Clair is the Managing Director and founder of Cause UK. She 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 Clair as a small business leader in 2014 and Cause UK for Marketing and PR Excellence in 2013. More recently, Cause UK won the PR Agency of the Year Award at the Prolific North Awards in 2021 and was shortlisted for Best Small Agency in the North at the Prolific North Awards 2019 plus Best Family-run Business in the Harrogate Business in Excellence Awards in 2020. Cause UK also won the SME UK Enterprise awards for the Best PR and Marketing Agency for 2020.
Personal accolades include the Director of the Year for Social Value and Sustainability in 2020 and Director of the Year for the Public/Not for Profit Sector, Yorkshire and Humber, in 2014 from the Institute of Directors. Clair was highly commended in the same awards for the category, Corporate Social Responsibility, North and North East, in 2018.
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 working 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 regional newspapers, with stints on the Guernsey Press and Lancashire Telegraph, writing on everything from an earthquake in Iran to interviewing comedians and film stars.
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.