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Fast Forward 15 celebrates graduation ceremony for its class of 2018

Fast Forward 15, a mentoring scheme for women in the events industry, recently celebrated the graduation of its 2018 intake.

A graduation ceremony was held on board events venue and luxury yacht The Silver Sturgeon, celebrating a year of learning and success.

Mentees shared their achievements with a high-profile audience of influencers from the events and business travel industries. A group activity also raised more than £6,500 for Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust.

The celebration lunch was headlined by Natalia Cohen who was part of the first all-female team to row un-supported across the Pacific Ocean. She shared her story of the crossing drawing on how positive mindset, determination, team work and humour can counter even the toughest situations.  

Fiona Bool, operations manager for group travel and events at Gray Dawes Group, commented: “The support from my fellow Fast Forward 15 mentees, mentors and wider stakeholders has fuelled my development both personally and from a corporate perspective.

“Achieving a place on the scheme is an enormous break and should be embraced from the outset by being open to opportunities and honest to the barriers that you perceive are in the way.”

This year marks the fifth that Fast Forward 15 has been running. It is recognised for instilling attributes including confidence and empowerment, and commercial skills such as goal-setting and presenting.

Fay Sharpe, founder of Fast Forward 15 (and recipient of CN’s Pioneer Award at March’s Agency Awards), commented: ‘Each year the competition for mentoring gets fiercer as the programme establishes itself as an amazing way to fast-track personal improvement; equally we are inundated with business heads who want to help these women.

“I’m indebted to the mentors who give up their time for free and who have all helped nurture and instil confidence to such bright new talent. My thanks also go to the team on the Silver Sturgeon who not only hosted us so well, but gave us a different perspective on this amazing city.

“Different viewpoints and perspectives echo the premise of Fast Forward 15, a scheme that encourages and champions a bold new future for the events sector.”