Previous Volunteers and Interns

In recent years, we have had several volunteers who have gained valuable experience and skills during their time with the organisation. Read their stories below:

Kelsey Smith, Policy Intern

“My experience at HIV Scotland allowed me to put everything I learned in University into practical use. It gave me the opportunity to work in a human rights based organisation, which was an invaluable experience.”

Kelsey began interning at HIV Scotland in May 2015 after completing her MSc in Human Rights and International Politics. After specialising in sexual and reproductive rights, writing her dissertation on the human rights implications of sex work in Thailand, Kelsey was drawn to the work of HIV Scotland.

Kelsey interned as part of the policy team, undertaking desktop research on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Her work expanded into developing a survey that was conducted at Edinburgh and Glasgow Pride. She presented her research at a roundtable hosted by HIV Scotland on PrEP. Kelsey then compiled this research into HIV Scotland’s PrEP Report.

During the course of her internship at HIV Scotland she gained skills in drafting national policy, collaborating with key stakeholders and contributing to work that focused on promoting and protecting human rights. Kelsey is now the Policy and Campaigning Officer at HIV Scotland, leading work on eliminating HIV-related stigma and determining the relationship between HIV and primary care.

Lewis Ryder-Jones, Policy Intern

“HIV Scotland gave me the opportunity to meaningfully contribute to their work, while helping me develop wide ranging skills in policy and campaigning”

Lewis approached HIV Scotland in summer 2015 after having decided he wanted to change career path and work within the field of policy and campaigning. Although HIV as a specific policy area didn’t affect him personally, the values, vision and mission of the organisation resonated with his own world view – that how society treat people living with or affected by HIV reflects a wider issue of how evidence, compassion and the lived experiences of real people should shape our policy and services.

When he approached HIV Scotland he was about to embark upon an MSc in Comparative Public Policy, and was keen to develop his comparative research skills in a real world context. This personal goal fitted in with a project that HIV Scotland had identified as a result of the annual Positive Persons’ Forum earlier in the year – the need for better HIV education. Lewis then undertook desktop research on how sex education is taught at home and abroad culminating in a detailed report for the policy team. After this, he began drafting the early stages of a campaign strategy that would become a central part of HIV Scotland’s official workplan in 2016-2017. During this time, Lewis was able to work with the team on various other projects and gain valuable experience helping at the annual Policy Seminar and parliamentary reception.

Through well-balanced support and supervision, Lewis was able to develop a host of different skills while genuinely benefitting the organisation. Moreover, upon completion of his 6-month tenure as an intern, Lewis then joined the team as the Policy and Administration Officer.