Events and fundraising manager at The Countess of Chester Hospital Hanna Clarke: A Day in the Life

Early mornings, being organised and networking events

Hanna Clarke after the Delamere Commando Trail

Name: Hanna Clarke

Job: Events and fundraising manager at The Countess of Chester Hospital

Where were you born: Wrexham

Where do you live now: Wrexham

Education: GCSE’s at Ysgol Bryn Offa, A Levels at Yale College Wrexham, and degree at University of Wales (Glyndwr)

Family Life: Husband Rayner, eight-year-old daughter Eve and five-year-old son Evan

Hanna and her husband Rayner

I’m up at 5.30am with my husband Rayner. Rayner runs his own plant hire and groundwork business so is off out to the machines first thing.

First job is coffee then onto the packed lunches. I then get my workout in before the children get up at 7am.

Then it’s a whirlwind of showers, school uniform, and breakfast.

My husband laughs at me and says I run a tight ship in the morning, but the kids (Eve Amelia and Evan Jackson) need to be at breakfast club for 8.10am so I can get to the office for 9am.

Hanna Clarke's children Eve and Evan

A day in the fundraising office is certainly a varied one.

I am organised and everything goes into my calendar from dates of events to when I want to programme in my main weekly social media messages so first thing first is to check my calendar to see what lies ahead.

My day can involve anything from attending a networking event to let companies know all about the Countess charity, supporting a company who has chosen The Countess Charity as its charity of the year at their own fundraising event, in the office on the phone contacting companies to let them know about our current events or in the hospitals main corridor selling the ‘baby ducks’ for the annual Chester Duck Race.

One of my projects currently is the Hickory’s Smokehouse Chester Duck Race for the Babygrow Appeal to be held on September 16 down at the Groves. I am contacting companies to see if they would like to sponsor and then decorate a corporate duck for £200 and organising the corporate duck launch party which will be held at Hickory’s on June 15.

Hanna Clarke, Angie Lopez, Emma Boylan and volunteer Pauline Finlay at the Babygrow Grand Finale Ball which was held at the Town Hall in April for the Babygrow Appeal

The afternoon I try and spend out and about within the Chester area by meeting and supporting companies who have chosen one of the appeals as charity of the year and attending networking events. We are members of the WCNW Chamber who are a fantastic group of businesses.

I connect with individuals I have met at networking events and let them know how they can get involved with the Countess charity, scoping out various venues and spaces for possible event ideas for future fundraising events.

I am working closely with Jolliffes Solicitors who have selected the Breast Ultra Sound Scanner as their charity of the year.

They are planning a Zipwire Experience as well as various other events.

The Zipwire Experience is something that everyone at the firm can get involved with.

It’s a fantastic team building activity whilst raising money for a fantastic cause.

I also have the Babygrow Appeal O2 Golf Day and the Hillyer Mckeown Sportsman’s Lunch at the Crowne Plaza at the back of mind as even though these events aren’t until later in the year. they will be with us before we know it.

There is also the Ladies Lunch in association with Elegant Resorts and Slater Gordon for the Breast Ultra Sound Scanner Appeal which will take place during Breast care Awareness month in October.

Hanna Clarke, Angie Lopez and Lesley Woodhead prior to the Ladies Lunch event in 2016

My working day ‘finishes’ at 5pm but some evenings I can be out at an event, Countess fundraiser or networking event so it just depends what the diary has scheduled in.

If there isn’t a work commitment then it’s back to Wrexham to collect the children and ferry them to various activities.

Rayner is home around 6.30pm so we can have something to eat together around 7pm and then either a film or a box set binge on the sofa!

Eve, Evan and Hanna on the beach in Mucia, Spain

What do you wear to do your job?

My job can be very varied so my outfits vary accordingly. But generally I would say smart/casual. I do like fashion so I try to keep on trend! Then leggings and a t-shirt when event prepping.

What is the favourite part of your job?

Event day, seeing all the planning coming together, knowing all the details have been looked after, that the sponsors are happy and attendees are enjoying themselves, raising the money for the charity and then them asking what the next event is they can attend to support us.

I also enjoy getting out and about in the business community, meeting all the different types of business in the Chester area. That was the one thing I first noticed when I started this role; everyone in the area has a genuine interest in what you are doing.

What is your least favourite part of the job?

I’m currently in the process of doing this now – counting and then numbering the smaller ducks for the annual Chester Duck Race. The current took them all over to the mud bank on the far side last year so they are filthy.

What would be your dream job if you weren’t doing what you are doing now?

I’m really enjoying what I am doing now and it isn’t something I had ever thought of getting into, having a background in health and fitness, and sports. So now I would say running my own events company.

How do you relax when you are not working?

I like working out, running and mountain biking in Llandegla if time allows. I have completed the Delamere Commando Trail for the past two years finishing both times as second lady. I also enjoy spending time with Rayner and the children whether that involves watching a film or running around at my twin brother’s farm, the children love the animals especially the pigs.

Hanna Clarke taking part in the Delamere Commando Trail in 2016(Image: Jane Mann Photography)

What is your favourite film?

I do like films so I have lots of favourites. I’m a bit of a Nicholas Cage fan so Gone in Sixty Seconds, Lord of War, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, and Conn Air are some of my favourites. I also have a bit of a thing for Vin Diesel so the Fast and the Furious franchise are another favourite.

What is your favourite book?

I quite like an autobiography particularly a sports personality. I don’t have time to read much but tend to binge read when on holiday. Last year I read Guy Martin’s autobiography as my husband is into superbikes and then Robbie Savage’s autobiography. I know people tend to either love him or hate but he is a local Wrexham lad so I am a bit biased and what came across to me from his book is his pure love for football.

What is your favourite song?

It would probably be Heaven originally by Brian Adams. It was our first dance song at our wedding. Rayner and I had wanted the dance version by DJ Sammy but were vetoed by my sister!

If a film was made of your life, who would you like to play you?

I’m a big Reese Whitherspoon so I think she would be great. From her serious films to her not so serious, and she has even been in Friends! She has a dedication to her work and her family which I greatly admire. I have really enjoyed her latest series of Big Little Lies.

Have you had your 15 minutes of fame yet?

This is it isn’t it?! I used to work in a local tourist attraction in Wrexham when I was a teenager (Farmworld) looking after the ponies and doing the pony rides and was filmed for a North West news section but I doubt it was 15 seconds never mind 15 minutes!

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