JCI Reading 50th Anniversary Gala Event
by Stephen Wells 2011-12 President of JCI Reading, and Founder of www.aimtosucceed.co.uk on August 25, 2013 16:21
JCI Reading needs you - Help raise £5,000 for Guide Dog, 'Jaycee'!
by Clare Franklin on July 23, 2013 19:25
Jci Reading have had a busy few months continuing to work toward the £5,000 target we are raising for Guide Dogs. £5,000 will allow us to name a guide dog 'Jaycee' and follow his progress over his first year of liife as he is born, assessed and goes to his puppy walker to prepare for his intensive training to put him on the road to becoming a guide dog and becoming someone's eyes.
The recent ITV documentary 'Me and my Guide Dog', was a heart warming programme tracking two owners as they are paired and train with their new guide dogs Chelsea and Pippa. I got intrigued as to our up to date figure for fundraising.
The magic total now stands at a massive £3,781 towards our £5,000 target.
A couple of weeks a go, Dexter Montague LLP solicitors held their annual charity quiz with half the proceeds being donated to the JCI Reading guide dog campaign - a brilliant £260 - through quiz entry, raffle, name the dog competition and donations - a huge thanks has to go to Dexter Montague LLP Solicitors who hosted the event and sponsored nibbles for the tables.
The main focus of my summer has to be the Yateley 10km road race series. It's been a hard journey for me - never having been the sporty type. I began training in Janaury with the first race in June. I completed the race in 1 hour 15 minutes and 33 seconds - a massive achievement for me to finish at all. It was far from easy and it's true that I was in a bit of a state - the next few days were interesting! The July race was at the beginning of the month - annoyingly i took a second longer, but it was clear all the training was paying off as I was not quite so tired at the end and it didn't take me as long to recover!
We're planning for how to continue our efforts to reach our £5,000 target? Well we have a whole storage room of donated books, so whilst the summer's here a couple of car boots will be planned, there's a possibe Christmas craft fair, some work mufti days and much more- that target of £5,000 wil be reached!!!!!
Any help you can give (however large or small) to get us closer to our £5,000 target and being able to get Jaycee on the road to his career would be most gratefully received. The final race of the road race series in just over 2 weeks time and you can sponsor me at www.just-giving.com/Clare-Franklin/
Running for 'A Miracle'
by Clare Franklin on May 27, 2013 14:55
I was lucky enough to meet Guide Dog owner Theresa at a recent networking event that I attended. Theresa was there to publicise the work of Guide Dogs, particularly her work with large corporate firms, but she spoke openly about her relationship with her current Guide Dog 'Rikki' whose been with her now over 5 and a half years. Theresa summed up 'Rikki' in two short words - 'a miracle' - making her indpenedent and confident to live her life to the full. Theresa told me all about how Rikki has no fear of guiding Theresa around London Underground stations, hopping on and off all sorts of public transport even in rush hour and how Rikki loves new places and new environments - characteristics that match very well with Theres'a job which takes her all over the South of England.
As my friends, family and colleagues will know, Guide Dogs has for some time been a cause I have felt very passionately about, since I committed to raise £5,000 for Guide Dogs back in late 2011. I've been really lucky to have received support from many people be it through donations of unwanted clothing, books, bric a brac, attendance at quizs or participation in competitions.
A huge thanks needs to go particularly to my JCI friends, notably Steve Wells who has helped with organisation of events and Lynda Harwood who herself raised £1,000 by running the Tough Mudder race earlier this year.
We now stand at approiamately £3,200 raised and banked for Guide Dogs.
In just nine days time I'll be stepping out on my latest quest to raise further funds, taking us, hopefully, one huge leap forward towards the £5,000 target. A week this Wednesday, I shall be taking part in the first 10k race of the Yateley Road Race Series - with the 2nd and 3rd races being on the first Wednesday of July and August. Anybody who knows me will know that sports is not my first love and certainly not something that comes naturally to me, and possibly never will!
I'd like to ask everyone to help JCI get that little bit closer to the £5,000 target by donating what you can towards sponsoring me to complete these three 10k runs. Every last penny and pound count.
Donations and sponsorship can be made using the fi=ollowing link www.justgiving.com/Clare-Franklin
Thanks for all your support!
Nuts Challenge Training in Aid of Guide Dogs - Week 5, 6 and 7
by Lynda Harwood on February 22, 2013 16:47
We've officially got 7 days and counting until race day! We can't believe how quickly the last two months have gone by, but we can't wait to finally be participating in the Nut Challenge race after all our hard work and training.
At time of writing, we have raised £530.58 which we are all delighted with and which will get us ever closer to naming our very own guide dog puppy.
Dan, Gavin and I have been continuing with our training as well as starting to think about the race day itself...more specifically the cold weather!
Gavin is already used to running and cycling in all weathers so he is well prepared, however Dan and I had to purchase some thermal sportswear from a well-known sports retailer yesterday. We are now ready for the race and even have padded, fingerless cycling gloves (to overcome the climbing obstacles) and cycling socks to keep the heat in....who knew you could buy cycling socks!
We also have our Guide Dogs t-shirts ready for the race thanks to the Guide Dogs Events Team. The photo above is of our team meeting in sunny Weymouth last weekend.
The other piece of good news is that my article on our Guide Dogs fundraising challenge will soon be published in World Dog magazine. World Dog magazine is edited and produced by JCI Dublin member, Thaynan Mariano Costa who JCI Reading have worked closely with over the past 6 months, in order to raise awareness of Guide Dogs for the Blind in the UK as well as JCI Reading's fundraising for the cause.
A big thank you to all who have donated and sponsored us for Guide Dogs, a fantastic charity which provides mobility and freedom to blind and partially sighted people as well as campaigns for the rights of people with visual impairment. In addition, few people realise that Guide Dogs also educate the public about eye care and funds eye disease research. I think Guide Dogs' visions sums up the charity and its work perfectly:
"We will not rest until blind and partially sighted people can enjoy the same freedom of movement as everyone else."
All in all, it has been an exciting few weeks for Dan, Gavin and I which has included lots of training and preparation for the challenge next Saturday.
Remember you can donate via our fundraising page at www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/JCIReading4GuideDogs
Wish us well everyone!
Lynda, Dan and Gavin
Back home from JCI today
by Clare Franklin on February 16, 2013 21:50
Nuts Challenge Training in Aid of Guide Dogs - Week 2 and 3
by Lynda Harwood on January 27, 2013 15:50
It's now the end of our 3rd week of training and we have 35 days to go until our Nuts Challenge...the time is flying by!
Last week we had to move our training indoors due to the snowy weather in the South East...we didn't want to take any chances slipping on the snow and ice and doing ourselves an injury, especially as we get closer to D-Day!
Week 2 saw Gavin fly off to Amsterdam for work, so training was put on hold for him until he returned. However, he's certainly made up for it now with 20km cycles reaching 33mph (!) and lots of rowing and cycling in between.
Dan's been hitting the gym almost every day after work, running and training with weights as well as taking up 5-a-side football. Unfortunately Dan dislocated his knee this week so has to rest for the next few days. He's hoping to be back up and running next week but we'll have to wait and see what the Doctor says. We'll keep you posted.
As for me, I now have a new found love for swimming and it's all because of the snow! As I couldn't get out running in the snow, I started to think about the next best alternative. I'm not really a big fan of the gym and would prefer to try another sport so I thought I'd give swimming a shot...and low and behold I've found my new favourite sport! In fact, I'm off to the swimming pool in a minute for my third swim of the week :-)
All in all, we've had a mixed bag with our training over the past two weeks but we're all still really determined and have been encouraging each other with our "Nuts Challenge" Whatsapp messages! Go team!:-)
You can sponsor us at www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/JCIReading4GuideDogs with all money raised going towards our £5,000 target this year for Guide Dogs.
Thank you all for your support and kind donations,
Lynda, Dan and Gavin
Nuts Challenge Training in Aid of Guide Dogs - Week 1
by Lynda Harwood on January 13, 2013 21:13
Dan, Gavin and I have now finished our first week of training for the "Nuts Challenge" and have officially 47 days before we take part in the muddy, arduous military assault course to raise £500 for Guide Dogs for the Blind - JCI Reading's Charity of the Year
Unfortunately my training had to be postponed this week as I came down with a horrible bout of the flu...perfect timing, eh?! However, Dan and Gavin have been doing the sponsors proud with lots of training. There has been 20km bike rides, 10km runs most days as well as weight training, trips to the gym and protein shakes. My training officially starts tomorrow with a run after work to see how far I can actually run without stopping for a breather J I'll let you know how I get on next week!
I spoke with Sonia, the Nuts Challenge organiser, this week as well as JCI Manchester's Caroline McCarron, who completed the Tough Mudder last year, to gain some hints and tips for training. Caroline's advice was to start training as early as possible and build up your training slowly but surely. Sonia explained that lots of running and cardio will get me through the toughest parts of the course as well as building up my arm muscles to overcome obstacles such as the cargo nets and rope swings! Eek! Nevertheless, the best piece of advice was from Caroline who added "Simply enjoy it!" That's what it's all about - doing a challenge as part of a team which will raise money for a great charity and enjoying every minute of it from training to finish.
Please help us raise money for Guide Dogs and sponsor us as we train and participate in one of the toughest military assault courses! www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/JCIReading4GuideDogs
We appreciate your support, Lynda, Danand Gavin
Something to talk about... the JCI Reading Public Speaking Club
by Clare Franklin on January 6, 2013 20:32
Public Speaking? 'No thank you!' - That would have been my answer until very recently, Although I would be telling you a lie if I said I love public speaking now and jump at every opportunity. Nevertheless, the fact that I am now able to put together a presentation and overcome my nerves to deliver it is largely, if not exclusively, down to my JCI Reading membership.
As a lawyer, many people are surprised when I tell them that I don't do a lot of public speaking. My role mainly involves client face-to-face contact , never taking me into the courtroom and rarely putting me in front of large audiences.
JCI Reading's personal development programme of workshops covering debating, public speaking, presentation skills and spontaneous speech gave me the opportunity to 'have a go' and practice such skills, thus, allowing me to make mistakes in a 'safe environment' -where the reputation of my employer was not on my shoulders, and where the faces listening are those of my JCI colleagues, not prospective clients or business contacts. Such practice led me to a point in my professional career where I felt confident to deliver legal presentations to local interest groups in 2012.
It's always good to keep encouraging ourselves to develop and it was with this in mind that I committed to a number of public speaking engagements at the JCI National Convention in Belfast in November last year. As a 'first timer' at a national convention I dived in and took advantage of all the opportunities open to me - such as representing JCI Reading in the national extempore (spontaneous speaking) competition and delivering a presentation to the National Council meeting about JCI Reading's Guide Dogs fundraising and awareness raising project which is running throughout 2012 and 2013. As well as enjoying the convention immensely, having opportunities to again practice my public speaking skills in front of different audiences was of great value to me - and has even made me consider doing more spontaneous speaking work!
That's what JCI Reading is all about - gaining skills and developing ourselves whilst meeting people and having a good time. I invite anyone in the Reading area to contact us and come along and see what JCI Reading has to offer you.
JCI UK wins Queen's Jubilee Award
by Stephen Wells 2011-12 President of JCI Reading, and Founder of www.aimtosucceed.co.uk on December 12, 2012 11:59
Breaking news! - Just recived in an email from Solveig (JCI UK National President)
JCI UK is awarded the Queen's Jubilee Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award given to voluntary organisation. I'm just blown away. This is the year the UK rediscovered volunteering through the Olympic Games and its such an honor to receive this award. You can read more about it here: http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/news/sixty-awards-sixty-years-queens-diamond-jubilee-award-celebrates-great-british-year-volunteering
A First-timer at JCI UK National Convention 2012 in Belfast
by Lynda Harwood on December 6, 2012 10:02
Some of us at JCI Reading have recently returned from the annual JCI UK National Convention which was held in Belfast last weekend.
This was my first time attending a JCI UK National Convention and what a great experience it was!
The conference was held at the Hilton hotel in Belfast with a wide variety of events from training, business lectures, a treasure hunt around the city and, not to forget, the fantastic JCI Gala Dinner and Awards held in the recreation of the Titanic ballroom at the Titanic Belfast Museum.
The weekend started on Friday afternoon with registration, networking and catching up with fellow JCIers. I previously lived in Glasgow so it was great to catch up with my JCI Glasgow friends.
In the afternoon, I took part in a business mentoring session with young entrepreneurs from the Princes Trust. It was great to meet so many enthusiastic, like-minded young business people to share my experiences and offer advice of setting up a small business.
The evening entertainment was held at the Ulster reform club with traditional Irish music and food as well as an extempore competition (when you have to speak for two minutes about an object which you pick from a bag - much more difficult than it sounds!) Our very own Clare form JCI Reading participated in the competition and did a great job managing to talking about hair clips (!) for two minutes and making them sound interesting!
Our Saturday was filled with sightseeing, business and professional development lectures, networking as well as the all important JCI Gala Dinner and Awards. Everyone was dressed to the nines and had a fantastic evening…it’s not every Saturday night you get to attend a fantastic dinner and awards ceremony in a recreation of the Titanic ballroom!
Sunday was a time for recovering from the night before, some more sightseeing and shopping at the Christmas market next to the town hall. Then it was time to say our Goodbyes until we all get together at the next conference in Monaco in June.
As a first timer to the UK Convention, I had heard a lot beforehand about how good the conventions were. My expectations were high and JCI Belfast delivered with a fantastic JCI UK Convention in 2012! Well Done! I’m already thinking about the next UK convention in Leeds for November 2013….