Meet our new fundraising lead for the Isle of Man

“There’s such a fantastic team spirit, and I’m looking forward to working with such a great team!”

Please give a warm welcome to Sophie van Hooven, our new fundraising lead for the Isle of Man.

Sophie joined our charity last month and recently spent a few days at our headquarters in the North East of England getting to know everyone (as well as taking those token photos with our helicopter).

We had a chat with Sophie to find out more about her life before GNAAS.

Please could you explain your career prior to joining GNAAS?

Previously I’ve worked on a few equestrian yards (including a horse racing yard in New Zealand) and I had a dabble in accounting, (but realised I was better at spending money than looking after it!!) before I then did my degree in Events & Marketing.

After finishing my degree, I worked for a charity on the Isle of Man as a community fundraiser, before taking the big leap and starting an events and social media business!

We heard you’ve fundraised for charities in the past. What did you do to raise the money?

So, the first one I did was the run section of the Brutal Extreme Triathlon in Wales for Alzheimer’s (Grandma had Alzheimer’s). The run leg was 15 miles up and down Snowdon, which raised a few thousand – my brothers did the bike and swim leg each.

I’ve also done the Parish Walk twice for charity.  The Parish Walk is an 85-mile walk in 24 hours and you pass through each Parish on the Island.

I’ve taken part four times and only finished once (although this year I got to 80 miles before picking up an injury, which stopped me – so brutally close to the finish!!!)

I’ve done this for Cardiac Risk in the Young and Ovacome, both times raising a few thousand pounds.

Why did you apply for a job at GNAAS?

It’s such a fantastic opportunity to help develop a wider awareness of the charity and the amazing work that is carried out each and every day by the critical care team.

How did it feel when you were told you got the job at GNAAS?

I was delighted, and I’m very excited to get some events up and running soon.

What are your role and responsibilities?

My role is the lead fundraiser for the Isle of Man.  I’m responsible for the fundraising events on the Island and to create awareness of the charity and the work that is carried out on the Island to support Manx residents.

I had a great first event at the Royal Manx Show this last weekend.  It was wonderful meeting and chatting to so many people and getting the GNAAS name out and about.

What are your first impressions of GNAAS?

I spent a few days at GNAAS HQ and was made to feel so welcomed by everyone – they’re all so friendly!  There’s such a fantastic team spirit, and I’m looking forward to working with such a great team!

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