Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Unlike most of the interns who have written in this blog I haven't been working on the front line in the US by helping to provide people on death row with legal representation. Instead I've spent the year working with Amicus on the more familiar side of the pond, here in Nottingham and London. 

I began working with Amicus as a student representative at the University of Nottingham. This year was the first time Amicus had student representatives, with 50 student reps at 32 universities each with the aim of promoting Amicus, engaging students and fundraising. Through my role I got to organise lots of great events. My personal favourites were hosting a pub quiz in town (and realising I'd made the questions far too hard) and putting on an art exhibition displaying some death penalty photography by Scott Langely. Another highlight was a large group of Nottingham students taking a trip down to London together to attend the Amicus training. 

However, the best thing I did whilst with Amicus was my biggest fundraiser: a sponsored skydive. Despite being terrified of heights, I made my way to the outskirts of Nottingham, got strapped up into the suit and jumped (or, more accurately, was pushed) out of a plane. It was an amazing feeling and great to challenge my fears - but mostly I was happy to have reached my fundraising target.

After a year of fundraising and publicising Amicus in Nottingham, this summer I came down to London to work as a UK intern in the office. Whilst previously I had been working on the edge of Amicus, it was a different experience to come to the centre of the organisation. This week I've done lots of tasks; from helping with casework to research to writing letters to people on death row. This week was the premier of Amicus's most recent event: a series of shows and exhibitions of artworks by death row prisoners. I attended the ArtReach opening evening at Made in Greenwich gallery, which was really interesting.

Overall, my time working with Amicus in the UK has been a great experience. It's helped me become more organised, and I've really enjoyed working with a cause I'm so passionate about.