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Interview with CWT Freelance Nutritionist of the Year 2020

Lucy Williamson originally trained and qualified as a Veterinary Surgeon. She later went on to complete a Masters in Nutrition, registered, became a Registered Nutritionist and set up her own Freelance Nutrition Consultancy, combining her love of agriculture and farming with food and health.

As part of her freelance consultancy work, Lucy developed Food LINKS; a project that aims to provide affordable evidence-based nutrition support to help communicate the health benefits of British produce.  Food LINKS creates opportunities for producers to diversity as they seek to adapt to changing food recommendations for public and environmental health.  Lucy works with crop producers as well as building up consumer awareness that dairy, beef and responsibly sourced fish all have a key role as part of a sustainable, balanced diet.  As an experienced vet, Lucy stands out as a freelance Nutritionist with a firm understanding of our agricultural systems and, therefore, the inextricable link between British food with its well-regulated high production standards and public health.

How did you feel when you found out you were awarded the Freelance Nutritionist of the Year award?

I’m just overjoyed to have been given this award that recognises the importance of communicating the value of our fabulous British food for our future health and the passion of those producing it at the start of the food chain. This Year I have learnt more than ever the value of working collaboratively to achieve more, especially when working freelance. I’m proud to be part of our profession reaching out together to inspire better health, and I look forward to forging stronger links between producers, consumers and good food. I can’t thank the Caroline Walker Trust enough for this opportunity.

What is your advice to other freelance nutritionists?

Surround yourself with other people taking similar paths to share and bounce ideas from one another. It can be quite lonely, giving you confidence in connecting with others and not feeling like you’re competing. Use each other to achieve what you want to achieve, e.g. more effectively, quickly or to make it more enjoyable. Connect and collaborate – we are so much stronger together.

What has been the most awarding part of your role as a freelance nutritionist?

Reaching out to the public is something I’ve always enjoyed doing and to be able to share helpful evidence-based information on nutrition. Being able to share that is something I’ve always wanted to do but the award has helped me to find a platform and a voice.

What have you gained from the award Freelance Nutritionist of the Year?

I have gained confidence and belief that the path I took was the right one to take. I’ve also gained focus on my work, and the award has validated this and help spread the word about the work that I do, such working in schools, lecturing and with food producers, which is really novel.

What are the benefits of being recognised by CWT as an inspirational freelance nutritionist?

It gives you the confidence to keep working on new ideas. Being freelance is not an easy route to take, but it’s great that my work and ideas have been recognised and that all the hard work is worth it. Being recognised by the award has also allowed me to connect and work with others.

How did you celebrate when you found out you won Freelance Nutritionist of the Year?

I spent the evening with my family with a glass of Kombucha, followed by some champagne and a big cake! My children were aged 9 and 12 when I went back to university to complete my masters in Nutrition, it was a tough time for my family, who has always supported me, so I was so pleased to share this with them to show them how grateful I was for their support.

What has been your biggest challenge as a freelance nutritionist?

The biggest challenge for me was not being part of a team, so that’s why it is so important to surround yourself the people in a similar field, so you have support.

How did you overcome these challenges?

I was a mentor for a master’s graduate and since have employed her to work a couple of days a week, so it is great to be working in a team environment again. I always find it is more fun and rewarding working with others.

You can read more about Lucy’s award winning work on her Freelance Nutritionist of the Year page

Interview by Michelle Slater
Registered Nutritionist
CWT Annual Awards Committee Member

© 2021 The Caroline Walker Trust

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