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Achievement | Challenge

By Jen Scotney Greatest Achievement I was called to the Bar in 2005 and for 14 years I worked as a Human Rights Lawyer, specialising in representing young people in prison on life sentences. I spent long days both at my desk and across the country in high-security prisons. My greatest achievement was winning a human rights case at The Supreme Court, the highest court in England and Wales, and changing the Parole Board’s policy on the review of prisoners. I went into law to fight for fairness and equality

By Jen Scotney

Greatest Achievement

I was called to the Bar in 2005 and for 14 years I worked as a Human Rights Lawyer, specialising in representing young people in prison on life sentences. I spent long days both at my desk and across the country in high-security prisons. My greatest achievement was winning a human rights case at The Supreme Court, the highest court in England and Wales, and changing the Parole Board’s policy on the review of prisoners. I went into law to fight for fairness and equality for all and having an impact changing so many policies and lives was so rewarding. Being in the outdoors complimented such a difficult career.

After time spent in prisons with complex clients I would feel called to head to the mountains, to the runs in my Peak District hills, to run ultramarathons that lasted for days. The simplicity and peace I find in the outdoors made my life at work in prisons and parole board hearings much more manageable.

Toughest Challenge

My greatest running challenge was the 190 mile non-stop race Northern Traverse, which follows Wainwright’s Coast to Coast route from St Bees, across the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors to Robins Hood Bay. I finished 2nd Female and 10th overall. I had picked the race as 10 years before I had walked the route, with my Mum, not long after my Dad and Brother had died. At the time we walked it I wasn’t that fit, I hadn’t run since I was a teenager and had no idea that I would ever return to it, never mind running in a few days what it took us two weeks to walk.

I spent months training and recce-ing the route, and returning to it made me think back to the time my grief felt so raw. Being outside helped me get through that time. Running the race was so much fun though, a beautiful route and a celebration of my health and happiness after that difficult time before.

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