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27th Mar, 2017

JCI Sheffield Launches Small Grants Scheme 2017
by Mark Smith on March 27, 2017 12:43


Following the success of the JCI Sheffield small grants scheme in 2015, the decision has been taken to once again throw open the doors to applications from local organisations and groups in the Sheffield area to apply for funding from this year’s small grants pot.

JCI as an organisation seeks to create positive change in society, imbue a sense of social responsibility within its members and create opportunities for personal development. JCI is a not for profit group both nationally and internationally active. This year JCI is officially supporting Sheffield MIND as their national charity. However, not only do we want to support our nominated charity in 2017, we would like to spread the net wider and offer the chance for small groups and charities to apply for small pots of funding to go towards projects that are in line with the JCI values and that seek to create positive change.

How does it work? This year the scheme has one application for all levels of awards (see links below). Applicants will make a funding bid following the grant criteria and filling out the grant application form. After completing this a panel from JCI will meet and four applicants will be chosen. Applicants whom pass the initial board stage will be briefed on the next stage requirements and given instructions as applicable. Deadline for grant applications is midnight Sunday April 30th 2017  

The four successful applicants will make a pitch on the event night, Wednesday May 10th 2017, for the four prizes of £500, £100 and 2x £50, the most successful pitch will win the highest amount, the least successful the lowest, with the audience voting for the winners. On the night a meal will be provided for us kindly by FoodCycle, Sheffield. FoodCycle is a charity that works to prevent food wastage and social isolation. As a thank you to them the tickets sold from the night will be donated to their Charity. Applicants to the grant scheme will get in for free. Relatively new JCI members Anne Homer and Catherine Hastings will be administering and organising the event; JCI Member Catherine Hastings states ‘We hope that lots of charities will come to the final event and that it will be a fun, light-hearted affair providing a place to network and look at ways that they may also be able to work together. It would be great to know that we have played some sort of a part in that.’

Groups are required to complete a short application form following the funding criteria which is also below:

Guidelines for applicants

Application form

If you have any queries, please contact Anne Homer, JCI Sheffield Events and Training Director:

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3rd Oct, 2016

Top Yorkshire Award goes to JCI Sheffield member again!
by Mark Smith on October 3, 2016 20:00


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For the fourth year running, Sheffield's Junior Chamber International (JCI) were jumping for joy as a member was awarded a top award - 'Most Outstanding New Member' out of all the members in Yorkshire. 

Anne Homer, 26 from Sheffield, took home the accolade after going above and beyond as a new member of JCI Sheffield, an organisation aimed at providing development opportunities for young professionals in their 20s and 30s. Not only has Anne shown dedication and commitment to the organisation by attending events and academies, but she has made a significant difference to Sheffield’s charity of the year, the Cathedral Archer Project. 

Anne - who currently works for a Wedding Album company - says: "I was absolutely shocked and over the moon to receive the award! I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of being involved with JCI since I joined at the start of the year. Everyone is so supportive and I have learnt so much already.

"JCI is the country's best kept secret - as a young person who aspires to be a leader in business one day - it has given me so many skills. I now can confidently deliver speeches and presentations, I have leadership skills and I have been given the tools to enable me to be the best I can be." 

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JCI Sheffield took home five additional awards including 'Most Outstanding President' awarded to current JCI Sheffield President, Gareth Carson. Gareth says: "I am so proud of everyone at JCI Sheffield. The board works very hard to put on as many training opportunities as possible so that young professionals in Sheffield can gain extra skills so that they can realise their professional and personal goals. 

"I am delighted that Anne has received the recognition for her outstanding membership at a regional level. She has pushed herself outside of her comfort zones by getting involved with as much as possible in JCI.  Her confidence and skills in public speaking have grown massively".

Previous JCI Sheffield winners of the Yorkshire ‘Most Outstanding Member’ award include Mark Smith (2013), Ryan Pilkington (2014) and Neal Stirk (2015).

JCI Sheffield is a not-for-profit organisation. It costs £10 a month to become a member which gives you access to training opportunities, guest speakers and much more. To find out more come along to our ‘meet JCI Sheffied’ evening on 18th October at The Showroom Cinema - to book click here please contact

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13th Sep, 2016

We Mean Business - JCI Sheffield Business Academy 2016
by Ryan Pilkington on September 13, 2016 14:25


On the 10th and 11th September we launched our pilot of the JCI Business Academy. 9 delegates from around the UK went from business newbies to budding business leaders. 

The weekend was filled with inspiring talks, practical sessions and a dragons den style pitch putting all of what the delegates learnt into practice. (The only thing missing was the huge stack of money next to our dragons!)

Julie Kenney gave the delegates a look into her inspiring story of her humble beginnings to being a multimilllion business leader amongst other roles. The highs and lows of success and life all came together and inspired our delegates to think about their future and where they want to be.

Natalie Fletcher from Business Sheffield talked about the  support that is available from the city, the communities that are available and the free talk and seminars that are run each month by Business Sheffield. Some members have gone on to arrange meetings with Business Sheffield to see how they can get involved and how they can progress their business idea further with support. 

Marketing plays a huge role in business and our next session with Bob and Sarah Brown from Inspire2Aspire talked us through traditional and new marketing funnels and the top ten traits of a successes entrepreneur. These sessions allowed our delegates to think about what their values are personally and in business. Something that is easily looked over. Sarah then shared tips and ideas for our delegates ideas that could be used for easy, cheap and effective marketing. 

Creating a business plan can seem daunting and it definitely did to some of our delegates but Ben Hawley shared LEAN Canvas with us. A simple and effective way of creating a more visual and interactive business plan that can be changed as your business idea develops. Delegates got to work section by section and built up their business plan  ready for what was to come on day two. Bob Brown then gave a small session on naming a business and what to look out for. Definitely one of the funny sessions from the weekend! 

Day two brought us more great food from Inox with the day starting with Making the Connection training with Auriel Majumdar. Auriel shared her experience of networking and the various ways to perceive it. Our delegates learnt about the new styles of networking that are taking form in business and personal brands not only your business brand. This session was also featured live on our Facebook page ! If you missed it be sure to check it out. 

Paul Bamford gave finance tips about pensions and insurance. Richard Wright from the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce shared what lessons he would have told his younger self. Giving the delegates a look into his success story and gave food for thought for the delegates about where they want to be and how that may potentially change through time.  

2016 JCI Sheffield President Gareth Carson shared his top tips for a great pitch which helped calm the delegates nerves about pitching their business idea to our dragons den style panel made up of Gareth Carson, Julie Kenney and Richard Wright. 

After the dragons den pitches our delegates were ready for graduation! Certificates, and branded mugs were given to the delegates and a winning pitch, decided by the dragons, was awarded to Neal Stirk from JCI Sheffield! 

We can’t wait to see how our budding businesses leaders get on with their ideas! 



JCI Sheffield


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3rd Sep, 2016

How to Stay on Top Form
by Ryan Pilkington on September 3, 2016 17:28



Staying on top form during work can be pretty tough sometimes. We all hit the highs and lows of the productive day and we have some tips to ensure that you stay on those productive highs all day. With 5 different ways of staying productive to planning all of your day to filtering your emails e effectively say good bye to those hour long procrastination sessions and say hello to that new and improved (and less stressed) you.

1. Work out your work flow. It’s super easy to simply go about our day without a plan; but is this productive? Do you nd yourself taking longer breaks than usual? Find yourself randomly on Facebook checking out your friends holiday snaps?

This is where your work ow chart comes in. This may be a simple task but simply plan all of your day out. All of it. All of your breaks, how long they are, take in to account your travel times and plan your day around these. If possible try to have tasks completed before you go on break. This means that during your break you can clear your head and return completely refreshed and ready to work on the next task.

Add in times, how long it should take and what the task includes. Don’t be too strict with your timings however, add some leeway to ensure that you don’t get stressed that you’ve gone over your timings.

2. Attention Pockets. If a plan may not work for you then try finding moments in your day when you nd yourself being unproductive when you could be. So this could be checking your emails in the supermarket queue. This means that you have saved yourself some time. You don’t have to read them all before starting your next task.

3. Rethink your Connections. It’s great that we are connected like never before thanks to our technology but this can be a bitter sweet afair. Checking social media is fun and comforting but it can drain your productivity time. Look at the apps that give you constant notifications. Turn o the notifications for the apps that aren’t productivity based or beneficial to you. Don’t worry, Facebook and Twitter will still be there for when you finish work!

4. Schedule your procrastination. Coaches swear by this tip as it allows your mind to stay nimble and on point. Get yourself a kitchen timer and set if for about 25 - 30 minutes. Use this time for uninterrupted work. Once the bell rings you can set it again for 5 minutes of playing Angry Birds, checking Twitter or whatever you like. The physical timer will instantly wake you up from your task and ensure you keep alert and on task. 5 .Use the D’s. Delete, Do It Now (is it’s a 2 minute task), Do It later, Delegate or Decide (if it needs action or can be led for later). Use this system to filter your emails. This will allow you to look at the most important tasks at hand and which are doing nothing but causing information overload.

There you have it. Some of our ways of staying on top form. There are many other ways of keeping on track. Do you have any that work for you? Share them with us at or Tweet us @JCISheffield! 

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2nd Aug, 2016

My JCI Journey: Tracy Viner
by Ryan Pilkington on August 2, 2016 09:09


My JCI Journey

Tracy Viner


It is a long time since I started my journey so the some of the chronology is hazy but there is something that stands out through every year since I first joined in December 2000 - the people. 
This organisation is made up of everyday people but they have one difference from everyone else.  They care and it can be about anything from their local community to world issues but they all want to make a difference.  The people I met at my first JCI event are still friends today.  They are people I am proud to be associated with and I want to support them in their challenges through life as they have willingly supported me through mine.
Whilst being a member I have been gently (and sometimes not quite so gently) pushed out of my comfort zone making try and learn new skills, experience new places and benefitted personally and professionally every step of the way.
I have friends around the world, been trained on leadership in the forest outside Gothenburg and on Marketing and media skills on the slopes leading up to the Acropolis in Athens.  I have heard the Chief Executive of Toyota explain their work culture across the globe in Japanese in Fukuoka, Japan (with an English translation in my ear!) and I have visited the Taj Mahal all through JCI.
Being local president in 2004 enhanced my networking opportunities across Sheffield and gave me increased confidence.  This had a big impact on my work as a fundraiser and helped increase my passion for the city and wanting to help the people in it in whatever way I can.
I have remained in touch with the organisation and acted as a mentor to newer members and been available to support when issues have arisen.  Sometimes my challenge then has been to advise and step back and let people learn and grow for themselves.  I have found this even more rewarding.
I have received awards, been on the local, regional and national committees in various roles and been awarded a Senatorship (lifetime membership) as well as honorary lifetime membership of the local organisation, however, the first thing I think of when asked about are the benefits of JCI, I will always say the people. 

Tracy Viner
Senator #66781
Member Since December 2000

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29th Jun, 2016

A Day in the Life of a Marketing Director
by Ryan Pilkington on June 29, 2016 14:53


Marketing. It’s a role that is vital for all businesses and organizations. The role in a nutshell, means that you look after the social media accounts held by the chamber, design any promotional materials such as banners, posters, publications and leaflets and ensure that the website of the local chamber is kept up to date with the latest events and information. 

There are opportunities to meet, learn and grow through the role and this is my second time in the driving seat. I decided to take on the Communications Director role for JCI Sheffield last year (2015) and have taken on the Marketing Director role for both JCI Sheffield and JCI UK this year. 

So what’s a normal day for a marketing director? The day can vary depending on what is on the to-do list but there are staple tasks to keep the JCI brand running and in the public eye. These tasks as always with any council role within JCI integrate with everyday life such as jobs and hobbies. 

1. Social media Checking / Automation. This is one of the biggest tools you can use as a marketer because of the it’s size, opportunities and challenges. Depending on the social media accounts held  and how active they are the day usually starts with checking out the social media accounts and seeing Retweets, likes, shares and comments on the platforms used. It’s always helpful to set a timer for this as you can easily become distracted with your personal notifications.  This later on in the day will turn into a session looking at the analytics for the biggest channels and seeing what posts worked and which didn’t and using those as a starting block to set out the next posts for the week or a couple of days. Hashtags can be daunting and can get break a brand if used incorrectly so I always make sure to do a test of a hashtag before I use to make sure that the JCI name isn’t in the same search or feed as a hurtful new story or unrelated issue. 

2. Design For me design is something that will integrate its self into my everyday life. On an average day I will be either emailing back and forth regarding banner designs for events or promotional materials or editing existing designs. These will then be used on the website, Facebook and Eventbrite to ensure that the event is public on our biggest platforms. I always find it helpful if possible to set out a block of time to get around 3 events drafted first (if possible) so that you know these are ready and any amendments can be made without rushing!

3. The third are various tasks done throughout the day.  Idea generation, article drafting for publications or blog posts and any other notes made to either enhance marketing strategies. It’s always handy to get things jotted down as if you’re like me then your mind will be running at 70mph on a normal day trying to focus on one task at time but struggling. This means I can get the idea out of my head and onto my app ready to return to when I need.

These are by no means the be all and end all of the marketing role. It’s our responsibility to ensure that the JCI brand is seen with the correct manner on social media and publications, the brand artwork is kept within the global brand guidelines, that I keep up to date with the latest social media trends and updates, send out emails to our mailing list and deal with any external companies such as printers. It’s always funny when I think to my days as a Marketing Director, as social media, like most of us, surrounds us so when I’m checking my own personal accounts I always do a check on the JCI accounts to see how they are doing. 

Overall the role is one that I have developed in and I am still continuing to develop and grow. If you’re interested in marketing then you can check out more about the role on our website along with other council team roles. 


Ryan Pilkington 

2016 Marketing Director / 


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16th Jun, 2016

My JCI Journey - Ryan Stuchbury
by Ryan Pilkington on June 16, 2016 09:44


For years I’ve spent time networking on Twitter, and it’s on here that I first discovered JCI. I initially found them a couple of years ago but never really took it further. When last year’s President, Mark Smith launched the #BeTheChange campaign, that’s when I decided to investigate. In August 2015 I was appointed Head of Marketing for Bloo 88 (an Independent cocktail bar & pizzeria in Sheffield). The bar happened to be a honorary patron of JCI Sheffield and hosts the monthly networking events. And as if by fate, this is when I first became physically involved with the chamber. 

Throughout my career I’ve attended some pretty dismal networking events, and over time became somewhat sceptical of their value. I went into my first JCI Networking event in August with this mindset, but God, I was wrong! The event was familiar, informal and incredibly beneficial. I found the team and other attendees very welcoming, and there was no pressure to force your professional accolades down everyone’s throat. The event was about the people, and that’s why I loved it. 

After hosting/attending a few networking events, I came away feeling motivated and compelled to get more involved. And in December, Gareth, 2016 President asked me join the council team in the position of Business & Strategic Partnerships Director. 

What I found amazing is that the chamber isn’t just about business. They’re actively involved in our local community and do countless charity work. There’s always something to get involved in, and activity is always different.  

The development opportunities (both professional and personal) JCI provides is incredible. To be part of an organisation that gives you opportunities not only in your local community but internationally is inspiring. But above all, it’s the members that make JCI for me. Through becoming a member I’ve truly met some wonderful people, made many new connections and formed life-long friendships. 

I’ve still not hit my 1 year anniversary of joining JCI Sheffield, but I’m looking forward to many more years. Together as a team, we can #AchieveAwesome! 

Ryan Stuchbury


Member since August 2015

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8th Jun, 2016

Volunteering: It's More Than Just Time
by Ryan Pilkington on June 8, 2016 13:12



Throughout being a member of JCI I’ve had the opportunity to take part as a volunteer for various events and causes. Sleeping rough on the streets, throwing colour powder during a Colour Dash, cleaning up the beach in Malta, helping animals in shelters and most recently running a retail space for a day.

When I think back to before I was a JCI member I would’ve never thought I would be doing things like this. I thought that my main focus would be solely on university and not spending too much of my student loan too fast! But, although university is a massive focus I love to think about the experiences and the positive impact volunteering makes. Without volunteers many causes simply wouldn’t be able to run.

I have many causes that are close to my heart such as animal welfare causes and environmental causes. That doesn’t mean that I won't help out other causes and sometimes its in funny ways that a volunteering opportunity can come up. For example, the RSPCA Sheffield Branch needed a booklet designing for their annual dinner, volunteering lea ets to inspire people and contact lea etc. I then created these for them, I donated my time to the cause, my skills as a designer and it was all from the comfort of my sofa.

When people think of volunteering many people think of being stuck outside for hours but I’m sat in the SAFE@LAST Charity Chicks Boutique right now typing this article up whilst breaking from serving customers, nice and warm with the radio on. Being a JCI director is a voluntary position. I volunteer my spare time to the organization and to creating positive change. Whether that be a change in myself or in others. Most of the time it ends up being both!

So why should you begin volunteering? Here are our top 3 reasons:

1. Endless learning. Through volunteering, you’ll get the opportunity to gain new skills or use the

skills you already have in new ways that may then bene t you further on! In turn, this will then boost your self-confidence.

2. It Makes you healthy. Putting your focus on helping out others gives you the opportunity to step away from your own stresses and worries. There is a lot of positive energy involved when volunteering. That’s what help causes that warm and fuzzy feeling. A simple thank you can change your whole day.

3. Build Connections. Who knows who you’ll meet through volunteering. You may get a new job opportunity, a new creative business idea and make some new friends during the process.

Want to make an impact? Achieve Awesome with us and see how you can get involved on our website (www.jcishe or check our our Facebook or Twitter for the latest volunteering opportunities.


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Ryan Pilkington 

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1st Jun, 2016

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Its easy to think of charity donations in financial terms, but donating your time through volunteering to community projects is just as valuable a contribution to an organization or cause as any financial donation. Volunteering also has many benefits on a personal level including learning new skills, gaining new experiences, meeting new people and building relationships as well as the all important 'feel good' factor that comes from giving your time and talents.

The Junior Chamber International (JCI) is a not for profit voluntary organisation that is all about inspiring young active citizens to make an impact.  At JCI Sheffield, we have a very active 'community' program for members to get involved in.  This year we are supporting two main charities: 1) The Cathedral Archer project that supports homeless people in the City and 2) INAS, the International Association of Sport who are based in Sheffield but work in over 70 nations around the world and aim to encourage and support people with intellectual disabilities to get involved with Olympic sports.

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If you would like to get involved with our activities to support these charities, or any of our other community projects (such as the small grants program - read about last years scheme here) please get in touch with 2016 President Gareth Carson.

The hours donated by our membership spent on our projects or indeed volunteering opportunities external from JCI can also be logged as part of the JCI UK Active Citizen Experience (ACE) Project.

JCI Sheffield is ACE!!

At the heart of JCI is the ethos to be an active citizen and to make a local impact. Several years ago, JCI UK launched a volunteering project on a national level under the name "ACE" - Active Citizen Experience, to recognise those members who went a bit further and actively got involved in their local community.

ACE is a community hours project where JCI Members can register their volunteer hours. Members are awarded bronze, silver and gold certificates (according to the hours logged) in recognition of their efforts. The certificates are awarded at national events by the National President and National Community Director.

Bronze 10 hours

Silver 20 hours

Gold 30 hours

Any type of volunteering is eligible for ACE - JCI Sheffield would love our members to achieve as many certificates as possible this year.

All you need to do click here to register your volunteering hours.

In the meantime, on behald of JCI Sheffield, THANK YOU!

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Mark Smith

2016 Immediate Past President

JCI Sheffield




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24th May, 2016

9 Reasons Why You Need To Join JCI Sheffield Today
by Ryan Pilkington on May 24, 2016 11:07


9 Reasons why you need to join JCI Sheffield Today


1. We are one of the friendliest local organizations in Sheffield. We like to include as many members in what we do as possible!

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2. We help you develop the soft skills you need to get that new job or that promotion at work.

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3. We have access to a network of over 200,000 members worldwide in varying industries so we’ll more than likely know someone who potentially help.

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4. We are based in the best city in the UK (we’re not biased honest!)

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5. We love pizza! Our Networking Wednesday events are most often held at Bloo88 and of course we have some of their amazing pizza!

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6. We love our community and look after two awesome charities in the Cathedral Archer Project and INAS (check them out!)

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7. We’re twinned with JCI Mayo in Ireland and talk them often! We also see each other twice a year with us going to them and they come to Sheffield.

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8. We all like to challenge ourselves to be better and support each other in our goals. JCI, on the whole is extremely supportive to its members!

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9. We’re awesome! (again we’re not biased honestly!)

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