In 2022, Team #WeTwo will be headed from London to the dynamic city of Buenos Aires and then on to Ushuaia - aka the 'End of the World' - from where they will embark on their sea journey to Antarctica.
This will be the inaugural expedition of Phoebe and Dwayne's #WeTwo Foundation, a charity they formed several years ago after meeting at Countryfile Live where they were asked take part in 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.
Phoebe adds: “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 encourage the next generation from all walks of life to fall in love with the outdoors and looking after our planet - using the tool of adventure. For us it’s not about planting flags, it’s about planting seeds.”
The pair kickstarted their fundraising via crowdfunding in November 2019, by undertaking an Antarctic-style expedition in the UK, walking the length of mainland Britain with wheeled sleds, for 40 nights, battling atrocious weather, giving up Christmas and wild camping the entire way.
Following this, despite the pandemic, they managed to engage sponsors and establish partnerships to raise enough funds to enable them to take 10 young people (more if funding allows), from disadvantaged backgrounds across the UK, to Antarctica in 2022.
They will be doing this on the #WeTwo Foundation's Antarctica: City to Sea programme. All the costs for the young people will be covered by the Foundation. However, before the young people go they will have to '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 re-wilding projects, removing plastics from saplings, cleaning 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 with also be planting enough trees to ensure that their trip to Antarctica will be 100% carbon neutral and, in time, carbon negative.
The team will be leaving the UK on February 26th, 2020, departing from Heathrow Airport on a direct British Airways flight and arriving in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where they will spend the first night in the city (aka the Paris of South America).
The following day (day 2) they will fly to Ushuaia, the city at the end of the world, from where they will embark on their ship - Hurtigruten's MS Fridtjof Nansen, one of the world's first hybrid expedition vessels, meaning the carbon footprint is the lowest it can be – 20% less carbon than usual ships.
On day 3 of their journey the ship will begin the famous 2-day crossing of the notorious Drake Passage. During the voyage the expedition team will begin a series of lectures about the fascinating history and environmental sciences of the White Continent and learn how to make their adventure as safe and sustainable as possible.
On board the 'City to Sea' team will be assisting with a number of 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.
Days 5-9, we will finally reach the Antarctic Peninsula where Team #WeTwo will encounter huge colonies of penguins, step foot amongst the impressive Antarctic scenery, search for whales in the Southern Ocean and take to kayaks and zodiacs to witness the awe of icebergs up close. There will be - depending on weather conditions - opportunities for extended hikes, snowshoeing and photography workshops.
All kit needed will be provided free of charge by Craghoppers who are committed to sustainability and are ensuring that most of it is made from recycled materials and is responsibly sourced. All meals are taken care of, water is always provided, accommodation is also included as are all external and internal flights.
The #WeTwo team leaders hold up-to-date enhanced DBS checks, and Level 3 Wilderness First Aid certificates. There will also be a full medical team and suite onboard the ship. All leaders onboard Hurtigruten's ships are also first aid qualified.
The entire experience - from being selected, to paying it back through community initiatives, journeying to Antarctica, undertaking all activities and follow ups back in the UK post-expedition will be filmed and it is assumed that all participants and their parents/guardians consent to this and their image appearing on any promotional material, documentaries and broadcasts (worldwide) in perpetuity.
The team have launched a nomination form on the TeamWeTwo.com website where teachers, social workers, parents, guardians and friends from across Britain can nominate a young person from a disadvantaged background to take part. 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.
Two of the young people chosen will definitely be Scouts. The Vasey Family Trust has kindly donated enough to support two places so that the trip that Shackleton attempted to make, 100 years ago in 1921 (in which he pledged to take two Scouts with him, but sadly never completed), will finally be realised.
The team say: "We are so very grateful to all our supporters – it’s because of them we can make this ambitious plan come to fruition. We are determined that this inaugural trip to Antarctica, will be the first #WeTwo Foundation journey of many.
This trip would not be possible without the generosity of our sponsors:
If you/your company is interested in becoming a sponsor for this or future #WeTwo Foundation expeditions please contact us.