Yorkshire Rows is a team of four women who dared to dream. Their most popular keynote is ‘Four Mums in a boat – It’ll be Fine’, in which they share the story of their remarkable row across the Atlantic. They speak from the heart, with honesty and humour about their personal journey of discovery whilst, sharing practical strategies for dealing with life. Their fantastic spirit of adventure and can-do approach has won them countless awards. It’s also inspired ‘Four Mums in a Boat’, a bestselling book by the foursome That’s not to mention an award-winning documentary that has made thousands laugh, cry, and believe they can truly do whatever they put their mind to.
The Yorkshire Rows were so inspirational and a truly wonderful match for BrandFuel. I think my husband is now terrified that I am going to take up rowing or something similar. I am definitely inspired by them, as well as deeply moved by their experience, and will be thinking deeply as to what my ocean is. Perhaps next year's ELEs have my name on them.
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Read more about the Yorkshire Rows
Yorkshire Rows is a team of four formidable mums from Yorkshire who are the first women to row across the North Sea and who also hold a world record for rowing across the Atlantic Ocean. First impressions of these four courageous women is that they are not professional sports women rather they are four ordinary working mums who "dared to dream".
They all took up rowing for the first time at a local York club 5-6 years ago and then in January 2013 they decided to take on the herculean task of entering the world’s toughest rowing race 3000 nautical miles from the Canaries to Antigua. It took almost three years to plan and prepare for the row. Facing storms, 40 foot waves, sleep deprivation and power and kit failures the 4 ladies managed to cross the Atlantic in 67 days, 5 hours and 2 minutes and got a world record for being the oldest women’s crew to cross any ocean.
In addition to rowing their ocean they have also managed to raise thousands of pounds for Maggie’s Cancer care centres and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. These women have touched the hearts of many and continue to do so in their commitment to show how true friendship, team work, Yorkshire grit and belief can help you achieve your dreams. Yorkshire Rows are honest, funny and unique. They speak with true passion about their incredible adventures, leaving their audiences feeling inspired and invigorated, convincing them that they can achieve almost anything. It’s no surprise then that they are in demand as public speakers worldwide.
The Yorkshire Rows are:
Janette lives with her husband and two teenage children (young adults!). After leaving school at the age of 16 without many formal qualifications Janette went straight to work as a receptionist in a local doctors surgery, it was there she decided she wanted to be a nurse so she reentered education to gain the qualifications she needed. She subsequently qualified as a Registered nurse in 1988. She worked for many years in the life science industry before setting up a clinical research business in 1997. Now a successful entrepreneur who heads up four companies and has successfully started, grown and sold other companies, her passion is in sharing her business acumen and skills and inspiring other business leaders to embark on successful strategies. She also loves helping SMEs to flourish and grow as well as enjoying her work as a Non Executive Director for a number of organisations. Janette is not an adventurer and would never have dreamed that one day she would Skipper a small rowing boat across the Atlantic Ocean! But skipper it she did with inspirational determination and true Yorkshire grit.
Helen is married with two children and lives in York. Aside from being a mum she is a communications expert and has led on communications in the NHS for the last 25 years. Over that time she has been involved in designing successful comms and engagement strategies for formal consultations, some of which have been in the public eye and have been extremely controversial. She has a 'can do' approach and her ability to communicate a positive message is one of her many strengths. After learning to row five years ago and breaking a world record rowing across the Atlantic Ocean, she now has her sights on the world of mountaineering. Over the next two years she will be learning a range of mountain survival skills and climbing many global peaks in her ambition to summit the highest mountain on the planet. In her spare time Helen can be found hanging off a rope on the crags around Yorkshire and beyond.
She has climbed Mount Meru in Tanzania, walked into the Annapurna Sanctuary in Nepal and has run the London Marathon twice. And Frances’s love of the great out doors comes from growing up in the countryside of Yorkshire. This led her to regularly compete in athletics and cross country events at school and university and as an adult my fresh air activities have widened considerably. She has also walked both the Yorkshire and National Three Peaks, completed the 108 mile Scottish Coast to Coast race and I regularly enter running, cycling and open water swimming events across the country. Professionally, she is a private client lawyer and for the last 22 years. In 2015 she set up her own law firm specialising in providing succession and tax advice to individuals and trustees. She loves inspiring people to follow her lead and take part in a variety of experiences for the sheer fun of it. A mother to two teenage sons, Jay and Jack Frances is married to Mark.
Niki grew up in a number of far flung locations around the world, travelling extensively as part of her childhood, and discovering a love for different cultures and experiences. In returning to the UK she worked in a variety of roles including training, project management and then moved into senior management. She spent some time as a Management Consultant, working with key FTSE100 firms across the UK delivering strategic business projects and management development programmes and now runs a successful Wealth Management firm. She has also qualified as a rugby coach, more recently taking an opportunity to start up a new girls' rugby section at York RUFC. She loves spending time with her family, still travels extensively and adores working with both young children and adults, challenging them and helping them develop new skills. She is passionate about encouraging opportunities for girls and women especially in the sports arena. She is married to Gareth and lives near York with her two children, Corby & Aiden
“These four adventurous, articulate, high achieving and inspiring women made a very significant contribution to our exclusive event at the Henley Royal Regatta in the summer of 2017. Our discerning and demanding members found their interview made a very significant and lasting impact in terms of what can be achieved when you allow yourself to dream and have the determination, dedication and guts to make this dream a reality. Their four individual personalities are delightful, formidable and highly entertaining!”
Tanya Wheway, Education Chairman, YPO Gold London.
I just wanted to say a massive thank you again for speaking at our Women in Leadership event on the 13th July, at the British Medical Association. So many people came up on the day and subsequently said how uplifting, thought provoking and impactful the day was. We had a very successful event, with 102 attendees both internal and external, Your session made a big impact on our attendees and has provoked a lot of discussion for the current participants in our Women in Leadership programme.
Here are a few quotes from our attendees:
“Content really hit the mark and it was great to network with many of the fantastic talent we have in our business.”
“Yorkshire Rows team were wonderful. Ordinary women achieving extraordinary things. So inspiring.”
“Great food, great speakers, great people and tons of things to action.”
“Very inspired by the rowers - to just say yes & then make it happen.”
“The whole day was great, fantastic to have time and tools to focus on ourselves.”
Ann Pickering HR Director O2
After a tough and challenging year for Badminton England Yorkshire Rows tale of crossing the Atlantic was funny, engaging and inspiring and definitely remotivated the team to overcome the challenges of the past year and tackle ambitious plans for the following year. We still don’t quite know how four mothers from Yorkshire came to take on this challenge, or how they made it across the Atlantic, but their story is so inspiring and empowering that the team left the day believing that anything is possible. If you want your team to laugh and be inspired at the same time, I can whole heartedly recommend the Yorkshire Rows story.’
list of organisations the Yorkshire Rows have spoken at
South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS
Thompson brand Partners
Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
York Rotary Club
St Peters School York
Queen Marys school, Thirsk
YPO premier chief executive London network
St James's Place
Rotary District Conference
Spa Sweethearst WI – Harrogate
New York Film Festival
Banff film festival UK and Germany