Volunteer Placements - Personal Stories
Personal Stories from Previous Volunteers who completed Volunteer Placements with us:
‘There is a positive and personal spirit among the staff and volunteers, which contributes to the very good working atmosphere. I was engaged in the general work of the centre and worked on different projects…. During the four weeks of the placement, I learnt more about child law than during the entire time I spent at university. Gaining a greater insight into the Scottish legal system, especially into the unique system of Scottish children’s hearings, gave me a different view on the German legal system, too, which made it easier for me to reflect on both. Unlike other work placements, my stay with the SCLC gave me the feeling that I actually contributed to something valuable and I am very thankful for this experience.’ – Lena, Westfälische-Wilhelms-Universität in Münster, Germany.
‘I chose the Centre because of the work it does on behalf of children through its advice line and training. I spent the summer working on several different projects for the Centre, as well as becoming familiar with the Scottish Legal System…. I have learned so much about Scottish Law regarding children, and it has been very interesting to compare it to the laws and practices in the United States. While all of this was fun and informative, my favourite memories of my work in Scotland will be of the wonderful staff at the Centre and eating lots of chocolate biscuits!’ – Katie, Loyola University, Chicago.
‘Initially I emailed the Scottish Child Law Centre to enquire about volunteering. In the reply it was suggested to me that I may be interested in the summer internships that were available. The July internship was a position that I was delighted to fulfil! As both a student studying law and a panel member for the Children’s Hearing system working within the Scottish Child Law Centre is a job that I have found highly interesting and incredibly helpful. It is one thing studying law but the reality of what it all means in practice is quite another! Working in the office has given me a much more comprehensive understanding of the world of child law. This is not only from observing and being involved in the work in hand but being able to talk to all the people within the office. Everybody has such a varied and interesting background it has been fantastic. Being a panel member has broadened my knowledge hugely! It has been beneficial both in studying and in the SCLC. It has been very interesting working in the Centre from the perspective of a panel member, being able to see the whole process rather than just the hearing itself.
The centre has given me a better understanding of the process leading up to the hearing which in turn, I hope, will enable me to be a better and more understanding panel member’ – Lucy Frazer, Law Student University of Dundee
‘I was able to do an internship at the Scottish Child Law Centre in the summer of 2011 and I am really glad to have had this possibility. It was the first time for me to get close to legal problems within the social sector and the family and child law that is involved. It was one of my main tasks to log in the calls that had been answered by one of the solicitors and it gave me a good insight into the legal complications being attached. Next to the legal field, I also got an insight into the work of an NGO, how it works, how to rise funding and how to structure the process in order to provide the best support for the people who rely on this work. I also had the chance to go to court and watch the judicial proceeding, including the jury system and the development of cases. It was quite interesting to compare the Scottish system to the German and see common grounds and differences. I also got to know the Scottish Children’s Hearing System which is a unique way of dealing with the children’s needs within a short time and its advantages compared to an ordinary court procedure.
Altogether, I really enjoyed my time at the SCLC. I had lovely and funny colleagues who made my day go by quickly, who taught me Scottish words and showed me around in this great city. Whoever considers doing an internship in Edinburgh; I can only advise to do so at the Scottish Child Law Centre.’ – Bettina Voussen, Westfälische-Wilhelms-Universität in Münster
I have had the opportunity to spend 3 months at the Scottish Child Law Centre which gave me the chance to get thoroughly involved with the Centre's work. I have been working on different projects during my stay, but my main job was to analyse the incoming calls on Contact, draw the consequences and write a report about the Contact issues and court cases going on in Scotland. Fortunately, I also had the chance to take part in a conference organised by the Centre, the subject of which was the charactersitics of present Contact procedures and the possible ways of improving them. As a long-term intern I've gained a huge amount of experience related to the more practical side of legal work. Besides being able to work with experts on their fields, constantly meeting new volunteers from various backgrounds made my stay a really precious and unique experience. - Andrea Toth, Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest, Hungary
I really enjoyed my time at the Scottish Child Law Centre. Supporting a team which is giving free legal advice to people that are faced with difficulties was an awesome feeling every day. From the beginning I felt very comfortable with the staff and the environment. Working with the amazing team and other volunteers was just a great experience. Moreover, it always felt like my work was an important factor in order to ensure that the whole system of the Scottish Child Law Centre is working. Due to this I truly felt like a member of a team just after some days.
Also, the Scottish Child Law Centre gave me the opportunity to be part of a guided tour through the parliament and participate in a debating chamber the next day. I am really thankful for this. All in all the work experience enabled me to improve my English and to work on my self- confidence to speak with native speakers. - Janne Friedrichsen, Westfälische-Wilhelms-Universität Muenster