Polar explorer to talk about endurance and resilience at GCA conference

The only woman in the world to have skied across Antarctica alone will be talking about personal resilience and leadership in uncertainty at the Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) annual conference in Blackburn this month (January 22 until 25, 2023).

Felicity Aston MBE, who is a climate scientist, polar explorer, expedition leader and record-breaker will be the headline speaker at the conference on Tuesday, January 24.

Tammy Woodhouse, GCA chairman, explains: “We are thrilled to have Felicity closing our annual conference in 2023. She is a truly inspirational woman, who, as well as being the only woman in the world to have skied across Antarctica alone, was also the first person in the world to have traversed the continent purely by muscle power.

“During more than 20 years of undertaking challenging expeditions in the world’s most extreme environments, she has instigated, organised and led the first British women’s team to cross the Greenland icesheet, the world’s largest and most internationally diverse women’s team to ski to the South Pole, and a team of women from across Europe and the Middle East that together skied to the North Pole.

“We couldn’t think of anyone better to talk to and inspire our members attending our conference.

“During her presentation, she will be reflecting on her expeditions as both physical and psychological journeys. She believes that great achievements do not require innate outstanding capacity, but rather the building of personal confidence and mental resilience. We can’t wait to welcome her to our conference.”

Felicity has published four books about her expeditions, co-presented two BBC documentaries, and has been featured in many top media publications including National Geographic, Vanity Fair and Marie Claire. She is a Fellow of both the Royal Geographical Society in London and The Explorers’ Club in New York and has an MBE, as well as the Polar Medal for services to exploration.

The GCA represents nearly 200 garden centres nationwide.

Through sharing information and its inspection programme the GCA helps members to achieve high standards in customer service, plant quality and reliability.

The GCA’s annual conference will be held at the Mercure Blackburn Dunkenhalgh Hotel and Spa in Blackburn, Lancashire from January 22 until 25, 2023 and places can be booked via www.gca.org.uk.

The conference pages on the website will be updated with speaker announcements and full listings as the programme develops and exact timings are confirmed. There is also a dedicated email for any queries members, and those wishing to book for the event, may have: conference@gca.org.uk.

Felicity Aston MBE will be speaking to attendees on Tuesday, January 24.

For further information, please visit www.gca.org.uk.

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