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1st Apr, 2014

April Awareness Month - Case Study 1
by James Mitchell on April 1, 2014 11:27


Our Aim in our April Awareness Month will be to share a Case Study of the work Wintercomfort does for the Cambridge community. More to follow!


Imagine living a full life, rich in different experiences. You left school at 15 to work as a Silver Service waiter before serving for 12 years in the British Army – in places such as Germany and Northern Ireland. Where would you see yourself at 60? Celebrating your birthday surrounded by family and friends? Looking forward to your retirement? Sleeping in a wartime ‘pillbox’ along the River Cam with no-where else to go for food or shelter?

In 2012 Adie fell behind with his rent and was thrown out of his home. He camped out for a cold eight months between September and April. “When you’re homeless you are at the bottom of the pile and the only way is up. If you can’t change things, at least you can try to improve the things you can. But you can’t do everything on your own.” And that’s where Wintercomfort comes in.

People say that Wintercomfort acts as a signpost to the many other homeless services in the city. Adie started coming to Wintercomfort for breakfast and after meeting an old friend who works for the Street Outreach Team, he was interviewed for Cyrenians’ accommodation: a perfect example of joined up services working together to help someone.

“Wintercomfort is a godsend, if it’s used as it should be. It points people in the right direction but you have to be prepared to ask for help.” For many people it can be hard to know where to turn when they become homeless. Practical and approachable, Adie has found that people talk to him when they arrive at Wintercomfort and that he is able to suggest which person to approach for advice and support.

Imagine being faced with the terrifying prospect of being homeless. What would you do? Give up? Close yourself off from the rest of the world? Find yourself being awarded a certificate for being the most positive person at Wintercomfort?

“I like doing, being busy, helping out wherever I can”. At Wintercomfort Adie has volunteered in the food4food café; he’s involved in Friday cookery classes and the City Rangers gardening project; and he makes a point of attending every service user forum. “I’ve been at the bottom, and I’m going up.”

Notes: Adie’s rent is currently £125 pw. If he were to work he could lose his housing benefit, end up with less money and be unable to pay his rent.

When on JCA Adie was applying for up to 30 jobs a week. He volunteered for 25-30 hours at a charity shop with the prospect of a job at the end of his time there. The Jobcentre felt that he was not doing enough to look for work.

Adie’s landlady lost her husband and in order to keep her business would have had to have work done around the building totalling approximately £7,000. Her tenants got together, estimated the materials needed would cost £500 and provided the labour for free. 

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11th Mar, 2014

A new member's experience of the JCI UK Marketing Academy 2014
by Jenny Willatt on March 11, 2014 17:24


Hello JCI Cambridge members!

My name is Izzy Maxwell Watts and I recently became a JCI Cambridge member. When I told my colleagues at work that I was choosing to spend my weekend at a conference they thought I was crazy. But I did. Along with another 17 young enthusiastic members of JCI who travelled to Birmingham to take part in the JCI UK Marketing Academy 2014. This Academy was also my first ever JCI UK national event, and I was excited to see what JCI had to offer outside of Cambridge! 

The JCI team brought us a weekend of high quality, engaging and valuable training in marketing. The weekend started with warm welcomes, lots of networking and weird tea.

Speakers on day one included our very own Kate Senter, the JCI National President, who talked about PR and gave us tips on how to create the best content. She was followed by Dave Reed from marketing agency, Planet 9, who got us all clued up on Social Media. JCI Senator Amanda Fitzsimmons kindly joined us for the day. Her presentation made us aware of the balance between stakeholder engagement and the marketing mix. The day ended with pizza and a few drinks around the city centre!

Day two began with a few blurry eyes but lots of enthusiasm. We were given more fantastic presentations by Kirstie Draper, the JCI National Marketing Director, who showed us the importance of consistency in branding. National Web Director Paul Thwaite also gave us a tour around the JCI website and gave inspiring ideas for showcasing content on our chamber pages. Sofie Sandell, who has been a member of JCI for 10 years, ended the weekend. Sofie used her expertise in digital marketing to give us an inspired talk on how to provide information that reaches your audience in a world where we get “too much information (TMI)”. 

The JCI team created a really informative and fun program and they made sure that we were all getting the most out of the weekend. I learned so much and laughed all weekend! If you are a JCI member and you haven’t yet been to the Marketing Academy, then I highly recommend it. If you are not a JCI member, I recommend becoming one, just so you can go to the Academy…you’ll be hooked!

Izzy Maxwell Watts

New JCI Cambridge Member

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6th Feb, 2014

Charity of the year for 2014, WinterComfort
by James Mitchell on February 6, 2014 11:04


Dear JCI Cambridge Members!

I would like to take a moment to introduce to you our charity of the year for 2014, WinterComfort.

WinterComfort are a local charity working to help those that are homeless or at risk of losing their home in Cambridge. The whole JCI Cambridge council felt that homelessness was something we all should know more about, and that it was a issue prominent in Cambridge that we would like to support.

I am pleased to say that we have had our first initial meeting with WinterComfort and the scope for getting involved and making a difference is massive! I am so excited to get as many of you as possible on board this year, and there is a wide range of ways in which you could do this.

Of course, I intend to organise a good range of fund-raising and awareness building activities for you to get involved with throughout the year, with April being our 'Charity Awareness Month'. But on top of our own events, WinterComfort are really keen to get members on board that would like to spend time helping their clients through things like mentoring, CV writing and English speaking. We also are looking to organise a year long clothing and sundries collection to help WinterComfort continue to offer their daily welfare services.

Whilst our charity events will be listed on the main JCI Cambridge events schedule, I will also be looking throughout the year for members that may want to give some time to help support the services offered at WinterComfort.

Whether you can only give a few hours support, are really keen to get on board or simply want to find out a bit more, I would love you to come along to our charity introduction, to be held before the main speaker at our business event on Thursday 20th March, at Eversheds.

Please feel free to email me at at any time, I would love to chat all things WinterComfort with you.

I very much look forward to sharing our in depth plans with you in a few weeks time and hope that lots of you will be enthusiastic about getting involved in 2014!

Kelly Tennick

Community Director, JCI Cambridge



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24th Dec, 2013

Merry Christmas from JCI Cambridge
by Jenny Willatt on December 24, 2013 14:40



Hold your horses (or reindeers) – it’s Christmas! I thought I would come to you with this great news in case you had missed it in all the social media and television channels, newspapers, calendars and so on. Basically, if you have been living under a rock or suffer from memory loss I would like you to know that the holidays are finally here. You can come out and celebrate now!

JCI Cambridge held a Christmas dinner a few weeks ago at Côte Brasserie. Social Director Howard Felstead asked us not to dilly dally and to hold on to our woolly hats and also to wear a Santa hat and also to wear a Christmas jumper and also to… Well, there were so many things to think about that I just lost track. Unfortunately for him, I am slightly rebellious so I did not wear a hat or Christmas jumper. I did, however, show up to spread Christmas joy and so on. Twas a lovely dinner, which also happened to be the last JCI event of the year for James Mitchell as President of JCI Cambridge. Mr. Felstead held a speech and thanked him ever so much for his work this past year and we all clapped our hands off, obviously. Thank you James. I think I speak for everyone when I say that you are an inspiration with your enthusiasm and big heart. Thank you for being President of JCI Cambridge 2013.

Now it’s time for Jenny Willatt to take over the role as President of JCI Cambridge and I am convinced that she will do an amazing job. Just like James Mitchell, she has the ability to inspire others just by being herself.

Merry Christmas everyone and a Happy New Year! 


Anna Söderbom is your average JCI Cambridge member. She moved from Stockholm to Cambridge in 2012 and after a few months she joined JCI when she heard the news about there being a gala dinner. She has not regretted it.

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6th Aug, 2013

Relax in the name of charity
by Laura Wing on August 6, 2013 09:45


Local networking group JCI Cambridge is teaming up with SMART Massage to hold a massage-athon to raise money for its charity of the year, Mind in Cambridgeshire.

The event will be held at health food shop Revital, Bridge Street, Cambridge on Saturday 10 August at 10.00am and will see sports massage therapist Kelly Tennick, owner of SMART MASSAGE, complete 262 minutes of massage in one day. Kelly will be offering members of the public ten minute back and shoulder massages in return for a donation to Mind in Cambridgeshire.

Kelly, who also specialises in equine massage and is community director at JCI Cambridge, said: “I’m really excited to be taking on this challenge. When I was thinking of ways to raise money for JCI Cambridge’s charity of the year, I knew I wanted to use my professional skills to help. I need 27 willing people to achieve my target of 262 minutes of massage in one day and hope the Revital’s customers are in the giving spirit on 10 August!”

At the start of 2013, JCI Cambridge pledged its support to Mind in Cambridgeshire through volunteer time and raising vital funds for the charity. It also aimed to send eight of its members on the accredited Mental Health First Aid Course to help them recognise the early signs of mental health problems in young people. It is hoped the massage-athon will help fund two members to take part in this course.

James Mitchell, president of JCI Cambridge, said: “Mental health is something that JCI Cambridge is really passionate about. We are pleased to be working with Mind in Cambridgeshire to increase awareness of mental health issues in the local community and hope to raise enough money from the massage-athon to send some of our members on this course.”

To find out more about the massage-athon visit 

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14th Jun, 2013

June's Engage is here!
by Laura Wing on June 14, 2013 14:20


The June edition of Engage has landed!

Click on the magazine below to find about our July business speaker James Boon, our mental health first aid course and all our usual member of the month, newest member and JCI be better highlights!

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19th Apr, 2013

Member's Corner: Taxing times with Adam Fernandes of UHY WKH
by Laura Wing on April 19, 2013 09:12


JCI Member’s Corner with Adam Fernandes

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April Fools Day is long gone, and with it came the start of a new fiscal year. Are we going to open the door with a smile when the tax man comes knocking?!

April is probably one of the busiest times for accountants. Adam Fernandes from accountancy UHY WKH Partnership highlights issues and concerns regarding taxes and making the most out of your money.

Taxing Times

What’s fair when it comes to tax?

There is much debate in the national press and the broadcast media about tax avoidance and tax evasion, and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is always keen to trumpet its victories against avoiders and evaders. But are the headlines we see giving a true picture of the situation and are HMRC’s wins the exception rather than the rule?

Firstly, let’s consider the difference between tax evasion, which is outside of the law, and tax avoidance, which is within an interpretation of the law. Evasion covers those deliberate acts by taxpayers to understate profits or other taxable transactions by making false returns, or omitting to make returns at all, to HMRC. Such activity is a criminal offence, although HMRC does not prosecute all offenders, taking the pragmatic approach of collecting the cash, rather than making an example of wrong-doers.

Avoidance relies on differing interpretations of the law by HMRC and taxpayers, or, more usually, their advisors. The UK’s tax law is complex and so is open to debate as to what aspects actually mean or were intended to mean when passed by Parliament. Avoidance is usually an interpretation with which HMRC does not agree.

There are tensions within the tax system caused by the position that differing types of profits and gains are taxed at different rates. Is there any sense in an employee paying more in national insurance contributions than a self-employed person, when both could be carrying out similar work? Or somebody, who acquires a house, refurbishes it, then sells it, paying a different rate of tax from a landlord, who, having let a house for a few years, makes a gain when he sells it? Each taxpayer surely has the right within the constraints of the law to plan his affairs in such a way as to minimise his tax charge. If Parliament wanted to make a level playing field, it should start by eradicating the humps and lumps caused by the tax law that it makes.

So, is it fair that HMRC should set about confusing evasion with avoidance? Sure, HMRC would like a compliant taxpayer group, all paying tax at source on a frequent basis and it would prefer that all individuals were paid via PAYE, but that’s just for ease of administration, as most of the work in that set up is carried out by employers. It’s unacceptable for the better off in society to pay tax at a lower rate than the less well off, but is it right for the well off to pay at a much higher rate than those further down the earnings scale?

The high earners have more room for manoeuvre than low earners and the ability to pay for the services of those who are able to help them manoeuvre. With the motivation to pay less tax and the means by which to achieve this, it’s no surprise that many do this, legally, without resorting to evasion. As HMRC’s hands are tied by the laws made by Parliament and all of the time it is being urged on by politicians and the press to collect more tax, there is perhaps little surprise in its tactics of tarring with the same brush all efforts to pay other than the maximum amount of tax.

If you like to continue this debate or air your views on this matter, feel free to tweet me @AdamBFernandes. Alternatively if you’d like some ideas on how you could avoid paying the maximum amount of tax e-mail me on

Adam Fernandes

Twitter: @AdamBFernandes


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4th Apr, 2013

April's Engage has landed!
by Laura Wing on April 4, 2013 09:24


The April issue of Engage is out now!

Catch up with all things JCI Cambridge - find out about our new charity of the year and how you can get involved, our latest business speaker and bring yourself up to date with our mentioring scheme. 

Click on the magainze to read Engage online or join us at one of our events in April to pick up your hard copy.

April issue of Engage

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13th Mar, 2013

Member of the month - Kelly Tennick
by Laura Wing on March 13, 2013 17:45


Our co-community director Kelly Tennick has been making waves since she took on her JCI role.

Take a peek into her daily life here!

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Kelly is a sports massage and remedial therapist and owner of SMART Massage. She assists the council with JCI projects and recently attended the JCI UK Marketing Academy.

There is no such thing as a typical day in my job! I am a human and equine sports massage therapist and run my own business, SMART Massage. 

The three services I offer are a mobile equine sports massage service, a weekly human sports massage clinic and corporate massage service. My weekly clinic, held on a Tuesday, is a regular event in my diary. The rest of my time is spent maintaining client relationships, business development, and marketing and PR. Being flexible is key!

With a mixed background in both health and social care and horse care, my business originally started with just equine massage services. However, I quickly realised that, for my business to grow, I needed to diversify into the human massage market too. 

I really enjoy the two different sides to my business as it allows me to continue my passion of working with horses, but also provides me with the enjoyment I get from working with people. I am really proud of what I have achieved and my career highlight so far is definitely starting my own business!

I have been a member of JCI for just over a year, and my life has definitely changed for the better since joining. I have learnt skills to build my business, not just from the workshops and speakers, but from other members too.

I have built a fantastic network of friends and have been part of some brilliant projects and events including quiz nights, volunteering at Cambridge Beer Festival, travelling to Germany and Belfast and skydiving for Arthur Rank! I also recently went to Birmingham with the marketing team to learn about how to effectively communicate with our members. I also can’t wait to visit Monte Carlo for the European Conference in May!

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6th Mar, 2013

Passport to JCI - New to JCI? Not sure what it’s all about and want to know more?

Our special member education event on 30 April from 18.30 at Eversheds (Kett House, 1 Station Road, Cambridge CB1 2JY) could be just what you’re looking for!

Members and non-members are invited to an evening of drinks and networking, where you can find out all about JCI Cambridge and the five categories of activities we have to offer: Business, Community, International, Social and Training. Additionally, everyone who attends will be put into a raffle to win a bottle of champagne!The event is totally free and if you manage to collect the five stamps on your ‘Passport to JCI’, you will be put through to a prize draw to win a luxury package: dinner for two at The Cambridge Brewhouse (worth £100) and a full body massage for two with Finn Jordan Cambridge Spa & Beauty.

To find out if you’re a winner, you must attend our business seminar with The Big Issue’s John Bird on 14 May. All the money raised from this event will be donated to JCI Cambridge’s charity of the year, Mind in Cambridgeshire.

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Places are limited, so please make sure you register early at

Free parking, food and drink!

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