Hello from Fay
Are we nearly there yet?
It’s nearly the end of 2020.. some might say phew… thank goodness. The Queen might say what an ‘annus horribilis’. I say – “when the going gets tough the tough get going’! (Anyone else sing along to Billy Ocean with that last line!!!)
Next year is a new start and whatever it brings; look forward, think positive, and be open to new opportunities. Walk away from negativity and whatever the situation, know there are always people around that will help… you just have to ask.
Talking of which, amongst my most favourite people in the world is this month’s Shero Renee Binyon. She is someone who has always been there for me – positive, supportive and a real can do person. She’s super busy, but I always say if you want a job done well ask a busy person! She’s also one of our current mentor cohort .
This Month’s edition highlights some of our other fabulous mentors and a call to be a mentor yourself… why not? Applications are now open for mentees for 2021, and we hear from past mentee the fabulous Rachael Kenny with some top tips for bagging a place.
It just leaves me to wish you a fabulous festive Christmas for you and your family.
Lots of love,
Women who inspire us with their strength, ambition and fearlessness.
Continuing with our series of FF15 Shero’s, this month we would like to introduce Renee Binyon.
Twenty years ago, Renee was a highly successful management consultant and project director with her own business. Words could not express how much she loved her work, but shortly after her 40th birthday, at the peak of her achievements, it all came crashing down. Early one morning she collapsed with no warning, after a few days she had shingles from which she did not recover. Three years later she was finally diagnosed with ME/Chronic Fatigue and autoimmune disease. The specialist said she would most likely never work again.
In time, Renee realised this was a blessing in disguise as it forced her to re-think her outlook on everything. ‘We are where we are – what if this is as good as it gets?’ She set about re-designing her life but first she had to change her mindset and accept her limitations. That acceptance was the start of a slow, gradual but hugely successful recovery. Read more of Renee’s inspirational story Read more of her inspiring story.
What is it like to be a mentee with FF15?
Former mentee (from the 2019-2020 cohort) Rachael Kenny wrote a blog about her experience of the programme. She describes how the programme matches you up with a mentor to help with you achieve your goals over a year long period, and how the overall application process works. I think this will be especially useful if you are thinking about applying for next year’s intake. Have a read of her blog here.
Applications for FF15 2021, are now open, please click here to find out more information.
Want to be a mentor?
There are so many benefits of being a mentor, such as developing your leadership skills and gaining a personal sense of satisfaction knowing that your have helped someone. We’ve started our search for fabulous mentors to come on board for the 2021 programme. Could this be you? If so, please get in touch with me here to express your interest. Our current mentors share some of their experiences.
Kelly Frew, Director Inaugural Events – Carnival UK: “It’s amazing what a mentor/mentee relationship offers to both parties. You both learn and grow in ways you never realised were possible.”
Geoff Allwright, UK Travel Manager – Airbus UK: “Fast Forward 15 is such a wonderful mentoring programme, giving female mentees so many opportunities, goal setting, coaching, contacts and so much more. As a mentor I have gained so much too, helping me to formulate and achieve my own goals, and learn how to be a confident and effective mentor.”
Charlie Hepburn, Client Strategy Director – Identity: “20% of the top jobs in the event industry are filled by woman – WHY? The talent of the mentees that I have had the honour to connect with on the FF15 programmes has been outstanding. I have given my time and shared my experiences happily simply because I have learnt more from these incredibly talented, resilient, and powerful woman that I ever expected. Following the program with my mentee and mirroring what has been requested of her has both lead us to re-think, re-image and re-write our contribution to this new era of events.”
Victoria Owens, Procurement Category Manager within Travel & Marketing – Arqiva: “The FF15 programme is refreshing and engaging, it has been a joy to help positively shape my mentee’s decision making and career providing an alternative view during these tricky times.”
BAME Networking event
Several months ago, I announced a new initiative to encourage, support and inspire women from a BAME background to join the FF15 community and take part as mentors or mentees in the programme. Since then our ambassadors Priya Narain, Gabrielle Austen-Browne, Felicia Asiedu, and our new addition to the team Benedicta Asante have been busy looking at ways to uplift and engage with the community to give our support to inspire women. And, they are delighted to announce their first networking event. Taking place online on Wednesday 13th January and featuring fantastic speakers such as last month’s shero Shonali Devereaux, and a panel of current mentees, we look forward to seeing you there.