It’s time for Part 3 of our Meet The After Umbrage team series! And this month we’re introducing you to Cath Nicholls, who keeps the cogs in the After Umbrage wheel turning on a weekly basis… Cath is our woman on the ground, and spends time each week making sure that Kingham Cottage is cared for and ready to welcome guests.
I was born in Porthcawl, South Wales, the youngest of four children. We were a sporty family and I continue to enjoy keeping fit through running and circuit training. I’ve been an accountant, a teacher, an education adviser and now work part time as a Carer for the elderly. I live in Bath with my partner Stuart and our lively 8 year old daughter, Lottie.
I heard about After Umbrage through a mutual friend of the Founder, Tara, only 3 or 4 months ago.
I was told that After Umbrage was looking for somebody based in Bath to oversee the cottage on a weekly basis. Since I had some time on my hands I contacted Tara to see if I could help.
Having researched about the Charity online and met Tara, I immediately felt an affinity to After Umbrage. I lost my mother to cancer back in 1989 and my father passed away with vascular dementia in 2011. Whilst I was never a full time carer for my parents I have an idea how draining caring for a loved one can be. I can see the important role the charity plays in helping Carers to care for themselves.
My role involves visiting Kingham Cottage once or twice a week on changeover days to check that everything is up to standard. The cleaners will have already done their bit but I check that nothing’s been missed. Weekly jobs include tidying the courtyard and sorting the recycling, checking light bulbs, ensuring there’s Welcome biscuits and milk for the guests and reviewing the breakages and maintenance book. If necessary, I will arrange for odd jobs to be done or an engineer to be called. I am also currently working on updating the Welcome Pack and ensuring all visitor information is up to date.
I rarely have direct contact with Carers visiting Kingham Cottage, however I see from the Visitors Book the impact the timeout has on those that visit. Although my role is small, I love the fact that I am helping make each visit as near perfect as possible for these people who give so much themselves.
I have only been helping After Umbrage for a few months but being part of such a small positive supportive team is good for the soul. The team have been so welcoming and their enthusiasm is infectious.
After Umbrage has a vision to expand to offer more cottages to more Carers in other parts of the country. It is a Charity that is making a difference, a Charity that is needed. For this to happen, we need more like minded cottage owners to step forward. My wish is that we find at least one such person in the next year.
If you know anyone who might be able to help After Umbrage to expand and support more carers, please do get in touch.