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21st Jul, 2012

2012 Solent Business Ball Hits The Mark
by Drew Charman on July 21, 2012 17:24


2012 saw JCI Southampton team up with 3 other networking organisations - Young Chartered Accountants Group, Junior Law Divistion & RICS Matrics - to put on an gala dinner extraordinaire - the inaugral Solent Business Ball.

Held on 20th July at St Mary's Stadium, home of newly promoted Southampton FC, the night witnessed over 300 young professionals & entrepreneurs gathering together for the greatest event of the region's social calendar. Covered by the Daily Echo & other publications, the event raised over £1,000 on the night for this year’s joint charity, Wave 105's Cash For Kids.

Great atmosphere, great food, great music & great people - what more could you ask for?  Many thanks to all of you who attended and helped to make it such a fantasic evening. For those who missed out this year – don’t miss out next year! 


2012 Solent Business Ball


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3rd Jul, 2012

As President of JCI Southampton I am very proud to announce the launch of the UK's first Costa Academy in association with Costa Coffee.  The new facility, a £29,000 joint project between the two organisations, will be launched officially by the Mayor of Southampton and local MP, Alan Whitehead, on Friday 6th July and will create a host of apprenticeships and training opportunities within Costa, offering unemployed youngsters an important employment lifeline in the city.  It will also provide other community organisations and clubs across the city with a dedicated venue where meetings and training opportunities can take place, as well as becoming the home of JCI Southampton's Council team.

I am truly excited that JCI Southampton is able to partner Costa Coffee in providing this valuable asset to the city and its workforce.  This is the latest initiative that we have launched to help promote the personal and professional development of young people in the city, and also to serve the wider community itself.

In supporting the project, JCI Southampton has become the first UK chamber to win a National Lottery bid (of over £9,000).  This is a major intiative for our chamber & the first of its type across JCI UK.  We hope that this will prove to be a great template for other chambers & projects to follow, enabling them to work with their own partner organisations to enhance communities across the UK & provide opportunities for the people that live and are employed in them.

To end on a great note, all apprentices coming through the academy will have the opportunity to join JCI through a funding scheme - allowing them to access the wide network of young professional members and business partner organisations both in Southampton and across the UK.

Please find attached the first pre-cursor press article on the academy & watch out for more press coverage over the next few days!


newspaper article on the launch of the Costa Academy by JCI Southampton

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24th May, 2012

May 2012 Training Dinner - Essential Employment Law
by Drew Charman on May 24, 2012 22:27


Wednesday 16th May saw JCI members & non-members gather for a evening dedicated to learning all about the essential elements of employment law.  As employees & employers we all need to know where we stand in the thick of national & international employment law & the dinner evening provided a perfect platform for this.

Essential Employment Law - Claire Merritt - May 2012

Following networking drinks & a dinner of some great freshly delivered pizzas, Claire Merritt of Paris Smith LLP shared insights into her daily profressional life & provided interesting facts & case studies on a number of topics such as the many of elements of dismassal & resignation, equality protection & statutory rights.

The session proved to be a really interesting & fun interactive evening with attendees participating in discussions around the law & how it has played a part in their own careers & workplaces.

Essential Employment Law - May 2012

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15th May, 2012

JCI Southampton Participates In World Clean Up Action
by Drew Charman on May 15, 2012 21:59


On a very bright & sunny Sunday morning a group of intrepid volunteers took to the Hamble waterfront to perform a beach tidy up as part of the JCI UK efforts for 'World Clean Up 2012'.  It's just one way in which we're helping our community during 2012.

This annual project is the biggest cleanup action in the world with over 100 countries and millions of volunteers cleaning their countries from illegal waste/litter.

Working in conjunction locally with Eastleigh Council, the JCI Southampton members & friends armed themselves with litter pickers, bags & the odd cup cake or two (for sustenance!) to make the beach sparkle ready for the summer!  The team headed for a well-deserved pub lunch to celebrate their efforts.  Well done everyone!

Beach Tidy Up - Hamble, May 2012

Some of the Beach Tidy Up team - Hamble, May 2012


The end result:

Beach Tidy Up Result 1 - Hamble, May 2012  Beach Tidy Up Result 2 - Hamble, May 2012

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11th May, 2012

The end of April saw the JCI Southampton team host JCI UK Presidents & Deputies Weekend - an event for all Local Presidents & their Deputies to come together (along with the National Board) to meet, share ideas, learn & have lots of fun.  A packed two day schedule on 28th & 29th April comprised of the first National Council meeting of 2012 plus various training sessions & social events designed to provide a 2nd quarter springboard for the new Presidents & Deputies to carry on into their year of office.

We kicked off the weekend with dinner out in Bedford Place on Friday night with those delegates who arrived early - treating everyone to some good old fashioned Italian cuisine at Pulcinella restaurant accompanied by a spot of in-house live music.  In their excitement & haste to get to the delights of Southampton as quickly as possible some of the London delegation managed to get on the wrong train but they found their way to us eventually making up good time & we all had a great evening of catching up & getting ready for the weekend ahead.

National Council on Saturday morning saw lots of useful discussion & sharing of best practice - all with an emphasis of leading the UK organisation forward.  We also got to witness the official voting in of the 2012 Deputy National President - Emma Eastwood.  Emma is a Past President of Leeds & current JCI UK Training Director and is someone I've known for a long time now.  She's a truly fantastic person who's commitment & enthusaiasm to all things JCI is thoroughly infectious. I can't think of a better person to take on the role of Deputy National President this year and I look forward to working with her throughout the remainder of 2012 and indeed next year when she'll become JCI UK National President.  Many congratulations Emma - truly deserved!

Emma Eastwood - JCI UK Deputy National President

We were joined on Saturday afternoon by Erica Neve & Kelvin Lockwood who gave a wonderfully insightful look into the world of Learning & Development In A Digital Age.  This gave the delegates an opportunity to get stuck into everything the modern age can provide in terms of digital learning by using an interactive workshop session to share how various media streams can provide organisations with the tools they need to deliver their products & services and how to best use them to continually reach ever widening & innovative markets. 

We finished Saturday with drinks & dinner at Cargo in Oxford Street.  A meal for 30 people is no easy task to organise but it's made even more interesting when Southampton is out in force celebrating!  As you'll all know by now, the weekend was a very special one for the city of Southampton as our football team were promoted to the Premiership earlier on Saturday afternoon and it was fantastic to see the city celebrating in true style. The atmosphere out on the town & indeed in the restaurant was electric & something my colleagues from across JCI UK will not forget in quite some time.  Well done Saints & many thanks to Cargo for managing the dinner so well in the face of adversity in sheer numbers!

Southampton FC Promotion Celebrations

We were also very lucky to be joined by a surprise guest - Peter Robertson, President of Southampton Chamber of Commerce (& a Director of Hapmpshire Chamber of Commerce).  Peter heard we were dining in Cargo & dropped by to welcome all the delegates to the city of Southampton and re-iterate the importance of the relationship between the Chamber of Commerce and Junior Chamber International.  Peter also highlighted the significance of the football team's promotion earlier that day and how the huge injection of cash that the city will receive from this brilliant achievement is of significant importance to the city.

On Sunday all the Local Presidents took part in the second Presidents 'Local Leaders' training session of the year (the first having been at Inspiration Day in Birmingham back in January).  Some of us were out until 4am the night before tripping the light fantastic & then up again at 8am - but we're troopers & had a great second day.  Throughout the whole morning we constantly shared our successes, and indeed failures (as we can all learn from our mistakes), with each other in order to share best practice & strengthen each other as Presidents & in so doing the Chambers we represent.  We were also treated to a very interesting presentation about the history of JCI as an organisation. Did you know JCI was created in St Louis, USA and started out as a dancing club in the 1900s?!  I certainly didn't...  It's amazing how organisations can transform over the years. 

I have to say I always really enjoy these weekends!  They can be hard work with the late nights, early starts & packed daytime schedules, but to be in a room full of fellow JCI members who strive to get the most out of their membership by embracing national activities over & above the ones they already partake in locally always emphasises the reasons I joined JCI.  As both a Local President & a fellow member of JCI I get to engage with like-minded people who give so much of themselves to the growth & development of their communities as well gaining much more personally in return.  Not only are we able to bounce ideas off each other, offer support & advice to strengthen each other's chambers & shape the future of the UK organisation but also gain some amazing life-long friends in doing so.

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9th May, 2012

New Website - It's Alive!
by Drew Charman on May 9, 2012 00:23



New Website


Have you spotted it?! Regular viewers will have noticed a brand new all-singing, all-dancing look to the JCI Southampton website. This has been running as a 'Beta' site for a while now but we're proud to introduce the new look website to you all.

Other JCI chambers around the country migrated to their new websites earlier this year, however we wanted to take our time to make our's look as good as we possibly could. We've been working hard to make sure it's fresh & exciting - you could say we saved the best for last!

You'll find lots of extra content including an interactive Events Diary which now includes national events, Council team blogs, community project updates, information on the organisations we actively support & special sections dedicated to our Member Benefits Programme & also the main areas of JCI opportunity.

Have a good nose around & let us know what you like about it and what you'd like to see. We'd love to hear your thoughts!


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11th Jan, 2012

Dear All,

So here we are – the Christmas & New Year celebrations are over & another busy year has started. Continuing as President of JCI Southampton for 2012 I’d like to welcome you to what I’m sure will be another great year ahead.

It is JCI Southampton’s 53rd year &, as always, we willl be looking to put on the best cross-industry networking & personal development events in the region whilst also continuing to forge ahead with the tremendous charitable work that our members & friends alike achieve within the local community.

This brings me neatly to the team of people who are already working hard behind the scenes to make this happen – the 2012 JCI Southampton Council!

In no particular order:

Deputy President (and National & International Director):   Michael Steel
Membership Director:   Bill Smith
Business Director:    Jack Turner
Networking Events & Special Projects Director:    Claire Merritt
Marketing Director:    Deepeka Dayal
Special Projects Co-ordinator:    Catherine Day

There are still roles available if anyone is interested in helping out this year (including Community & Finance Director roles) – please just let me know.

Expect to be hearing from us all with details of some of the exciting events we have planned as the year goes on. As well as the usual training dinners and Turbo Thursday networking drinks, we’ll have lots of opportunities to get together with like-minded professionals including business visits, social occasions & fundraising events. More details to follow soon!

Please also remember that if you have any ideas about brilliant events we can run we are always keen to hear about them – just let us know.


Gift of Sight


Onto the President’s Nominated Charity – as some of you will be aware, each year the President nominates a local charity which JCI Southampton will support in any way it can through the year. This year I have nominated Gift of Sight. The Gift of Sight Appeal was established in 2004 with the aim of funding world-class research into the prevention and treatment of blindness.

The Gift of Sight Eye Research Centre is based at Southampton General Hospital. Its main areas of research are age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, inherited retinal diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa and childhood conditions such as nystagmus.

Its researchers combine laboratory research with treating patients in weekly clinics. This enables them to bring insights from the research laboratory directly to patients. Currently they have collected DNA samples from over 700 patients with age related macular degeneration, 600 DNA samples from glaucoma patients and several hundred DNA samples from patients with inherited retinal diseases or nystagmus. These sample collections allow the team to identify genetic risk factors for eye disease which enables them to determine better treatments for affected patients. In addition they are involved in multiple clinical trials particularly for age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.

Since 2004 the combined research efforts of the team and colleagues around the world have resulted in a significant number of patients with wet AMD now having treatment that brings a significant improvement to their sight. Patients across the UK can drive, read and go out independently again.

Gift of Sight is managed by the University of Southampton and is part of the Development and Alumni Relations team. Working with the University, the JCI Southampton team will be looking to help with their fundraising in any way we can. All donations help the team to continue with their vital sight saving work. We’ll be letting you know via a separate communication how you can help the appeal in other ways besides standard donations!

Don’t forget that we also support many other charities through the year with ‘Active Citizenship’ work programmes within the local community & individual fund-raising events. We already have some great plans up our sleeves to further enhance the amazing work we’ve achieved over the last couple of years. Watch this space!

That’s enough from me for now…. On behalf of the Council, we look forward to meeting you at a JCI Southampton event in the near future!

Kind Regards,

Drew Charman

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28th Nov, 2011

JCI Southampton Win A Clutch Of National Awards
by Drew Charman on November 28, 2011 01:18


JCI Southampton has had another fantastic year & the team are immensely proud to announce that we have just been recognised for our programmes & achievements by JCI UK with the following awards at this year’s UK National Awards ceremony:

1. Most Outstanding Social Project – 2011 JCI Southampton & Southern Region Annual Gala Dinner

2. Most Outstanding President (for a chamber with 25-49 members) – Drew Charman

3. Certificate of Merit for Most Outstanding Training & Development Programme

4. 100% Efficiency Programme – 91% Efficiency achieved (ranking JCI Southampton as one of the most efficient chambers in the UK)

5. ACE (Active Citizens Experience) Programme – Silver Awards for Mike Trench & Amy Mattingly

6. ACE (Active Citizens Experience) Programme – Bronze Awards for Zoey Bluff & Matt Freeman

The challenge is to better this next year – and we need you to help us! If you are interested in getting involved, sharing your ideas, or just attending some events please contact Drew Charman.


Blog » President's Updates » 2011 JCI Southampton Awards.jpg

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13th Nov, 2011

This year’s Annual Gala Dinner was an amazing event…with great food, an awesome band and tremendous company it was always bound to be!

Over one hundred young professionals & entrepreneurs gathered together for the greatest event of our social calendar. Covered by the Daily Echo, the event raised over £350 on the night for this year’s nominated charity, Wessex Heartbeat.

Many thanks to all of you who attended and helped to make it such a fantasic evening. For those who missed out this year – don’t miss out next year!

Finally, if you want to get involved and help organise next year’s event we would love to hear from you!!


2011 JCI Southampton Annual Gala Dinner - snapped!

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