Tag Archives: explorerscoffee

International Women’s Day. (Week 7)

Week ending 8th March 2020

You might recall last week I talked about Rebecca doing a piece with Harlequins all around International Women’s Day, well go and take a look at the video (click the picture) that’s out for everyone to see.

As all of our team are inspirational women it seems, quite rightly, they were all involved in IWD2020 in some way. Nakita, Rebecca and Nikki did a separate piece for the London Fire Brigade; why not take a look to find out from the guys themselves, what the challenge is and why they are doing this challenge; https://www.instagram.com/p/B9eFd6ojb-W/

In other day to day news, Nikki had her occupational health appointment at work and after completing various exercises with a BA set on her back to demonstrate that her leg could handle it, she has finally been approved to go back to work! She also did a CrossFit induction which means she can get membership at the gym; CrossFit is totally different and she feels it really challenges her, it is amazing preparation for what he will be putting her body through over the next few years. She has also managed to acquire 3 weighted vests from Gravity who are kindly donating them to the team, this is a huge help and great addition to the training days. Like the training isn’t difficult enough already…!

Nakita was involved in LACE training this week on her 2 days off, she loves training in line rescue so had a great time. Check out the picture to the right of Nakita and the team on the training days.

Away from the training and work she also went on her first date in a long time, she might have been nervous but if she can go to the Antarctic she can go on a date, right?

Apart from that Nakita’s training took a bit of a back burner this week as her car needed an MOT but she went for long walks with her youngest dog instead and after 5km he started limping. It wasn’t worth the risk to continue so she called for an emergency evacuation! Pup is fine now but had her worried. She also had some people try and throw negativity into her arena, and that 100% is not going to happen. She has no problem removing those who are negative or try and dull the shine. Life is about helping each other, being supportive and working together. Talking of supportive, don’t forget that although we are celebrating National Women’s Day this week these guys have plenty of men who are there every step of the way to lifted them up…quite literally! (See pic).

For International Women’s Day at South Wales Fire and Rescue HQ George was invited to speak on the day about what it means to us as women, the service and the wider audience. Beci joined her which was great, it’s always lovely to have some moral support when doing these things. George also got to introduce Lowri Morgan who is an inspiration to us all, what endurance event she hasn’t done isn’t worth knowing! She is absolutely amazing and the team hope they do her proud and follow in her footsteps someday. 

On top of that George is still getting ready for the DSET conference next week where she is presenting to the military amongst other representatives on innovation and communication. It has been quite a bit of pressure to produce something that represents the team AFA and the service but 11th March will be judgement day for all the hard work she has put in. Also on the day there will be an official hand over announcing the team as their 2021 charity of the year!

The 3rd was George’s birthday and she spent the day at Techniquest presenting to 5×50 children all about the Expedition; how to tow tyres, what the weather is like and how dry it is and also how they will go to the toilet out in Antarctica! Talking of towing tyres she has been doing lots of that with the dogs and they love it.

This was all rounded off by a lovely meal in the evening in Penarth. Thank you George, you are truly inspirational. Happy Birthday/
Penblwydd Hapus!

Just as a reminder, the launch of the Good Wash products happened and you need to take a look at the amazing top available? (Don’t forget to go and buy one). There was also the launch of some amazing deals from KitTags UK. They did a run of freebie tags when you donated £10 to the GoFundMe Page. They might all be gone now, but head over to the KitTag website and take a look, you’ll never lose your luggage or bags again with these tags.

Finally, some of you may have heard of Kay Hallsworth, she is co-owner of Explorers Coffee who sponsor our Fire Angels. More importantly she is also Commander Kay Hallsworth of the Royal Navy and she was shortlisted for Women in Defence Unsung Heroes Award! She’s been in the Royal Navy for over 27 years, progressing from student nurse to Commander and Kay also has ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis). I found an inspiring and interesting article on her here; https://civilservice.blog.gov.uk/2019/05/03/personal-disability-stories-10-kays-story/

Hope you are all feeling inspired, whether you are a woman or support one in life, keep doing what you’re doing! In light of the current situation in our country and the world, just a reminder. Stay Safe. Stay In.

Written by Elissa

So it begins…! (Week 1)

(Week ending 24th Jan 2020)

As well as holding down hugely inspiring day jobs, our Fire Angels are in constant training for their challenge, meeting potential sponsors and drumming up support everywhere they go.

This is the first of many blogs where we get an insight into their week; we find out what they’ve been getting up to, dealing with the ups and downs of life, holding down a day (and night) job, whilst pushing forward with their plans.

Time is already flying by and there are never enough hours in the day for this team. Anything that can help with organisation and push time efficiency is a big hit; so after hearing about the app ‘Trello’ Nikki decided to check it out to see if it could help the team with their multiple to-do lists; turns out it’s a total game changer! Nikki has set up a group for the team and it’s all systems go! (Check the app out, pictured, for all your organisational needs). Along side this Nikki has been pushing forward with emails of every kind; sponsorship requests, TV networking, hoody designs…the list is endless!

Along side this Team LAFA filmed a few pieces for LFB (London Fire Brigade) this week, one for LFB’s #LoveLondon in LittleVenice and the other was focusing on the expedition itself and the team. Understanding what strengths and experience each individual brings and how they are able to support each other through the gruelling training regimes and drive towards their ultimate goal together.

Aside from the training and the day jobs you have to remember that these firefighters still have every day life to deal with too. Everything from being a wife, grandmother, aunt, partner, sister and so on. One high for Rebecca this week was that her brother in law and his wife welcomed a beautiful baby girl, mother and baby are doing well and huge congratulations to the family. This happy moment comes at a time that has been hugely difficult for Rebecca and her family. She has only just returned to work this week after 5 weeks off; her step Dad sadly passed away suddenly in December so she has been back with her family in Wales supporting her mum. Anyone who has ever lost a parent, step-parent or guardian knows just how emotionally draining it can be, how it can sometimes be hard to get back into any sort of regular routine once you’re ready. Being back with her watch this week she has had great support and friendship from the brigade which has made the transition back to work much easier for her.

It seems that LAFA have had a hard and thought provoking week; Nakita heard that a close friend from her past had died this week. Having lost contact over the years it hit home how important friendships are in life and how sometimes life seems to get in the way. We all have people we’ve lost touch with, the ones we don’t always make the time or effort to keep in touch with, right?

It is so important to remember the benefit of taking time out when you hit any sort of low in life and find a way to deal with your feelings and your mind. Sometimes we feel that we can just carry on and that it hasn’t had any impact on us but that usually isn’t the case. There will always be repercussions when something out of the ordinary happens, when something out of the blue knocks you sideways. Remember, it’s ok not to be ok. Talk to people, tell people how you are feeling.

Team WAFA met with Andy McCann this week from DNA Definitive‘. Andy was Beci’s PE teacher when she was at school teaching her Tang Soo Do (karate based Korean martial arts) and has always been one of her heroes and a huge inspiration to her. ‘DNA definitive’ is about ‘powering performance’ and ‘unlocking human potential’.

Andy offered nutrition advice, assistance with training programmes and information on psychological support; all of which will be hugely beneficial to the team over the years. For Beci, being able to reconnect with Andy and work together on a project has been amazing, who wouldn’t want to work with one of their heroes?!

As you’ve read previously, a huge driving force behind this expedition is all around inspiring the next generation; the team know that one of the best ways to do that is to take the time to visit schools and talk to children and teenagers face to face about their expedition and how mental health is something we shouldn’t be afraid to talk about. Together George, Beci and Alison have put together a number of presentations to deliver to schools in the coming weeks and months. As part of the talks the team have had some special bears created by ‘Elisabeth Sews’ to take with them, adorned with the AFA logo they will certainly help the team create memories. (Check Elisabeth out on Instagram http://www.instagram.com/elisabethsews).

George has also been in discussions with ‘Mountain Equipment’ and ‘Nordiclife’ to talk about their kit options and budgets and they even have their very first piece of kit specific equipment; Cross Country Skiing poles. It’s all getting very real now and the team can’t wait to get stuck in. With their team vests arriving ready for their logo to be added make sure you keep a look out for the team; take a look at the logo, top of the page, and keep an eye out!

AFA Team (Antarctic Fire Angels)
Collectively the AFA’s had multiple meetings this week with potential sponsors and charities they are supporting. Team WAFA drove all the way down from Wales for these and LAFA had just come off their last night shift, talk about dedication to the cause! Pictured here are some of the team at a meeting with Fawcett Society. They are the UK’s leading charity campaigning for gender equality and women’s right’s.

They do amazing work and tackle everything from smashing stereotypes, equal pay and power and workplace sexual harassment. These messages of female empowerment and support speak volumes to the team and this is why they are one of the charities they will be supporting from donations made. The team had time to talk and discuss experiences and situations they have been in, both at work and in their personal lives with particular focus on being female firefighters.

An official sponsor of the AFA’s is ‘Explorers Coffee‘ they are ‘an independent purveyor of coffees, coffee products and explorer adventure accessories’. It is owned and operated by Neil Hallsworth who is a military spouse and service veteran. The team were blown away at the meeting where they had time to talk to a Naval officer about to be medically discharged who was inspired and wanted to support the team. If you need some rocket fuel and love coffee check them out!

In fact it seems that lots of people want to support and get involved in some way; this week they also met Natalie Hewitt; a self-shooting documentary director whose work has been nominated for a Grierson award as well as two nominations for ‘Best Documentary’ at the broadcast awards. Sharing stories from her own Antarctic experiences she was a fantastic and inspiring woman who can’t wait to get involved with the team. And as if that wasn’t enough some of the team also met up with ‘The Good Wash Company, a company making luxury wash products made in Wales from the finest natural ingredients. They are on a mission to change the world ‘one wash at a time’ with their profits helping improve the lives of animals and people; sounds pretty impressive to us!

Wow…I don’t know about you but I’m exhausted just reading this! To some this might not sound like much to do in a week, but add in the day job, the constant daily training and organisation of upcoming events and all this adds up to a packed week! This is how it’s going to be for the next few years, constant battles to find enough time to do everything; they will all have super long days, feel tired and it is already starting to take it’s toll on the team.

We are sharing this with you because we want you to see every side of this challenge, not just the interviews and photos, not just the positives but the hard hitting reality that this is a massive undertaking for the team. They are gaining momentum with more and more requests and offers for help rolling in. This is getting bigger and better week by week and it’s all down to the constant effort LAFA and WAFA are putting in.

Remember, you can do anything you set your mind to!

Written by Elissa.