"In 2010, I applied for the position of a seasonal tour guide at Dumfries House. I had not been in long term employment for a period of around two years and opportunities were limited.

"Living in an area of high unemployment I felt there was little prospect of finding a full-time, rewarding job. To my surprise and delight I was invited for an interview and subsequently offered the position.

"This was a challenging and exciting new start for me, one which led to learning a number of new skills and improving on the abilities I already had whilst undertaking the research necessary to promote a property with such a rich and storied history. This included developing a thorough knowledge of the Dumfries House collection and the work I put in to gain that knowledge was to pay off as I am now employed on a full time basis as the Collections Assistant, helping the curator care for and document the collection on a daily basis.

"I now have a demanding and engaging role which has not only brought stability but a sense of worth and achievement which has enriched my quality of life greatly. All of this would have been impossible without the saving of Dumfries House and the efforts of His Royal Highness to secure its future.”

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