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This is my new blog. Come back soon as there will be many more posts to come…

A quiet revolution

A quiet revolution: from case study to person with real life expertise ‘We need a real person.’ The daily cry of newsroom editors. You name it: adoption, prisons, A + E waiting times, skateboarding dog. Whatever the story, like it or not, journalism has always relied on case studies. ‘News is people’, we learnt at journalism college. The journalese term ‘case study’ for a real person in a story sums up the distancing and objectification of news – such as the mum whose child has been taken away for adoption, the teenager whose dad is in prison or the grandparent lying on a trolley in a hospital corridor. When I reported [...]

April 24th, 2019|Uncategorized|

Did it need to be said? 10 tweets tackle sexism at the bar

Did it need to be said? Ten tweet intervention tackling sexism at the bar. Don’t act like you’re on a stag do and stop making jokes about breasts and skirts…. This was front page of the Evening Standard earlier this week. Not just the Standard. The story of sexism at the bar made headlines in the Daily Mail (in a good way!), the Times and a BBC Radio 4, Womans Hour discussion with Jenni Murray. It all happened thanks to barrister Joanna Hardy who spontaneously took to Twitter offering her remedy for poor treatment and attitudes towards women barristers in courts and chambers. [...]

February 26th, 2019|Listening|

Meet Oliver the Justice Dog

Meet Oliver, Europe’s first ‘Justice Dog’ Oliver is no ordinary dog. For a start, he has a routine of two hours daily grooming, teeth cleaning and regular pedicures. Not to mention his intense job training. The routine hints at his special professional status. This doe-eyed black lab retriever is no pampered pooch, paraded by a rich celeb, he is in fact the country’s first Justice Dog. He doesn’t wear a cape or have super powers. He doesn’t sniff out drugs in a police raid. What he does do is help and comfort distressed people in the justice system. Oliver recently became a pioneering new recruit with Kent police as part [...]

December 31st, 2018|Justice Dog|

Dead rats, collapsed ceilings, broken clocks: the metaphor of our decrepit courts

Crumbling courts, faltering justice Cases collapse in court. Not usually the courtroom itself. But that’s just what happened in a recent incident. The roof literally caved in, and effectively killed off one lawyer’s career. The courtroom was evacuated. Health and safety refused anyone entry back. A lawyer’s papers were buried under the debris. That was the day he decided to quit his job. Then there’s the dead rat at High Court, witnessed by the BBC’s Home Affairs Correspondent, the broken heating systems - it’s either boiling hot or freezing cold. Take your pick. Oh and what about the clocks telling the wrong time? All in a system we’re told is [...]

December 7th, 2018|Listening|

Listen. Listen hard …then act

Listen. Listen hard …then act 'Are you actually listening Mum - or just pretending?' Oh dear. My children know the trick - ask a question - how was school? Then eyes glaze over, ears close off and my mind switches to a distracting work deadline. Familiar? I can’t be the only one. We all could do with a speed lesson in honing our listening skills. That’s a clear unexpected takeaway message from Being the Story 2018. For those of you don’t know the event, it’s the third from storytelling house, Sounddelivery which gives people with firsthand experience of today’s pressing social issues the opportunity and platform to describe their lives [...]

October 26th, 2018|Listening|

Still standing for justice, thank you!

Two knights, a unicorn and a TV chef...... The perfect ingredients for the Big Half last weekend. Up until lunchtime the day before it was touch and go whether London’s new half marathon would be snowed off or not. Thankfully the race went ahead. So what’s with this knight business? Just as the miles began to hurt, Sir Number One streaks past in the opposite direction. Yes, Sir Mo Farah was ahead of me - only by an hour! A few miles on and I’m flanked by a sea of t-shirts, ‘Bowel cancer’s tough. I’m tougher, ‘ ‘Mum, I’m doing this for you’ and of course the obligatory unicorn. As [...]

March 9th, 2018|accesstojustice, Run for Justice, Uncategorized|

Going the extra mile for justice

Up to my ankles in mud….going the extra mile for justice ‘How’s the training going?’ Lots of people kindly ask. Well, the trainers speak for themselves….mud, mud and more mud. The last few weeks have been one big mudbath. I guess the dates on the calendar should have served as a warning. Two cross-country runs in the hills in winter. It was never going to be a doddle. It’s worth it. Days before the trail run, I met up with the charity LLST - who I’m raising money for - to hear more about the people who receive vital legal support when they’re in crisis. Some of the advice centres [...]

January 31st, 2018|accesstojustice, Run for Justice|

Run for Justice: Housing matters

Run for Justice: Housing matters New Years Resolutions?… Hmm. I’ve never been one for turning over a new leaf come the New Year. Dry January? Not so much. Perhaps a little perversely I challenged myself to dry end of November/first half of December. Not so catchy I know. Did it work? It did, thanks. As for the New Year, new gym membership thing, my training for London’s new Big Half marathon in March continues through winter’s snow, rain and hail. Today myself and two friends - including barrister friend Navita who got me into this challenge- were rewarded with sun. But the real reward is knowing that a small amount [...]

January 10th, 2018|Run for Justice, Uncategorized|