Born in Lancashire, Cath grew up in Hertfordshire and north London then moved to Leeds when she was 17 to go to University.
She worked as a teacher for seven years then, after getting an MA in Economics, switched to local government, holding a wide range of roles with Leeds City Council until 2016. Projects she worked on included getting funding to turn a car park into Millennium Square; enhancing the city centre; improving the quality of the River Aire and regenerating the waterfront; creating pedestrian street maps; working with developers who created TrinityLeeds and Victoria Gate, and helping to make the city centre a safer, more welcoming place. She was also involved in improving equalities within the Council.
Cath is a founding Trustee of Emmaus Leeds, a charity that works towards ending homelessness by giving people somewhere to live together with meaningful training and work. She also volunteers with Leeds Community Foundation.