This is why I'm passionate that every area of Britain should have a JCI. It is an organisation that offers development opportunities, socials and the chance to meet people outside your usual circle. But more importantly than that, it is an organisation that really does make a difference.
Ready for Corporate Social Responsibilty
Trainer Kate Senter