From Cornwall to Antarctica......
In January 2019, I will travel with 80 women from 26 different countries to Antarctica as a participant in Homeward Bound. We have all been selected as present and future leaders who are passionate about the environment and sustainable future. Designed by women, the leadership programme is specifically focused to advance women in STEM careers (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths), with the ambition balancing of the role of men and women in these professional sectors.
The privilege to travel to the Southern Hemisphere and to one of the most remote places on Earth is not something I am undertaking lightly. It can be a perilous journey, Drake's Passage is a notoriously unpredictable stretch of water, click the video link to see how stormy it can be! Also, once in Antarctica, conditions can be harsh and there is nowhere to get additional support quickly - it is true wilderness.
To be one of a relatively few people who will get to visit such a wild and wonderful place, brings a sense of responsibility to create a positive impact at home. In my working life, I am privileged to lead a dedicated and talented team of professionals in Cornwall Council's Environment Service; we have worked together with partners and communities to create and commence the delivery of Cornwall's Environmental Growth Strategy. As evidence for climate change and species extinctions sadly continues to increase; we have to fundamentally rethink the way we see Nature in Cornwall to play our part in ensuring we all (meaning all species and natural systems as well as humans) have a sustainable future. I have dedicated the last decade to developing personally and professionally to meet this challenge; seven years ago a programme called Natural Change transformed my view of the world; Homeward Bound will be the next catalyst to amplify and extend my capacity to lead change for my home, Cornwall.
While we are in Antarctica we will be visiting notable, beautiful and interesting landing sites. Places made famous by the great explorers and scientists, such as Scott and Shackleton as well as the legendary David Attenborough! The site visits and wildlife encounters will punctuate an intense on-board training programme to develop us as leaders and as a network for global collaboration in future.
I am making a major personal commitment by investing my savings to largely self fund my trip; boosted by some very welcome financial sponsorship from ABB - renewable energy engineering specialists and equipment support from Patagonia, Ruskovilla, Dannah, Iceland as well as Cornish companies Finisterre and Fourth Element. We are also collaborating with the 'Teach a Girl to Swim' initiative for our Polar Plunge! I have also pledged my support to Cool Earth, a brilliant Cornish based global initiative to mitigate the impacts of my travels too.
I am seeking to raise funds to support the creation of digital resources and to fund engagement events when I get back. I would like to provide a quality and intimacy of experience to colleagues and communities that will inspire minds and touch hearts; as I hope to encourage more people to feel empowered to support Nature in their personal and professional lives.
The money raised will pay for digital storage for the voyage, some recording equipment, editing capacity for materials and resources to support sharing the messages to a wide group of people when I return. Your support for my efforts would mean a huge amount to me as I undertake the journey; enabling me to inspire others to care about our shared home; and to encourage more young women to seek careers in STEM subjects.
In exchange for your financial support I can offer some tokens of appreciation. Below are four images to capture the sentiments of the journey I am undertaking, created by fabulous graphic designer Barnaby Attwell. These beautiful images will be created into postcards, that can be sent from the Post Office in Port Lockroy back to the UK as thank you or personalised message to a loved one. They can also be produced as framed prints or printed on to other items such as bags/ tea towels/t-shirts.
The designs correspond to the reward offer designs 1-4 running left to right.
Please do contact me if you have any questions about the voyage or the activities I am seeking funds for by following me on Facebook - Homeward Bound Cornwall, or contacting me via this site.
Please note: I have booked the evening of Thursday 28th March at Mount Pleasant Eco Park, Porthtowan for an evening reception for the £15 Reward, I hope providing a definite date is useful and other dates can be arranged.