In Your Shoes - Lucy Nicholl

Hello, I'm Lucy. I started Nicholl HR, an HR consultancy firm in the summer of 2023. I’m based in Arbroath but cover areas from Fife up to Aberdeen. I specialise in third-sector support, however, work with a range of clients from diverse industries. Usually, my clients have under 50 employees, which works well for me as I like to feel part of the team!

I co-run a networking group called 'Oath for Arbroath' aimed at supporting businesses and collaborations in Arbroath to improve the local economy. 

I studied in Dundee at Abertay and graduated in Business Management a few years ago. I like to be involved with the local universities and create opportunities for people. 

I most recently opened a Cafe/Bistro in Forfar, called Ten57 to provide job opportunities and experience to individuals.

I'm also a mum to two beautiful children who keep me busy the rest of the time.


My work week started on Tuesday as I typically attempt to take Sundays and Mondays as my ‘days off’. I drop the kids off at school and breakfast club at 8am (as I do every morning through the week) and head back to the house to start work. I done my invoicing and accounts for the month in the morning whilst eating my breakfast. I then carried out some advertising for my Lunch and Learn sessions as a final push and then tweaked my training slides to make sure they were suitable for the attendees. These sessions are aimed at supporting busy SMEs with their HR in a bitesize format, so they don’t need to invest hours of time that they might not have.

I realised it was 10:35am (already!) and I had to quickly get ready and head to the Friockheim Hub where the Chamber hosted a Member event. I always like to attend these when my calendar allows it, it’s a great way to engage with new businesses and stay ‘in the loop’. I was thrilled to meet some ladies from Johnston Carmichael and learn more about what they do – which was really useful.

When back home I attended another networking event by GoConnections which I attend every Tuesday from 2pm to 3pm. It’s a really efficient way to connect and collaborate with businesses and individuals in the local area and nationwide. As you can tell, networking is a big part of what makes my business work! I spent some time inviting people to join the group via LinkedIn.

I finished up and picked my little boy up for a play date with his friend.


My day started with a session at the gym, I do try to go at least twice a week. I managed a 5km on the treadmill for the first time in ages. Super slow, I admit, but I done it and that’s all that matters, right? Anyway, that left me super motivated. So, I went home and jotted down a plan for the rest of the week of things I had to get through.

I started by researching best practices in terms of the Fair Worst First guidance from the Scottish Government. This essentially sets out guidance that employers should follow for employees to be treated fairly. It’s important within the third sector as funders require you to prove that you’re complying with the guidance and taking pro active steps to meet the criteria set out. As around half of my clients are within the third sector, I keep up to date with this.

I then carried out a brief review for one of my clients on some of their policies and procedures to ensure they were working for them ahead of a meeting with them later in the afternoon.

In between, I worked on some other business for my second business – a café in Forfar called Ten57.

I met with a client and finished up for the day.


My day started with making some last minute touches to my training session scheduled for the afternoon on Absence Management. Followed by me practicing timings etc (can you tell this is my first time?)

I then organised the Oath for Arbroath business networking meeting, which takes place every 4 weeks to support local businesses and encourage people to spend locally, boosting the local economy. This included me advertising this and arranging a guest speaker – which I’m very excited about!

I carried out some marketing for my second business in between and finished off some outstanding client work.

I held the training session in the afternoon, followed by catching up on emails.

I then picked up the kids and spent the rest of the afternoon in the garden. The weather was great so you need to make the most of it – the perks of working for yourself!

In the evening, I attended a tourism focussed event at the gorgeous Hospitalfield House. It’s really important for my networking group and both businesses that I stay up to date with the latest trends and use data to drive them forward.