Founder of Cause UK, Clair combines Californian vibes with a Yorkshire work ethic. Her speciality is big idea projects, media stunts and broadcast stories. She has a knack for engaging meaningful support from celebrities for our campaigns.
A graduate of Warwick University and the University of California, Clair has a Chartered Institute of Marketing Postgrad qualification from Cambridge Marketing College and leadership qualifications from Sandhurst Military Academy.
Under her direction, Cause UK has become award-winning.
In the early days, the Guardian profiled Cause UK for ‘Marketing and PR Excellence’ in 2013. More recently, Cause UK was shortlisted for Best Small Agency in the North at the Prolific North Awards 2019 and Best Family-run Business in the Harrogate Business in Excellence Awards 2020. Cause UK also won the SME UK Enterprise awards for the Best PR and Marketing Agency for 2020.
Personal accolades include the Institute of Directors’ ‘Director of the Year’ (Public/Not for Profit Sector Yorkshire and Humber) in 2014, and she was highly commended in the same awards for the category, Corporate Social Responsibility category North and North East in 2018. Clair has been shortlisted for the 2020 Institute of Directors’ Director of the Year Awards for Social Value and Sustainability Impact.
In the past decade, Clair has been an adviser to Leeds Becket University School of Business and Law, a Trustee of Martin House Children’s Hospice, a founding director of the Veterans’ Artisan Bakery at Catterick, and a Trustee to the festival she curates, the Malton Dickensian Festival.
Starting her career in the marketing departments of fintech and private banking in London, she moved to the third sector with Action for Children and Yorkshire Cancer Research before setting up Cause UK in 2010.
The clue is in the name! Yes, Clair and Ann are a sister act. Ann jumped ship to Cause UK in 2011 becoming a co-director.
Her experience combines a couple of years as an Account Manager in a PR agency, an in-house journalist for a web marketing team, and her first love – feature writing.
Ann was a feature writer for the Guernsey Press and Lancashire Telegraph, writing on everything from an earthquake in Iran and the PTSD victims of Iraq to interviewing comedians and film stars and writing theatre and TV reviews.
Her first break into journalism was as Editor of the Alderney Journal, which she felt was like being parachuted into a bizarre film set (think The Wicker Man). It was a fast learning curve, covering everything from court and political reporting to subbing, editing and taking photos.
Beth Brewster, her then lecturer at City University and former features editor of The Observer, wrote to congratulate Ann on her first journalism job: “I’m thrilled. You are an innate journalist. In three years of teaching I’ve only had four real talents and you are one of them.”
Matt Diebel, editor of People.com magazine and former New York Times entertainment editor, subscribed to the Journal. He emailed his praise: “Her reports are well-written and contain rounded reporting, a rare commodity. Thank you – it really is a breath of fresh journalistic air.” Later adding: “If this is just the beginning, I’d say you will go a long way quite fast.”
Ann still writes freelance features and her writing talents are invaluable to Cause UK.
Photo credit Gary Lawson.