Newsletter January 2021
Looking back, looking forward

Hello from Fay

This photo of me and some of the first years’ mentees was taken some years ago when we climbed the O2. Who would have thought we would be where we are today?

2020 was not how anyone expected. At the start of last year we all made new year resolutions and set goals of what we wanted to achieve, but in March that all went to pot! We faced so many new challenges both personally and professionally, but we made it through. Although 2021 has not had a great start with lockdown #3, but surely that means things can only get better right?

Now is the time to grab the bull by the horns (so to speak) and swing into action to face these challenges head on and set yourself new goals. You can start with the Fast Forward 15 mentoring programme that helps guide you put these goals into action. Applications are still open until February, so don’t miss this opportunity, check it out here.

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 are going a bit off piste and rather than one shero I’d like to introduce you to our stellar line-up of mentors for the next intake, including some fab heroes too.

Not sure if the programme is for you? Then you really should check out these mentors we have in place for this year’s programme. 15 of you will be lucky enough to be paired up with one of these fantastic mentors who will be on hand to assist, encourage and inspire you along your journey. They are all S/heroes to me.
Click on this link to find out more about each mentor by having a read of their bios.

BAME Networking event

Last week our BAME Ambassadors held their first networking event 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. Ambassadors Priya NarainGabrielle Austen-BrowneFelicia Asiedu, and our new addition to the team Benedicta Asante put on a great show.

All good networking events include having a glass in hand (alcoholic or not), so the event started off with a cocktail demonstration before kicking things off with an introduction from me. Felicia and Benedicta explained more about the ambassadorship and why it was set up. Priya, along with new mentors Shonali Devereaux and Claudine Martin spoke about why they wanted to be a mentor. And Gabby along with current mentees Michelle Wheatley and Katie Garrahy about the general application process.

This was all rounded off with a fantastic performance from Janelle Martin who had everyone dancing away with her rendition of ‘shine bright like diamond’.

Introducing: FashionForward15

As part of the programme, this years’ cohort is tasked with organising an event as a group to raise money for a charity of their choice.

After an uncertain year in 2020, the mentees have been keen to celebrate the successes of the industry and the amazing #eventprofs that keep it running!

The planning is well under way, with the FF15 20/21 mentees in conversation with the chosen charity (soon to be revealed), sponsors, suppliers, and everyone in between. As the New Year began and Boris announced another national lockdown, the team’s dream of coming together in person to talk strategy over cocktails have been pushed back again, but that hasn’t stopped them dividing and conquering to build their event, set to be hosted in May 2021.

Keep an eye on @FastForward15UK on Instagram, the newsletter, and across LinkedIn for more exciting news about what they have in store. If you are interested in getting involved, whether through sponsorship or as a supplier, please do contact the team at

Keep on runnin’

And talking about setting and smashing your goals, current mentee Michelle Wheatley has now kicked off proper training for one of her key goals for 2021 – a sub 5 hour marathon and raising shedloads for Acorns Children’s Hospice

Why on earth is she doing this? “This year, everyone has suffered, everyone has struggled. Charities are buckling under the pressure of more demand than ever, and less funding than ever. Acorns is a charity local to me, and important to me and I want to do everything I can to help. The link explains more about why I am doing this, and why I made the decision to run another marathon. The hardest thing about this challenge is the training – I will be running whilst people are still asleep, in snow and rain to do the challenge justice and I will be backing myself…matching each donation up to 10%.”

Running is good for fitness, physical health, and strength, but amazing for mental health too – taking time out to reset, reflect and plan! January is a great time to start! #getinvolved