James' Story

I attended Abertay University and graduated with a 1st Class Honours degree in Scots Law and thereafter lectured Law for a short time. Following this I took a year out to work in Conservation in the Cairngorms National Park and did various conservation activities in the National Park as part of a hand build upland footpath team. Having done this, I decided I wanted to get back into working in a professional environment and wanted to find a trainee or intern type role where I could establish myself, learn new skills, build on the skills and knowledge I’d began to develop at University. I found an internship with Frontline Fife on Adopt an Intern for a GDPR Implementation intern. This role suited me well as I am from Kirkcaldy where the role was based and I was also very keen to work for a charity where I could feel positive about the contribution I can make.  

My intern role was varied, and it allowed me to meet staff across all teams at Frontline Fife and gain a good understanding of how the charity operates as well as generally about homelessness in Scotland. My internship was focussed on overhauling Frontline Fife’s Data Protection Framework in line with the requirements of the new GDPR as well as providing training to staff on Data Protection and the GDPR. I did so under our CEO, Caryn Nicolson, whose invaluable guidance, direction and support I was able to benefit from throughout the entire internship.  

Following my internship, I adopted a role continuing to work on internal policies within Frontline Fife. A part time Making Justice Work Housing Advice role became available within Frontline Fife which involved representing clients in court for rent arrears in order to prevent them from becoming homeless. I decided to apply for this as it would allow me to become a client facing member of staff which was an excellent development opportunity for me, as well as further utilise my legal background. I did this for a number of months and have recently taken up a full time role as a generic Housing Advisor, providing advice across a number of housing issues including homelessness appeals, private sector issues, rent arrears and disrepair, among others. I feel fortunate to have had such a breadth of experience at Frontline Fife, starting with my internship. I don’t believe there are many organisations where I could have had such a close influence on high level policies and gained such valuable experience of this as well as gaining practical experience assisting vulnerable people in crisis.