The Fellowship might not be new to me but the role of Chairman certainly is!

I’ve been involved with the Fellowship since our President Errol Douglas, MBE was one of the bright young stars of the F.A.M.E Team in 1993. What strikes me is the amazing opportunities to learn from and work with the best that remains the foundation of what the Fellowship stands for – our motto Creative Excellence really does sum up what we are all about. Our dedicated project leaders do an awesome job of nurturing and mentoring young talent, and the fact they undertake them on top of their busy careers just shows their level of dedication. Although I was a hairdresser many moons ago, my role over the last 20 years that we have been growing our business is firmly managerial. However, the closet stylist in me never ceases to rear its (trust me – ugly) head when I watch the talent we nurture go on to bigger and better things in the wider hairdressing industry.

The Chairman’s role is not a creative one (you’ll be relieved to hear!) but involves directing the excellent Fellowship Management team and working closely with the President to take our steer from the Finance Committee, Council and Events Committee, all of which I have been a part of for the last year. I’ve learnt a lot from these committees and their fantastic members - my peers - and will continue to do so. I can assure you that under their combined watch, the Fellowship is in very safe hands. The role also involves ensuring our vital sponsors continue to support and champion the work we do. It will be an honour and a privilege to do so and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for their unwavering support. Errol and I would like to see more regional membership from our fellow hairdressers all over the UK. Once we increase ‘the word’ we can then look to running more regional activity, to counteract the idea that The Fellowship is London centric. So as members, if you know an individual or salon in Wales, the South West, Scotland, the North West/North East, the Midlands, East Anglia or Northern Ireland who you feel should belong to our numbers, please ask them to join us. Furthermore, results from our recent member survey suggest that Business education is at the forefront of your wish-lists – and our Events Director and Patron of Honour Ann Herman will be bringing this to the top of her agenda for 2015.

Elected roles like mine aren’t jobs in the conventional sense (which is good – as I have enough of those already!). I am merely a caretaker – one of a number of custodians of a very precious commodity – during my tenure. I’m looking forward to relishing that challenge and to meeting as many of you as possible in the next 2 years.

Hellen Ward, Chairman

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