GAGA Director, Claire was recently interviewed by Dawn Denton of Celebrate Southern Africa for their podcast series "My African Dream"  

You can watch the podcast on YouTube and hear about Claire's early life in Zambia, Botswana and Zimbabwe as well as finding out more about some of the projects that GAGA UK supports and how you can Get involved in all that GAGA does!

Claire previously shared a brief bio when she first joined GAGA UK in 2019

I first set foot on African soil over 50 years ago (it was a small foot!) when my family emigrated from the Isle of Wight to Zambia where my father worked as an engineer.

Little girl in school dress

My first day at school was in Ndola, Zambia and my childhood memories are filled with the sights, sounds and smells of Africa. We moved to Gaborone, Botswana in the early 70’s and then on to Zimbabwe, finally returning to the UK as a teenager in the late 70’s. My love of Africa has endured, as has my gratitude to a doctor at a Seventh Day Adventist Mission hospital whose intervention saved my hearing by treating me and then referring me to an ENT surgeon in Johannesburg in 1972. It is these early experiences that fire my enthusiasm for GAGA and my desire to contribute to the fabulous work they do.

Previously, my career had been in Finance, I am a Chartered Management Accountant and I have worked in a variety of industries from hospitality to financial services. I have held a variety of management and senior management positions and latterly have worked as an independent contractor largely in the Banking sector. I am looking forward to using the skills and knowledge gained from this experience to support my work at GAGA.

I have lived in Stratford upon Avon since 2002 and have extensive connections in the local area. I held the position of Treasurer and then Chair of the Parents Association of Stratford Primary School whilst my sons attended there, I have been a leader in the Scout’s Association (1st Shottery Beavers) and prior to moving to Stratford I was a lay member of the Coventry NHS Trust Maternity Services Liaison committee. These experiences provide me with a background in the charitable sector from a perspective of governance, reporting to trustees and supporters and organising and running fundraising events.

cyclist at start of Coast to Coast

I have also undertaken a number of personal challenges, including running the Shakespeare Half Marathon and cycling Coast to Coast to raise money for Cancer Research and GAGA respectively. I am delighted that my working life can now be spent working with GAGA to continue to support the many worthwhile projects and initiatives they are involved in. I look forward to working with the trustees as we identify potential new prospects, working alongside our wonderful volunteers to promote and deliver the popular fundraising events, visiting the projects in person and meeting the people who transform others lives on a daily basis and, importantly, meeting as many of our wonderful supporters and donors as possible and continuing to share stories of the amazing impact of their contribution.