|18 Nov 2021|
We were very pleased to welcome Celia Pool (nee Henderson, 2000 leaver) back to Calne to officially present her with a ‘Women Innovation Award’. Celia gave a brilliant talk to the Fifth and Sixth Form about her entrepreneurial journey to launching DAME, her pioneering business that is striving to make periods positive for people and the planet. She has designed the world’s first reusable applicator and has recently launched reusable pads.
Innovate UK have created a network of 64 Women in Innovation Award winners who are developing pioneering innovations to tackle pressing societal, environmental, and economic challenges; from
delivering precision medicine to underrepresented populations, to offering eco-friendly materials for the aerospace industry and creating cutting-edge digital educational tools.
A personalised purple plaque, a twist on the historical blue plaques, is now on the wall in the Chapel corridor in Celia’s honour.
Rosie and Anna, UVI students, hosted the event and Rosie has written the following review :
On Tuesday 9th November, old Calne girl Celia Poole kindly came in to give a lecture about her company DAME and her most recent success of winning a Women in Innovate Award by Innovate UK. Anna and I are were lucky enough to host the talk and following her introduction we asked her what it was like to be a female in the business world and what inspired her to tackle period challenges.
Celia started off by telling the audience about what empowered her to create her company which offers sustainable period products. She had realised that nothing had changed since she had been at school regarding the talk around periods and therefore set herself the aim to eradicate negative language and taboos about periods.
She also realised that the majority of period products used in the UK where incredible bad for the environment (and potentially harmful to our bodies) and therefore set out to create a sustainable business which tackles societal issues about periods.
It was brilliant to hear how incredibly honest Celia was about the fact that her first company didn’t quite achieve her goals, but yet was so inspiring about how she viewed her failures as successes. The resilience which Calne had taught her to have, empowered her to keep going , reflect on her mistakes and create a new company called DAME. As a woman in the business world, she commented that her biggest challenge was to believe in herself and really commit to her vision – and by backing herself she had been able to achieve so much.
DAME is a truly amazing sustainable period product company that empowers girls around the world to not be ashamed to have a period but use it as a power. They launched the world’s first reusable applicator in 2019 and has just gone to market with a patent-pending reusable pad. So far, its reusable products have replaced 2.5 million disposable applicators and by 2022 the aim is to eliminate 15% of the 1.3 billion UK applicators that end up in landfill or the sea each year.
The talk left the whole audience feeling empowered and made us realise the importance of giving ideas the opportunity to grow. It is truly inspiring to all Calne girls and shows how if you have an idea and preserve with it, you can achieve amazing things.