With applications to join pioneering mentoring scheme Fast Forward 15 now open, founding mentees from the inaugural year are urging hospitality stars of the future to apply now, as they deliver a ringing endorsement of the scheme.

Selina Donald, owner of The Bulb, said: “I was at a point in my career where I was unsure of the next step to take in order to progress further, so the Fast Forward 15 mentorship could not have come at a better time.

“I have now taken the leap from permanent employment to setting up an event production agency, producing creative but sustainable events, an area I am passionate about. I would wholly recommend women in the industry to take the opportunity and apply – who knows where you might be next year!”

Emma North, Project Director, Black Tomato added: “With an inspiring mentor and role model, a wealth of opportunities and the intense focus on continuously setting goals and accomplishing them, I have achieved more than I could have imagined.

“My advice to anyone thinking of applying is to go for it – it is an incredible experience and provided me with a year of unrivalled professional development at a time when I needed direction.”

Founding mentee, Hannah Coleman, Logistics Coordinator, WRG Creative Communication highlights the value of Fast Forward 15 to those looking to join the hospitality and events industry: “Guidance from my mentor helped me realise and capitalise on my capabilities; invaluable for someone making their first steps in the industry after graduating. It has helped me secure a graduate position with a well-respected agency, and work on my first international event in Tokyo.”