Never tell us ‘you can’t’

Goodwash has always been a keen supporter of Wales Week in London. It’s a fantastic celebration of Welsh culture and business at the heart of the UK capital, aimed at giving our little nation a bigger voice.

This year we wanted our contribution to be less about us and our story, and more about some other amazing people doing amazing things.

So, we were overjoyed when The Antarctic Fire Angels agreed to join us at an evening at Saatchi & Saatchi’s HQ in central London. Chaired by long-time friend of Goodwash and BBC Cymru presenter, Dot Davies we spent an evening talking about the Fire Angels’ pioneering expedition to the South Pole and much more besides.

With a theme of ‘You can’t’ the Fire Angels – Rebecca Openshaw Rowe and Georgina Gilbert – plus Goodwash founder Mandy, shared their stories of being constantly told as a girls and then women that they couldn’t do things. Whether it was playing sport at school and professionally, becoming a fire fighter, journeying to the south pole or founding an ethical luxury wash brand.

Far from thwarting ambition, being on the receiving end of ‘you can’t’ actually has the opposite effect for most of us and certainly for Bex, Georgina and Mandy.

Of course, it wasn’t all about ambition and determination. The incredible bond between Rebecca and Georgina was absolutely in evidence, a bond forged in the four years of training and during those 52 days alone in Antarctica with no other human for thousands of miles.

But you could also see it in the relationship between Mandy and Georgina who are very old friends. A friendship that led Goodwash to support the Antarctic Fire Angels from the start. Support we expect to continue as the Fire Angels build the expedition’s legacy to encourage and inspire girls through the Fire Cadets and the Girl Guides.

And if that all sounds very serious a lot of time was also spent discussing how you poo in the Antarctic.

As for the future, Bex and Georgina were very guarded about their plans but we suspect it won’t be long before they are both off again, showing ordinary women can do extraordinary things.

And Goodwash will right by them.

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