Member Monday #001

Every Monday we profile one of our Members. This week in our inaugural feature we break the rules before we have started, as we get the ball rolling by profiling a non-member, in our Secretary, Jack Birley.

Who are you? I am Jack Birley, and our members will recognise me as Secretary of The Athenaeum, a position I have held since 2017.

What is your greatest achievement? In August 2018 I was fortunate enough (or in some cases ‘unfortunate’ enough) to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, which was a mesmerising experience. Before my training for the climb I had not even made it up Snowdon so it was perhaps somewhat of an overreach, but despite this, myself and four close friends made it to the summit. In doing so we raised just shy of £5,000.00 for SANDS (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity), much of which came from the incredible generosity of our members, for which I’ll forever be indebted.

Can you give one interesting fact about yourself? I’m on a self-enforced climbing hiatus at the moment, but following on from the last question one of my goals is to climb five of the seven summits. The two others being Mt Vinson (Heading to the south pole? I’ll Pass) and Mt Everest (I know my limits and it’s out of my league, physically and financially!).

What brought you to The Athenaeum? Fate! I’d left school at 15 after concluding that despite having the grades proceeding in the traditional route wasn’t for me at that time. At this point, I pursued work-based learning and completed an NVQ in business admin, Levels 2 and 3, after which I parted ways with the company I had been working for. Shortly after, at the ripe old age of 17, the recruitment agency I had been using called me to say that I had been offered a two-week temporary contract at The Athenaeum. I confess I had to consult my friend google for a quick introduction, but after that I accepted and well the rest is history.

Is there anything you would like to change about the Athenaeum? I’ll tread carefully in answering this question for obvious reasons! One thing that I believe we can improve on is the facilitation of members’ connections to organisations they are involved in for the benefit of both them and the Club. What I mean by this is that we are blessed with members from all walks of life who are involved with many organisations, either through business or personal involvement, and these links perhaps are not necessarily being explored to their full potential. There is a piece of work to be done, but it’s also one for our members to ponder. If you are involved in an organisation, either through business or personally, how can the Athenaeum help?

What would you say to anyone considering joining the Club? Imagine the possibilities and experiences that might open up to you as a member of The Athenaeum. If you are interest get in touch and I’d be happy to discuss membership and help you understand more of what you’d get out of membership here.