In February 2022 – COVID permitting – at least 10 young people and Adventurers Dwayne Fields and Phoebe Smith will embark on an expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula by expedition ship and Craghoppers will be part of it.
- To take a group of underprivileged, 16-18-year-olds on a trip of a lifetime.
- To encourage this next generation of adventurers to fall in love with the outdoors and look after our planet.
- To be the world’s first carbon negative expedition of its kind.
THEY SAID THEY COULDN’T DO IT
Team #WeTwo was formed several years ago when Dwayne and Phoebe met at Countryfile Live on a panel discussing barriers to getting into the outdoors and having adventures.
“We realised there that – for different reasons – we had similar experiences with people telling us how we couldn’t/shouldn’t/wouldn’t be able to it,” said Dwayne. “We decided that if we teamed up (rather than continue to try to change things individually) we would have a much wider reach.”
“Since then, we’ve been working hard to change the face of adventure together and – using the tool of adventure – encouraging the next generation from all walks of life to fall in love with the outdoors and look after our planet,” adds Phoebe. “For us it’s not about planting flags, it’s about planting seeds.”
WHERE THERE IS A WILL…
The pair kickstarted fundraising through their #WeTwo Foundation in November 2019, by undertaking an Antarctic-style expedition in the UK, walking the length of mainland Britain with wheeled sleds, for 40 nights. They battled atrocious weather, gave up Christmas and wild camped the entire way to raise money for the #We Two Foundation.
“Despite the pandemic and thanks to the generosity of those who have given to our crowdfunding cause, as well as the sponsors and partners who have come on board, we have raised enough to change the lives of 10 young people from disadvantaged backgrounds,” say the team.
The aim is to use responsible adventuring as a force for good. “We’ve been told ourselves by several organisations that considering our backgrounds we should ‘know our place’. Repeatedly we have been advised to take the young people to Dartmoor for a weekend, but that is missing the point,” says Phoebe.
“To them, Antarctica is a place beyond their wildest dreams,” says Dwayne. “The ultimate stage for adventure and one that has – for the most part – been the domain of the privileged few. Certainly not a place where people like them would ever be encouraged to aspire to go. We want to boost their confidence and show that we believe in them enough to take them somewhere they never thought they’d go. We want them to fall in love with nature and wilderness and understand the relationship between what we do here in the UK and how it affects Antarctica (and vice versa) so that they will fight to protect it.”
“Finally, we want them to see other career paths that they may never have considered before,” adds Phoebe, “on board will be biologists, ornithologists, geologists, mountain guides and people that they will never have had the confidence or opportunity to chat with before.”
PAY IT FORWARD
Before the young people go, they will ‘pay it forward’ – not with cash but by committing to take part in initiatives close to home to improve their local area. This will include rewilding projects, removing plastics from saplings, helping clean rivers, beaches and green spaces, they will also share with others (through talks and social media) the incredible nature and environment that’s on their doorstep, becoming local ambassadors for the environment.
The entire team will be planting enough trees to ensure that their trip to Antarctica will be 100% carbon neutral and, in time, carbon negative. But there are even more measures being taken to ensure it’s as green as can be.
ECO FRIENDLY SUPPORTERS
Craghoppers will be supplying the team with their technical kit for the expedition including performance insulated waterproof jackets, mid and baselayers, waterproof trousers, accessories and rucksacks – key items they will need to ensure they are warm and comfortable on the trip.
“We’ve teamed up with Craghoppers because they are committed to sustainability and are ensuring that all of the kit we used is made from recycled materials and is responsibly sourced.”
“Also, the ship we have secured places on is Hurtigruten’s MS Fridtjof Nansen, one of the world’s first hybrid expedition vessels. This means the carbon footprint is the lowest it can be – 20% less carbon than usual ships,” say Team #WeTwo. “They also have a heat recovery system so that waste heat from engine cooling water is used to keep everyone warm.”
Once on board, the team will be assisting with several citizen science projects including Seabird Distribution with the Antarctic Site Inventory, tracking individual whales and leopard seals and studying phytoplankton to better understand how they respond to water temperature changes in the polar regions, providing a key to help mitigate future environmental impacts.
FINDING THESE YOUNG ADVENTURERS
“Raising the money was challenging, especially during a pandemic,” said Phoebe, “but perhaps even more challenging is going to be finding the young people to take with us. That’s why we’re appealing to the public to help us out.”
Young people from a disadvantaged background from across Britain can be nominated through a form on their website http://www.teamwetwo.com/ or via the form link below.
“We are looking for people who are driven, passionate, and who want to make a difference, not just in their own lives but for the communities in which they live,” says Dwayne.
Two of the young people chosen will be Scouts, thanks to a donation from The Vasey Family Trust. This is so that the trip Shackleton attempted 100 years ago, pledging to take two Scouts with him, but sadly was never completed, can finally be realised.
“We are determined that this inaugural trip to Antarctica, will be the first #WeTwo Foundation journey of many,” says Phoebe.
To nominate a young person, just complete the form. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeHf_2lj66U4F0ShfO6ZrJ-8Hg3KxUosHEaVjcsWPtRTCFsLA/viewform
The personal data of the nominee will be passed to the #WeTwo Foundation for the purpose of assessing the nomination and choosing expedition participants. It will not be used for any further purpose.