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11th Feb, 2014

Marketing: For the Un-Common Businessman (And Businesswoman) - Review
by Clare Franklin on February 11, 2014 16:49


What a start to JCI Reading’s Personal Development workshop series!

A fabulous new venue for us, a trainer from the top of his game and a workshop with something for everyone.

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We had been eagerly anticipating our first workshop in our new venue – Reading Business Centre on the 8th Floor of Fountain House in Reading. The venue is perfect for our professional workshops and are going to compliment the high calibre of trainers that we attract. We look forward to future workshops in the modern and bright surroundings of the centre and are grateful for the centre’s support.


Events » Training courses » Marketing-Marce.jpgOur trainer for the evening was Marce Colucci, Managing Director of Lead Beyond Ltd – an expert in marketing. Marce had kindly offered his time to present a workshop having met one of our members at a local Toastmasters group. His workshop was so informative and engaging that we look forward to welcoming Marce again later this year.

“Marketing: For the Un-Common Businessman (And Businesswoman)” was well pitched and applicable for all attendees. The attendees all came from different backgrounds and Marce’s presentation had something for everyone – those with businesses of their own already, the employees amongst us, those with business plans for the future, those with charitable interests and the hobbyists among us wanting to up our games.

Marce covered the concepts of perceived value, being different, finding niche marketing, target markets, the marketing journey, the marketing funnel and the marketing machine.

Events » Training courses » Marketing-Atendees2.jpgEveryone in the seminar room that night would have taken away different messages and information. For me, as an employee and a hobbyist wanting to set my crafting business onto a more professional footing, most of the information was new to me, but the big ideas that came out of the evening for me were around building authority and nurturing sages of the marketing journey. As I was sat in the workshop, ideas were coming to me about how I could use facebook and twitter more effectively to build awareness of my crafted products and spread the word about them.


We are now in conversations with Marce about future workshops within his field of marketing, all of which are huge – so watch this space for details of our next workshop in this and other topics.



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1st Feb, 2014

A journey through last year - a review of 2013 at JCI Reading
by Faisal Mooraby on February 1, 2014 01:29


2013 has been a year of challenge for JCI Reading members. We decided to revamp the chapter in order to reflect the aspirations and needs of it's members. After all, what better year for redefinition to choose than the 50th Anniversary of the chapter. Our new motto has been to become better leaders through working together, be active and have fun. Fun is important because only when what you do has a sense of liking, comes motivation.

A lot of the activities we organised have improved our leadership and management skills. Behind the scene of organising these events requires a lot of negotiation, marketing, planning and sometimes delegating. JCI gives us opportunities to gain these skills through organising events and learn others through trainings and workshops.

Color Run

We started off with a very unusual, yet motivating first meeting, thanks to Dexter Dash (2014 JCI London President). We had our discussion around a major event in London - the Color Run. The meeting was about redefining ourselves and to keep the motivation level high, we enrolled in a challenging activity (the run) and yet fun (the color). It's a meeting we will for sure not forget.

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Gala Dinner

To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of JCI Reading, senators and past members organised a Gala Dinner at the lovely Wokefield Park Hotel in Reading. We had an appropriate theme, which also ring into the fact that we recreated ourselves: "Celebrating the Past - Creating the future". We had past presidents of spanning 6 decades of the existence of JCI Reading present. It was a lovely opportunity to get insight of what JCI Reading was in the past and what were the opportunities and aspirations of the members then. A post will be dedicated to the gala event - so keep an eye on our blog.

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Networking Workshop

Our first workshop was delivered by Julian Lewis of Positive Computing. Julian delivered a fascinating workshop of how to become better Business Networker. We had tips on where to pin our name badges, how to start a conversation and how to build relationship with potential clients or partners. Here is the interview of Julian on the night.


Public Speaking with Confidence

Our second training was delivered by Sarah Beckwith, JCI UK Vice President of Membership 2013. Sarah delivered a highly interactive training on public speaking and how we can get confident at it. She taught us how to stand, make use of effective body language, and how to use our voice. Here is Sarah's interview on the night:


Spanish Learning

At JCI you can decide to learn, in a team of like-minded individuals, anything constructive. We decided to learn Spanish as a new language. Lynda, one of our members went the extra mile to get us a tutor who teaches us every fortnight. I have to say that learning Spanish is not that easy, but it certainly is fun. I can testify though that the whole process has a bonding effect on our team. If you want a team building activity, why not get your team to learn a new language - a tip from me.

Lynda will write a blog on the topic in the coming future.

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Clare, another of our members, orgnanised a very successful bowling event which caught the eyes of two guests, Alex and Chris. We had fun, a few tears with our disappointing scores (that was me) and sounds of cheers (mainly from our past President Steve). 

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2013 was a very challenging, yet fun year at JCI Reading. We have strengthen the bond within our team and learnt essential skills to become leaders in our community or field. 2013 was the year we celebrated the past and to create the future. 2014 will be the year of more challenges - but with challenges come more opportunities to make us better leaders. Keep visiting our blog to keep up with our journey.

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16th Jan, 2014

Partnership with Reading Business Centre
by Stephen Wells 2011-12 President of JCI Reading, and Founder of on January 16, 2014 20:06


JCI Reading is pleased to announce our latest business partnership with Reading Business Centre (at Fountain House).

Reading Business Centre is a hub for Start-ups and SME’s looking to collaborate in a modern cost effective business centre. They have kindly agreed to support JCI Reading with the provision of professional training and meeting facilities for our monthly training sessions.

Stephen Wells (Founder of AIM to Succeed and 2011/12 President of JCI Reading)

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank, both personally and on behalf of JCI Reading, Nick and Alex for their support.

This is just what JCI Reading has been looking to find for the last few years. A regular meeting and training facility that is a hub for businesses in the Reading area.

Having a professional facility we can use regularly will enable us to focus our efforts on delivering personal and professional development rather than spending time finding suitable locations for our sessions.

We look forward to hosting our training events and workshops at the Reading Business Centre ( as we grow the chamber.  ”

Alex Hickman  (Director of Reading Business Centre)

“Reading Business Centre has been created to be a hub for businesses and entrepreneurship in Reading, Berkshire and the Thames Valley.

The concept has always been to support and develop the Reading Business Community therefore being asked to support JCI Reading (and the opportunities they provide) allows us to show that is more than just a talk.

We are excited to help bring together young professionals and businesses in this way and look forward to helping JCI Reading grow throughout 2014.”


The first session being hosted at the Reading Business Centre is JCI Reading Marketing Workshop on Thursday 30th January 2014


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25th Aug, 2013

JCI Reading 50th Anniversary Gala Event
by Stephen Wells 2011-12 President of JCI Reading, and Founder of on August 25, 2013 16:21


JCI Reading is proud to be hosting it's 50th Anniversary Gala Event on Saturday 5th October

Tickets are now on sale with the Earlybird Tickets available until 5th September.

For full details and booking information check out the events page 

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23rd Jul, 2013

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 




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27th May, 2013

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

Thanks for all your support! 

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22nd Feb, 2013

Nuts Challenge Training in Aid of Guide Dogs - Week 5, 6 and 7
by Lynda Harwood on February 22, 2013 16:47


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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

 Wish us well everyone!

 Lynda, Dan and Gavin



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16th Feb, 2013

Back home from JCI today
by Clare Franklin on February 16, 2013 21:50



Events » Training courses » impact.jpgWhere do I start this evening in telling you about my JCI day! I've not long got home from Birmingham - having attended national JCI training-JCI Achieve and JCI Impact. That's the great thing about joining your local JCI chamber-you're joining a whole national and international membership.

I'll be honest with you-it was an early start and yes, I am late home but it was most definitely worth it. Just like the previous JCI Presenter course I attended, today's courses were of high quality and delivered by enthusiastic and knowledgeable JCI members. The JCI official training courses are worth JCI membership in themselves-for just £10 per month I can sign up to these great personal development opportunities for a very small fee or even in some cases, like today, free-as well as enjoying my local chamber's activities.

JCI's mission is 'to provide development opportunities that empower young people to create positive change'. My interests in community projects are not new -JCI Reading have been fundraising for Guide Dogs for the Blind for a year now - our aim being to raise £5,000 to sponsor a guide dog puppy. For a while though, i've been thinking about what comes next for me in JCI and how I can take my community skills further, become an active citizen in society and make a positive change in society in a way other than just purely fundraising.

Today I have learnt the essential processes to identify a problem in my local community free from my own perceptions, but based instead on fact, how to carry out a cause and needs assessment to get to the route of the problem and develop a project designed to specifically address the root cause of the problem, not purely the symptoms of it.

Do I yet know what JCI Reading's next project will be? No. My head is whirling round and round with ideas for possible community projects and my research has started with the purchase of a local newspaper and will continue at the next project meeting of JCI Reading - open to anyone interested in JCI Reading or even just in getting involved in such a community project.

The last thing to say is that it was great to meet up with JCI members from other parts of the country - London, Leeds, Edinburgh, Liverpool and Sheffield - old and new faces - I hope they all enjoyed the day as much as I did and all had safe journeys home!


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27th Jan, 2013

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 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

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13th Jan, 2013

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!

We appreciate your support, Lynda, Danand Gavin

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