Originating from Fethard, Co Tipperary, Cathy emigrated at the age of 18 to start her Registered General Nurse training in Essex, having spent the previous 6 years at Convent boarding schools. It was quite a culture shock for her but she soon found the freedom invigorating! There were a variety of high jinks during her student days, but eventually with marriage, the birth of her son and daughter, as well as a variety of moves (and job roles) around the midlands, Cathy settled into adulthood.

Working in areas allied to health gave much job satisfaction, experience of lecturing to various grades of medical staff and with continual professional development Cathy moved up until she finally reached team leader for the Diabetes nurse team, but this took her further away from patient contact. Having divorced, re-married and moved to Wellingborough, a further change in career was on the cards. Her husband Doug supported her in turning their home into a suitable environment for childcare and there followed a ten year period of educating and caring for a number of children ranging in ages from 3 months to 13 years. It was tiring work, but very satisfying, especially when assisting those with disabilities to achieve far above their expectations.

At Christmas 2013 Cathy’s nephew in Australia announced he was getting married to a young lady from Russia in February and they chose a beautiful beach in Vietnam (equidistant for all travelling parties). Representing the European arm of the family, they travelled over for an eight day holiday and had a fabulous time. On the morning of the wedding the groom asked his Auntie Cathy if she could do the English part of the marriage ceremony. Not knowing quite what was involved at the time Cathy found it a very rewarding experience (albeit a bit scary with the cues not obvious for her sections), and various guests were very complementary of her performance. With the birth of their first Granddaughter a short while later the new grandees took on her care part time.

The following summer Cathy finished her self-employment as a Childminder, having made the decision to look for a different challenge for her next career move. Doug enabled her to resume working outside the home as his early retirement meant he was home full-time to continue the childcare for their little granddaughter. Taking on the role of part-time Visiting Officer for Electoral Services at WBC allowed for the free time to commence self-directed online training to become a Celebrant, and a regular income. Autumn 2016 saw her begin her new role with the first clients requesting a Handfasting ceremony for the following June and combining their celebrations with a Naming for their little girl at Cathy’s suggestion. Funerals trickled in over the subsequent months and the experiences furthered Cathy’s belief that her new career gave back a sense of privilege for having been able to write and deliver the right ceremony for people who were complete strangers a short while previously.    

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