Newsletter February 2021
Making a difference

Hello from Fay

It’s 10 days and counting before this years application window closes on February 28th and in this month’s edition we celebrate and talk to previous mentees about their experiences, including Cate Hawkes seen pictured above with her mentor Jane.

Wherever you, or someone you know, are at with your career, whatever your age, if you are on furlough, made redundant, thriving in your existing or new role, pivoting to set up your own business or creating a side hustle, the FF15 programme is unique and here for you.

We do this because we want to help other women succeed with their goals and we want to make a difference. If you are reading this and have been part of FF15 don’t just delete, please forward this to someone else you know who would benefit from this programme and pay it forward…you could help change someone’s life.

Lots of love,

Fay x

FF15 Shero’s

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 you to Debra Nightingale.

As a dedicated career woman with experience in advertising, TV commercials, promotional videos, employee engagement, B2B marketing, and finally to ‘full-fat’ events for the past 18 years, Debra’s company, All Bright Communications, has been able to pivot effortlessly away from the live events, to a broader buffet of marcoms offerings. Facing personal challenges, including difficulties from a neighbour, working from home hasn’t been easy, Debra now feels that the sun is finally shining once again. Click here to read her story.

Last chance to apply for this year’s programme

Are you still considering applying to become a mentee on this year’s programme? We caught up with previous mentee Penny Moyses, from our second year, to remind you why you should.

Since completing the programme Penny has enjoyed numerous professional successes, got married, became a homeowner and is the mother of two boys. Having now started her own company, Latch Events, she continues to draw on the many lessons she learnt from Fast Forward 15.

To apply for the programme, check it out here.

Read what some of our previous mentees have to say about the programme

Elena Staszak: “Fast Forward 15 helped me realize the true value of setting goals and supported me every step of the way to achieve my goals. Through mentoring, inspiring education sessions, and a very supportive network of mentors and mentees I have learnt how to develop my skill set to advance my career.

I highly encourage women who would like professional guidance and support on their career journey to apply for the Fast Forward 15 programme. Fay, my mentor Judy Elvey, and the entire team involved in the programme strongly supported me in setting and achieving both personal and professional goals and empowered me to always listen to my gut feeling and follow my dreams.”

Cate Hawkes: “2020 gave me the headspace to evaluate what I wanted to do in my career and the FF15 programme gave me the confidence to be brave and make a change. At the end of November 2020, I interviewed for a new role within NFU Mutual as a ‘Change Adoption Specialist’ within our expanding Group Change department. If there’s one certainty in life, it’s that change will always happen. I got the job and in February I start my new role in a team of 5 females, with a female team leader who reports into a team of females – how unique!!

Although I am moving away from Events specifically, I wanted to say ‘thank you’ to both Jane and Fay – and the FF15 programme – in terms of giving me the confidence to do something different for me.”

We are an official partner of The Hub

2021 will be the single biggest growth year our industry will ever see. Agencies, corporates, and all event related businesses will scale, ready for the sky-high demand for live and experience we know is there. This means recruitment will be at the top of everyone’s to do list and as such, now is the time to get your professional house in order and ensure you’re ready to get going again.

FF15 is about supporting others, and that’s the ethos behind and why we were delighted to become a community partner. Searching for a job can be stressful so they have delivered a secure confidential area for you to upload your CV and search for jobs, as well as allowing employers and recruiters direct access to you and your skill sets.

The world has changed, it’s time recruitment did too.  Check them out here.

Update on FashionForward15

Swapping stilettos for slippers, the mentees have been staying safe at home, skipping the snow and meeting over Zoom to discuss all things events!

The Marketing & Social team have been set up to take over the Fast Forward 15’s Instagram page, to showcase the cohort and all of our efforts to create a spectacular event. If you’re not following already, head to @fastforward15uk to keep up to date with the event, with details to be revealed soon.

If you’d like to get involved, from sponsorship to supplying, please contact us at

Top tips working from home

One of the ways we have adjusted to this ‘new way of working’ is having to adapt to working from home. This is especially harder if you also have to home-school your children too.

We caught up with Shama Rowland who is doing just this. She creates content on her Instagram page, works as a social media manager for D.A.S.H Events, home-schools her two boys who are aged 9 and 6, and is studying for her degree in Events Management at the University of East London. She has found ways to make the working from home days that little bit easier and she shares them with us:

  1. Create a routine & stick to it – Easily said than done but knowing your children’s timetable and then working around it will really help with daily structure.
  2. Have specific workspaces – If you each have a separate workspace and know that’s where you sit to get work done then it makes the day run a little smoother.
  3. Set priorities – Prioritise lessons and work to do’s from most important and go from there. If you manage to get it all done, win win.
  4. Meal / snack prep – Do your kids always seem to be hungry or need a drink? Yup, mine too! Try to prep the days snacks and meals before the workday starts. This saves so much time and headache.
  5. Don’t apply too much pressure – The most important! I know we’re all superhero’s, but we can’t do it all. Don’t push yourself and don’t push the kids. This is a hard time for them too.
These tips aren’t just based on home-schooling but all aspects of working from home. Making small changes to the working day can really make a difference to productivity and mental wellbeing.