Q&A: Nick Cahm Production manager, Reach Printing Services (Midlands) and Newsprint Manager Reach Printing Services

Jo Francis
Monday, November 26, 2018

Nick has been in print most of his working life. He started off at Mirror Colour Print, then moved to Quebecor and returned to what is now Reach 13 years ago.

He is married with “two beautiful children”, one of whom is mad on music (like Nick) and the other who’s mad on horses. He has two hobbies: Type 1 diabetes and choral music. “I am a well-known campaigner for improvements in diabetes care and technology. In the past month I have written or contributed to articles in the Guardian, the Times, the BBC, several local papers and a major article in the British Medical Journal. The latter played a big part in changing NHS policy, a story that made most media outlets. I am attending a meeting at the House of Commons next month and have a meeting with a local MP coming up. My son and I also sing in an excellent choir, singing church music to a high standard.”

Why did you get into printing? 

It was random. I liked the bit on Play School that had them going into a factory and print seemed fascinating. I had interviews for various industries and luckily Richard Gray (now Prinovis) and John Brewis (RPS) thought it worth taking a punt on a bespectacled nerdy graduate that came for interview. I am very grateful to them both

What would be your dream job? 

Within print, I think I am doing it – I speak to a wide range of people on a daily basis and help them to cut through the printing jargon and technical difficulties to produce exactly what they want. Outside of print, I’d love to have the opportunity to raise awareness of diabetes and improve awareness and knowledge of it in the UK

What is your favourite TV programme? 

Horizon and anything presented by David Attenborough

Sweet or savoury?

Ironically (due to having T1 diabetes) sweet. I love sweet stuff

Who or what do you hate the most?

Rudeness. There is no need to be impolite – it’s a sign of weakness. Even if things are going badly, which they sometimes do, keeping a cool head and being treated as you’d want to be treated yourself is important

What is your favourite phrase or saying? 

From my colleague Andy Jones: ‘Those in distress cause distress’. This is so true in many situations and helps to understand why people behave how they do

What is your favourite album? 

I’m into classical music, anything by Vivaldi or Rachmaninov

What is your favourite book?

The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman – beautifully descriptive and a gripping read

Cat or dog, or…?

Definitely cats – my daughter has a horse and at the stables, there are some semi-feral kittens. I’m known as the mad cat-man – the cats think I’m Dad!

What is the strangest job you’ve ever done?

In the food factory, spending eight hours cutting cherry tomatoes into quarters and filling potato salad pots by hand

What is your greatest ambition? 

To be an expert and have my opinions respected. I have worked hard to get to that point in some areas and want to build on that for the future

Who or what makes you laugh? 

The Mash Report and Michael McIntyre. His ‘what people who don’t have kids don’t understand’ sketch is so spot on!

Where would you like to be right now? 

France, such a wonderful country: people, food, climate, lifestyle. I can think of nowhere finer.

What’s your worst fashion disaster? 

I have no interest in fashion at all – everything I wear is no doubt a disaster, but I don’t care!

Which superpower would you like to have? 

To get more people buying newspapers and to cure diabetes

Where would you go if you could time-travel? 

Back to Madagascar. We went in 2016 and it was awesome

What is the worst kind of print? 

Where something goes wrong and the customer is disappointed. It doesn’t matter where the fault lies; it makes me feel so frustrated when expectations aren’t met

What advice would you give to your teenage self?

It’s OK to not know what you want to do. There are many paths you can take with twists and turns, but with persistence, hard work, and good nature, you can be successful

How would you like to be remembered? 

As a person that made a difference whilst remaining calm and polite at (almost) all times

Life is…? 

An opportunity; don’t waste it

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