Southampton Junior Chamber's rising stars are tops for fun and national success

Daily Echo: Junior Chamber International Southampton's winning team. Junior Chamber International Southampton's winning team.

SOUTHAMPTON’S business future is looking bright after the city’s young rising stars rounded off a successful year with a host of awards. Junior Chamber International (JCI) Southampton swept the board at a national convention following the launch of a successful jobs academy last year.

The Southampton chamber won six awards at the National Convention 2013 in Oulton Hall, Leeds – more than any other chamber in the UK.

Judges were looking for the chambers that could demonstrate success from an outstanding strategic plan set at the beginning of the year, and training, social, community, and individual development had to be evidenced throughout the year.

Michael Steel was awarded most outstanding president by faciliting a growth of strength of the chamber, its members and offerings through leaving a lasting legacy.

The most outstanding new member award went to James Lambert, who impressed the judges with his local and national community work.

The chamber’s Membership Benefit Card was awarded the most outstanding local growth and developing programme category. The card offers discount at businesses in Southampton and is the first of its kind in the UK.

The Monopoly event with JCI Cambridge was handed the award for most outstanding inter-organisation collaboration project, which focused on a social event in London following the path of Monopoly pieces for charity.

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Michael Steel, Patrick McCrae and Ricky Kothari won the best debating team of the year. An open debating competition was held for teams to debate topics ranging from whether children should believe in Santa to whether banks should close at weekends.

JCI Southampton launched the jobs academy in partnership with Costa Coffee last year, and it was awarded the best long-term community development programme at the convention.

Michael Steel, JCI Southampton president, said: “I am absolutely thrilled that we at JCI Southampton have been recognised for our work in 2013. It has been truly inspiring to work alongside so many motivated young people in the city wanting to achieve and make a difference in their community.

“From entrepreneur workshops with Solent University students, professional development training events to a pirate boat party raising money for Cystic Fibrosis at Southampton General Hospital – the year has been a rollercoaster of fun and success.

“These awards confirm resolutely that Junior Chamber in Southampton is leading the way across the UK in membership growth, innovative projects and the development of young professionals in the city.

“Personally, I am extremely proud to have served as president and look forward to supporting the 2014 team which will achieve, I am positive, further success.”

The winners:

  • Most Outstanding President: Michael Steel
  • Most Outstanding New Member: James Lambert
  • Most Outstanding Local Growth & Developing Programme: The Membership Benefit Card
  • Most Outstanding Inter-Organisation Collaboration Project: Monopoly Event with JCI Cambridge
  • Best Long-Term Community Development Programme: The Costa Coffee Academy
  • Best Debating Team: Michael Steel with Patrick McCrae and Ricky Kothari.

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