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1st Jun, 2016

Pound a Day - I’ve been challenged to live on £1 a day
by Sophie Delaporte on June 1, 2016 18:28


Last week, I took part in JCI UK Pound a Day Challenge: living on £1 a day for food and drinks for 7 days. The aim was to understand the impact that hunger brings on our communities and raise money for Save the Children (my usual weekly expenses minus the £7 were donated to charity). Save the children works on preventing food poverty, not only in developing countries but also in the UK.

It was a really interesting and challenging experience. The £7 had to include food and drinks, including dining out and alcohol and we were not allowed to accept food from friends or colleagues. It was not only about donating money but also seeing what it is like to live in such a situation.

So, how was it?

Tough. It didn’t think it would be that hard. Not because of the amount of food you eat, but mainly because of its quality. I actually spent £6.70 last week.

Here is what I bought:

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5 x onions
500g Porridge
Smart Price Pasta x 2 packs
Tinned pineapple
Mushy peas
4 x Smart Price tomato soup
1L of milk
Smart Price strawberry jam
Smart Price Cup soup (4 servings)


Goodbye meat, hot drinks and biscuits. But I was quite impressed by what you can actually find (4 cup soup for £0.20!). My meals were pretty boring as I wasn’t able to get very varied food throughout the week, so I ended up eating the same thing every day:

- Porridge for breakfast (with water, and a bit of milk)
- Pasta, carrots, onions and sausage for lunch
- Soup and two toasts (no butter!) for dinner.

Food for the week

It was frustrating to eat the same thing every day, but this is all I could come up with with the ingredients I had. But you can also get creative: a 24p tomato soup is also a perfect sauce alternative for your pasta (but I am glad I managed to afford some carrots and onions to go with it).

This was a great experience and I am glad I took part in it, as it made me change the way I see things or how I buy.


What I took from it

It is quite easy for us to go the shop to get a treat if we feel hungry in the middle of the day. On a £7 weekly budget, you can’t. You have to budget very carefully your week. My colleagues and friends were surprised to hear that I was not allowed to accept food and drinks from them, or even take advantage of the free food at work. But for people living in this situation, very few help them. We are more likely to get help because we are doing this as part of a challenge. I wasn’t always (very) hungry during the challenge, but I was actually worried I’ll be hungry. So I was thinking about food constantly. And then I got hungry.

This was a challenging experience but it did help to see so many JCI members getting involved in the project across the UK, so we could share tips and experiences throughout the week.

I think Pound a Day is a great way to raise awareness of poverty in the world and in the UK. People are more likely to understand food poverty if they can see how it affects someone they know. If I take part in the challenge again next year, I’ll probably do things slightly differently but I personally took a lot from the experience. Experiencing the struggle that thousands of people have to go through is an eye opener and a great conversation starter with friends and colleagues, mainly when they ask you why you are boycotting the free buffet with champagne and canapes at work!




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24th Apr, 2016

What it means to me to “Choose extraordinary”
by Celestine Onomo on April 24, 2016 20:24


Everyone who has joined JCI did it for a specific reason and everyone who has been in the organisation probably stayed for others.

I personally joined JCI because I wanted to make new connections within the city and extend some of my marketing skills. I stayed in JCI because I realise that there is more to learn that I could have imagine and that I actually love to learn.

JCI will connect not only people but also organisations. We were last year approached by the American Embassy to join a program they have created. At first, my reaction was to think that it is another commitment, that I won’t have time for it and then I remembered that opportunity rarely knock at the door, you have to create them.

I decided to apply for the program and was successful after a few days. The program aims to reinforce the link between the young leaders in the UK and the American government giving you access to monthly invitations to attend virtual talks or physical events.

 Now, have you ever seen on TV or looked at pictures in the news and thought how do ordinary people attend ‘’THESE” events? I have an answer, maybe not the only one but one. These people choose to push their boundaries, they choose a life where they are not scared by the unknown, they are not scared by the lack of sleep, they are scared of what they could be missing by not seizing an opportunity. That for me is my definition of “Choose extraordinary”, our 2016 National Theme.

On Thursday 14/04/2016, I received an email from the American Embassy, inviting me to attend President Barack Obama speech in London Saturday 23rd April 2016. Yes, that’s right, the American ambassador wrote an email to invite me (and program participant) to meet with “POTUS”.

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Due to the high demand, a ballot system was organised and I was placed on the waiting list. I can fairly said that I was not bothered to be on the waiting list but I was honoured and proud. I have the privilege to be part of an organisation that is well recognise in the world and that give me the opportunity to meet Barack Obama. How many of us can actually say it? I was part of the 500 members onwards in the UK who have been given the chance to receive an email offering me the possibility to attend Barack Obama speech in London. If I didn’t realise straight away how amazing this opportunity was, the faces and the reactions among the people I decided to tell reminded me how “uncasual this is”. One of my favourite was “ Now, I wish I had joined the program”.

What I’ve learnt and that I would like to share with you is to make sure you don’t live with regrets, don’t miss out on an opportunity to choose an extraordinary path because you are afraid you won’t be able to commit or you won’t have time. If an opportunity arises, you will find a way to make time for it.

Joining a group of young professionals such as JCI is like planting seeds and waiting for it to grow. Opportunities like meeting the President of the United States of America don’t happened by coincidence, I had to plant my opportunity by joining JCI and joining the US Embassy program and I just waited for it to grow and seized the opportunity to meet him.

Célestine, 2016 Local President

If you have any questions about JCI please do get in touch with me

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11th Apr, 2016

JCI Southampton visits No Limits by Minna Janhonen
by Celestine Onomo on April 11, 2016 11:43


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This year JCI Southampton’s Charity of The Year is No Limits. This means that we work closely with this particular charity, and try our best to help with their current activities as well as creating new ways to raise funds for the great cause. No Limits is a charity for young adults and it offers information, advice, counselling, advocacy and support for young people under 26 living in Southampton and Hampshire. 

On the first week of April JCI Southampton’s Council Board paid a visit to the No Limits drop in centre on High Street, Southampton. During the visit the board learned from Mrs. Natalie Hutchins, who works as a fundraiser for No Limits, of all the different ways this wonderful charity helps the local youth. Some of the projects are more permanent in their nature, some are more ad hock and based on acute need. 

Nevertheless, No Limits helps over 5 000 local young people annually, and the work is very valuable. One of the ways JCI Southampton is helping No Limits to raise funds is by taking part to the Southampton APB 10k and Half Marathon. On top of this the council board used some of the visiting time to come up with new ways to help the charity to raise funds; ideas are being developed, but one of them was to put the JCI Southampton’s members professional skills into action next Autumn in No Limit’s benefit. How this happens is yet to be confirmed. Don’t we just love to help the local community and come up with innovative ways to do it!

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11th Apr, 2016

"JCI Southampton runs for No Limits" by Christelle Robertson
by Celestine Onomo on April 11, 2016 08:07


JCI Southampton are going the “extra mile” again and are embarking on a fun filled yet rewarding day by participating in the ABP Southampton 10K & Half marathon run in Southampton on the 24th of April 2016.

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The purpose of this community event is to try and raise funds, as well as raise awareness of our nominated charity No Limits to which JCI Southampton are supporting this year, as well as also having fun!

In total we have 6 runners members and non-members who have kindly dedicated their time to this wonderful cause and will be sure to do JCI Southampton and No limits very proud.  Listed below are the list of runners and their donating pages, please feel free to donate to a member or multiple members if you can to show your support, every little certainly helps!!

List of Runners:

Sophie Delaporte:

Kathryn Haines:

Ritchie Mazivanhanga:

Natasha Manuel:

Victoria Odey:

Gabriel Odey:

Sportingly yours,


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28th Feb, 2016

JCI Southampton Open Night & Speed Networking Event by Carl
by Celestine Onomo on February 28, 2016 15:52


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Working for Intech Telecom, a local telecommunications company I am no stranger to networking.

For this reason I chose to attend the JCI Southampton open night networking event at Boulangerie Victor Hugo coffee shop in January located on the High Street in Southampton, with a view to build up my business contacts and to socialise with people on the same wave length.

Must say the event was well organised and I was warmly welcomed into a great atmosphere full of likeminded people. Coffee was good too!

They say first impressions count and the organisers for JCI Southampton achieved this exceptionally. 

This spurred me on to sign up, seemed a no brainer and have already built up a few contacts. Since then have attended a speed networking event, again met some interesting people, particularly the Operations Director for Costa Coffee. Have I mentioned I like / love coffee J

Big thank you to Célestine Onomo and Natalie Hutchins for organising the events and for making me feel welcomed. Very proud to now be a JCI Southampton member, I have the badge to prove it! Looking forward to the wine tasting event on 17th March and the many more networking events to come.




Carl Thompson - Operations Director, Intech Telecom

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7th Jan, 2016

by Celestine Onomo on January 7, 2016 18:54


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JCI Southampton chamber has nominated local charity No Limits to support through-out  2016. 

Every year JCI nominates a charity to support and raises funds through their networking and  social events. This year No Limits a local charity that supports nearly 5,000 young people every  year with information, advice and support will be benefiting from the support of JCI’s Southampton Chamber.

JCI has a year of exciting events lined up to help raise funds for No Limits including speed networking, a quiz, and even a 9 month entrepreneur challenge! It all kicks off this month with an Open Evening on Thursday 21 January, 6pm-8pm at Boulangerie Victor Hugo. This will be an opportunity for members and non-members to find out more about JCI and the benefits of joining as well as finding out more about their nominated charity. 

No Limits CEO Annabel Hodgson says, ‘We are delighted that JCI Southampton has chosen us as their nominated charity for 2016. It is a fantastic opportunity to work with a local organization that holds the same values and ethics as No Limits and the money raised will support vulnerable young people in Southampton and the surrounding areas of Hampshire ’

JCI Southampton Deputy President Célestine Onomo says, “We are very excited to support No Limits in 2016. We have been working hard to plan some great events for our members which will serve as a platform to help raise funds for No Limits.’’


Notes for Editors

1. No Limits is a charity offering support to children and young people under the age of 26 who live in Southampton and Hampshire. Services include: city drop-in centre; counselling; advice on housing, benefits and debt; DASH alcohol and drugs service; sexual health and relationships services; homelessness services; employment-seeking support; support for young parents; washing facilities; and access to food in a crisis; family support.

2. JCI Southampton Junior Chamber International (JCI) is a global network for young people in their 20s and 30s and is celebrating it's 100th year anniversary. We are present in more than 100 countries and have almost 200,000 members across the world. Meeting on a regular basis for fun and friendship, we run many inspiring events and projects with our members. JCI Southampton was formed in 1959 and has had a strong base in the community since.

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23rd Nov, 2015

In just 11 months…
by Celestine Onomo on November 23, 2015 18:08


…and it feels like I have been part of the JCI family forever!

How many times in 11 months have I heard: What’s JCI? What’s in for me? Why should I join JCI? Are you paid to do that? The best way to answer all these questions is simply to take you through my personal JCI Journey.

 I joined JCI in December 2014 and 11 months after joining, I am proud to say that I am not the same person today that I was when I joined the organisation.

In just 11 months (not in a specific order):

  • I became Marketing Director of my local organisation
  • I took part in the life of my chamber by attending almost all our Council Meetings, Social Events, Business & Networkings events, Trainings ect..
  • I attended my first JCI UK Academy Public Speaking
  • And because I loved the first one so much I took part in another one LEAP (Leadership Excellence in Action Program). Colours are not a secret for me anymore…
  • I attended JCI UK Summerfest in Cambridge
  • I attended JCI UK 2015 AGM & JCI Sheffield Gala Dinner in Sheffield
  • I was elected by my local chamber to become Deputy President
  • I have been awarded one of the 4 Bursaries to attend JCI UK LEAP
  • I spend a full week in Malta for the “Small Talk Project” among with a delegation form Jordan, UK, Morocco, Malta, Italy, and Estonia.
  • I met Malta President HE Marie-Louise Coleir Preca
  • I have been accepted to a program for Young Leaders run by US Ambassador M.Barzun
  • I met 2013 JCI World President Chiara Milani
  • I have become a Students mentor for my local University
  • I started a new job (#Ilovemyjob) with more responsibilities for one of the biggest cruise company in the world!
  • I attended my first JCI UK National Convention!
  • I took part in a Debating Competition
  • I was elected Most Outstanding New Member in the UK! 

I could carry on writing this list forever because every day or week brings on a new opportunity or challenge but one thing is sure, I would never have had done all of this without JCI and the great people I have met throughout the year. Every single action from this list triggered the next one and this is the reason why by expecting nothing when I have joined, I have earned everything.  

In just 11 months, I gained:

More skills: Public speaking is a great example. It has never been an issue for me until I started to do it in another language and then…I heard about JCI Public Speaking Academy. Attending the academy was a great way for me to improve myself to become a better speaker. With public speaking competition organised across the year, you get to practice all the things you have learnt across the year! Another great example is that one time where as a Junior I was offered a Senior role in Marketing & Business development because of the relationships JCI has with local businesses and the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce.

More friends: You obviously pay for the experience and you end up meeting exceptional people, some of them that I could probably call friends soul mates! I have indeed met exceptional people with high ambitions willing to embark you on their journey and make you a better person everyday so you can one day be that person!

More holidays destinations: From sunny Malta to sunny not so sunny UK every person from another city you meet is someone who open your eyes on something different. We have a wide range of international opportunities that everyone should takes part in. (Watch this space for 2017)

More hotels loyalty cards: JCI doesn’t only takes you out of your comfort zone everyday it will also takes you out of your bed…But positive note is you will take advantage of the coolest benefits a loyalty card can offer you! i.e. Late checkout until 2pm :-)

More opportunities: at Local, Regional, National, European and World level. It’s also a powerful network of Jaycees, Senators, friends always willing to support you! 

I am proud of what I have achieved on a personal level this year and will encourage everyone who wants to grow and add something fun in there life to join JCI.

Here is to 2016, here is to another 11 months of fantastic projects, people, travels, memories, laughs and smiles! 


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5th Sep, 2015

JCI Southampton Quiz
by Kathryn Haines on September 5, 2015 16:01


JCI Southampton hosted their annual quiz on 3rd September at Orange Rooms. This year it was to raise money for our charity of the year: Countess Mountbatten Hospice Charity.

This year I offered to read the questions for the evening along with James Lambert, JCI Southampton's Finance Director. We thoroughly enjoyed the evening and had a lot of fun. This was the first time I had hosted a JCI event and everyone was extremely helpful in making sure everything went smoothly.

All particpants did extremely well but it was E3 Consulting who took home first prize! Congratulations!

We also managed to raise over £250 for our charity of the year and would like to thank you everyone who took part and donated!

If you would like to join us for another event to help raise vital funds for Countess Mountbatten Hospice Charity, join us for our annual gala on 10th October. Tickets can be booked here.

                             Quiz night                                                                                                                  Winning Team E3 Consulting

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5th Sep, 2015

This talk was hosted by Garry Lane of One Vision Life Coaching, who explained how life coaching can help you in your careers, business and personal life.

He described how he can help with goal setting, developing confidence, improving performance, becoming more assertive, dealing with stress and helping to get your career where you want it to be.

It was fascinating to learn how life coaching works and how it can benefit anyone in any part of your life.

If you would like to find out more about life coaching, please do not hesiatte to contact Garry. His website is 

                                            Garry Lane

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23rd Jun, 2015

Southampton Solent University Mentoring Program by Victoria Odey
by Celestine Onomo on June 23, 2015 20:22


JCI Southampton is actively supporting students and graduates from Southampton Solent University.

Our Deputy President Victoria Odey has been awarded the Mentor of the year for her support and commitment towards the programme.

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The annual Southampton Solent University Mentoring Celebration was an inspiring afternoon for students and graduates. Hosted by the employability and enterprise team, the event thanked and recognised the contribution of businesses, students and recent graduates to the success of this year’s programme.

Individuals and organisations become 'professional friends' to Solent students

Every year a range of individuals and organisations give their time regularly and freely to become a 'professional friend' to their mentee.

This year 85 mentors and 102 mentees participated in the programme, which includes a formal training element. Over the course of six months mentors provided student mentees with work-related personal advice, practical employability skills and industry-specific information.

In addition to the more traditional one-to-one support, some participating organisations such as E3 Consulting, Carnival UK, Old Mutual Wealth, Ordnance Survey, and Countess Mountbatten Hospice Charity took a group-mentoring approach, and provided workshops to support employability needs.

Mentor of the year: Victoria Odey, Hampshire Chambers of Commerce

Victoria's mentee said: "Victoria was flexible, making sure we continued to communicate even at the busiest times. She helped me explore different options and opportunities, gave me endless support and advice. Best of all she helped me develop industry contacts and enabled me to secure a social media marketing role."

Mentee of the year: Emily Alcock

Emily’s mentor was from Hampshire Constabulary and said:" “Emily was always willing to address the key issues. She wasn’t intimidated by people or processes and used her previous work experience and focussed on the outcome ahead. She gained a great place on the JP Morgan Graduate Scheme that will see her flying around the world over the next two years."

Outstanding Contribution 2015: Carnival UK

Received by Bob Dixon, General Manager – EMEA Sales, and Frank Somers, Solutions Architect.

Outstanding Contribution: E3 consulting

Received by Zoe Toseland, Marketing Administrator & Ian Barwick, Research Administrator.

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