Sheros and Heros: Fast Forward 15
Fay Sharpe (founder of Fast Forward 15) introduces Helen Moon in the third of her series on Shero’s.
I first met Helen Moon 5 years ago in Carluccio’s at Waterloo. I had just launched FF15 and Helen had asked for a mini-mentoring session. Having met her, I told her she just needed to ‘do it’ as she already had a clear goal and seemed quite determined. It’s so lovely to see her success. Here’s her story.
I’ve worked in the events industry for 23 years this year, a year that is turning out to be the most challenging I have faced as an event professional, but one that I believe we will come out of stronger and better for.
I love what I do, and I love the event industry. It’s an industry that has given me a very rewarding and inspiring career, and it is also one that has presented me with some challenging periods.
In 2009, when I was a Business Development Manager for a large venue in London, I suffered a huge burn out, probably not my first either, and it was around this time that I learnt that I had Bipolar Disorder. After obviously getting over that news and coming to terms with having a chronic mental health disorder, I became determined to try and make a difference and to help others in the industry who may be experiencing mental ill health, or just struggling with their day to day, but did I have the confidence to put myself out there and on a stage talking about my mental health, especially in an industry that at the time didn’t talk about mental health.
A meeting and coffee with Fay Sharpe in 2016 changed that for me, and then a statement came out at the end of that year stating that event co-ordination was the 5th most stressful career. I took that as my flag and in 2017 I thought ‘what the hell’ and started holding events that had mental health and wellbeing on the agenda. The response was amazing and so, in September 2017 EventWell was born at the first Event Wellbeing Week. EventWell is growing as the mental health and wellbeing voice of the event industry and we’ve just selected our board of Trustees.
We now have open conversations about mental health and wellbeing in our industry. Employers are starting to make big changes to look after the wellbeing of their teams and talent. We are also now forming the EWA and Event Wellbeing Alliance as a huge collective industry voice. This is something that makes me so incredibly proud of our amazing industry.
My mum used to always say to me when I was growing up that I could achieve amazing things if I put my mind to it and mum is always right of course. EventWell is my proof for you that having the confidence to go for it can lead to incredible things!