By Lucy Ashton
A SCOTTISH female submariner who is about to undertake a gruelling Atlantic row is one of the inspirational figures featured in a new Royal Navy campaign going out across the country.
Lieutenant Izzy Rawlinson (30), from Helensburgh, is currently serving as a Marine Engineering Officer with the Submarine Service. Next year she is set to make history by leading the first all serving military women’s team to row the Atlantic – known as “Team Valkyrie” – in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.
But before then, Izzy is one of the stars of a new Royal Navy campaign called “Celebration of Duty” which highlights serving members of the navy who give back to their local communities through their sense of duty.
The films, featuring serving Royal Navy personnel and veterans, are being shown on screens in several locations across the country, including the iconic Piccadilly Circus digital billboard and were also rolled-out at cinemas from November 17th.
Locations across Scotland showing the video include Buchanan Galleries in Glasgow, the Maritime Museum in Aberdeen, City of Glasgow and South Lanarkshire Colleges, and the Highland Cinema in Fort William.
Izzy said she hoped the campaign would help showcase some of the fantastic work being done by the armed forces.
“This campaign gives us an opportunity to promote women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, as well as women in the armed forces,” she said.
“Hopefully it will also allow us to showcase the capabilities of the team and the opportunities available to us.”
Izzy is undertaking the Atlantic Rowing Challenge to raise money for charities and organisations supporting veterans and their families. She is also passionate about supporting people with their mental health resilience and well-being.
“Mental health is something I am very passionate about,” said Izzy. “It is something that should be spoken about more freely and supported more openly. If, along this journey, we can improve the conversation so that one person benefits that means we’re heading in the right direction.”
She added: “The challenge also allows us to raise money for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and The Submarine Family, both of whom do fantastic work with serving members, their families, and veterans. We have a fantastic team of amazing women, and the journey ahead is very exciting.”
Known as “the world’s toughest row”, the Talisker Challenge leaves from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Nelson’s Harbour in Antigua, a journey of 3,000 miles. It is a hugely demanding event requiring resilience, determination, and self-sufficiency – values fostered by the Submarine Service.
During her day job, Izzy has led teams to operate and maintain a submarine’s nuclear reactor and ship’s systems on deployment in some of the most extreme environments on the planet.
When not on submarines or training to row the Atlantic, Izzy can be found representing the Royal Navy in cycling. She has also represented the navy in rugby, swimming, water polo, and triathlon.
Another Scot featured in the campaign is Colour Sergeant Mike Beaton MBE. Originally from Dunfermline, Mike, who is better known as Commando Chef, trained as a chef with the Royal Marines. He is passionate about passing on his love for food and nutrition and travels all over the country hosting free cooking classes helping to educate young people about nutrition and knife crime.
The ‘Celebration of Duty’ campaign was co-created with London-based independent creative agency Hijinks Collective in collaboration with the Royal Navy’s communications team, including its Photography and Video Production Unit and graphics and campaign teams.
To watch the campaign film, click here: www.royalnavy.mod.uk/celebrate
Captions : Lieutenant Izzy Rawlinson – she is set to make history by leading the first all serving military women’s team to row the Atlantic.
Izzy practices her rowing skills with her teammates from HM Naval Base Clyde.