Nicola Lesley Murray (nee Williams) was a much loved wife of George, daughter of Leonard and Jennifer Williams and sister to Susan and Caroline.
Determined and conscientious, Nicola faced life with a clear idea of how she wanted to live. She fulfilled many of these ideals with a life full of love, friends, family, travel and a vocational career as a Speech and Language Therapist. She had a particular interest in helping adults with learning disabilities, all of which she was extremely proud.
Nicola was brought up in Fife. She studied English language and literature at Glasgow University qualifying with Honours in 1997. She then attended Queen Margaret University College in Edinburgh as an advanced entrant and qualified as an SLT in 1999. She commenced working for the Fife Speech and Language Service in August 1999 and in her words, she was proud to be a ‘Fifer-lifer’.
Initially, Nicola was keen to work with children and her first post had a mixed remit working with community paediatrics and adults with learning disability. Through this experience, she developed her specific interest in working with adults with learning disability and she decided that this was where she wanted to concentrate her efforts and talents.
She moved into a full-time post with this client group in 2004 working within the context of the Central Fife Community Learning Disability Team and quickly made a lasting impression on her colleagues. They were left in no doubt of the impact of communication difficulties and the importance of developing skills to support people appropriately.
Nicola was an extremely well- respected member of the wider speech and language therapy department for her concise thinking, innovation and clear decision-making, and was renowned for her sharp wit. She sought out new challenges within her job and in 2006, in response to an individual case, was successful in securing funding from the Jennifer Brown Fund for the ‘Parenting Project’. This was to develop a package of resources to support women with learning disability throughout pregnancy. This was a joint project with clinical psychology, which was nominated for the Scottish Health Awards in 2008. Despite being runners up, the project received special recognition and has continued to generate interest nationwide. Sadly, Nicola will not see the final published version.
Nicola’s dedication and passion for her vocation, as well as her genuine commitment to the needs of her client group was evident to all. Her immense knowledge base and clinical skills provided a benchmark to her colleagues and she was a truly inspirational person, mentor and friend. Nicola encouraged others to face challenges and pursue their goals both personal and professional.
As a service we miss her personality, dynamism, enthusiasm and innovation. Her absence has left a void in the hearts of many. Colleagues, family and her clients will continue to feel her loss for some time to come.