Skip to content
Recruiting now.Explore navy careers

Leading Writer Rebecca Fyans shines at the Rising Star Awards

23 July 2018
Leading Writer Rebecca Fyans has been named as a Rising Star in Defence at a prestigious awards ceremony in London, singling her out as an inspirational role model in recognition of her tireless charity work championing a cause she is so passionate about.

You don’t need to spend long with Rebecca to realise why she was plucked from 1,250 high calibre entries, to win the award. Her enthusiasm is infectious, she is positive, approachable and fiercely determined to use her own experiences to improve that of others, spreading a positive message of life with someone that has Down syndrome.

After travelling across Asia Pacific in 2004 Rebecca realised she wanted to do something different so joined the Royal Navy in 2007 at the age of 27. She’s worked on board HMS York, in Camp Bastion hospital in Afghanistan and the shore establishment HMS Nelson, before finding out she was pregnant in 2012.

Her son Sebby was born in 2013 with Down syndrome “This is when my life changed for the better, forever” says the hardworking mum of two.

“The Royal Navy allowed me to take a career break to dedicate my time to ensuring he had the best start in life. During this time I became closely involved with a children’s charity, the Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association.

"Volunteering as a charity Secretary, Trustee and new parent liaison I have; delivered training to midwives on how to give a positive diagnosis of DS; lectured college students and educational professionals; spoken at charity events and high profile dinners; been filmed for TV and organised and taken part in multiple fundraising events.”

She is an inspiration to us all; you don’t need to hold high rank to make a difference, you just need passion, determination and a plan.

Captain Ellie Ablett

After four and a half years Rebecca returned to the Navy, where she now works in Naval Legal Services at Navy Command HQ, in Portsmouth and says she hasn’t looked back:

“I’m proof that you can have a full-time career in the Royal Navy, a husband that also serves in the military, two children - one with additional needs - and be a Trustee who aims to inspire women to stay in the Armed Forces after having children.

“The skills I’ve learnt in my role as trustee definitely benefit me every day in my job in the Navy, likewise I bring skills and perspective from my military career that has changed the way the charity carries out its business.”

Rebecca’s husband Mike, a Marine Engineer serving on board HMS Queen Elizabeth, is right behind her charity efforts, which she says, just wouldn’t be achievable without his support. 

The awards, voted for by over 30,000 members of the public and 54 industry judges, celebrate talent below management level, showcasing remarkable women from across 20 industries and professions in the UK.

On receiving her award Rebecca said: “I’m honoured to be named as a Rising Star. I’ve found it really empowering, it’s given me so much more confidence to succeed in my job in the Royal Navy as well as my charity work.

"You realise there are no limits in what you are trying to do. Just being nominated was brilliant, because it shows that someone recognises and values your efforts.”

Over 200 winners, sponsors, judges and guests attended the event hosted by TV presenter and author June Sarpong MBE, at a ceremony at The Times newspaper HQ in London.

Captain Ellie Ablett, who is the Commanding Officer of training establishment HMS Raleigh and founder and Chair of the Naval Service Women’s Network, also received an award in recognition of her efforts to champion servicewomen, she said: “It was wonderful to see Leading Writer Fyans recognised by the national, cross sector and highly regarded WeAreTheCity Rising Stars Awards.

"She is an inspiration to us all; you don’t need to hold high rank to make a difference, you just need passion, determination and a plan!

"The awards event was full of young women and men, just like our sailors, marines and civil servants, who were doing amazing things early in their careers which bodes well for the UK’s future prosperity.

"I was reminded of the young women and men joining the Navy today through HMS Raleigh’s gates - bright, well informed and looking forward with excitement to making a difference in service to their country.

"It was humbling to be among the Award winners and recognised as a Rising Star Champion for Servicewomen. Leading Writer Fyans, and the other women celebrated there, will inspire me to continue to earn this award every day.”

Rebecca has since been invited by the Ministry of Defence to become an advisor on the newly created Chronic Conditions and Disability in Defence (CanDID) Network – set up to support those in the Armed Forces and Veterans with a health condition that requires ongoing management – a new challenge that Rebecca is excited about. 

A Rising Star Award is awarded to someone who; strives to achieve success and results; gives back or inspires others; is recognised by others as having the potential to become a future leader in their industry and is a role model in their business or sector.

Vanessa Vallely, Founder of WeAreTheCity, said: “The calibre of entries this year has been truly exceptional. Every one of these women should be extremely proud of their achievements. They are key contributors to their industries and outstanding role models.”

Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association is committed to improving the lives of children and their families, in Portsmouth and South Hampshire, by providing friendship, support and an extensive range of educational services from birth. Visit their web page to find out more:

Related articles

Navy News Magazine

We bring you the latest news, features and award-winning photographs from the front-line. Navy News has been reporting on all that happens in the Royal Navy and its wider community since 1954.