About Fiona

Fiona is a London-based journalist, campaigner, and researcher, focusing mainly on social justice issues.

She is comms consultant to We Belong – Young Migrants Standing Up;  co-founder and director of Impact – Law for Social Justice; and co-founder and organiser of the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year awards. Fiona is former head of comms at The Legal Education Foundation.

She has played a leading role in multiple successful campaigns, including winning greater rights for young migrants who have grown up in the UK; and for arrested 17-year-olds at the police station.

During her stint as editor of Legal Action (October 2014 to February 2016), the magazine won the 2015 Halsbury award for legal journalism. The judging panel praised Legal Action as ‘this extraordinary publication and its small and hugely talented team for reinvention. Its commitment to publicly funded law is unmatched, as is its insightful and exceptional reporting.’

She was comms director at Just for Kids during its successful #StillAChildAt17 campaign, which led to a change in the law to give better protection to arrested 17 year olds; and worked with Let us Learn, since its inception in 2014 and continues to work with the campaign, now that it has spun out from Just for Kids to become We Belong, the UK’s first nationwide charity run solely by and for young migrants. In 2021, We Belong secured a significant policy change4_MHC cover from the Home Office for young migrants with limited leave to remain. She has written four major reports for We Belong/Let us Learn: ‘We Belong: Campaign evaluation: How a “small but mighty” team of young migrants won a fairer, shorter, path to settlement’ (2022);  ‘The Deintegration Generation‘ (2021); Mental Health Check (2020); ‘Normality is a luxury: How ‘limited leave to remain is blighting young lives’ (2019), and led on creating two highly-praised campaign films, ‘Young, Gifted and Blocked’ and ‘We Belong‘.

In May 2015, she co-founded Act for the Act, with barristers Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC and Martha Spurrier. This ground-breaking, crowd-funded campaign, run entirely by volunteers, aimed to generate public support for the Human Rights Act in the face of Conservative government plans to scrap the act within 100 days.

ActfortheAct Ann and Adrian

Fiona is co-founder and co-organiser of the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards (in conjunction with the Legal Aid Practitioners Group). Now into their 20th year (2022), the LALYs are a unique, non-profit-making celebration of the work of lawyers at the legal aid coalface.

From 2013-2014, she was research and communications director of Legal Action Group’s Immigration and Asylum Law Project (funded by New York-based Unbound Philanthropy). She wrote its  ‘Chasing Status: If not British, then what am I?’  report (chasing status screenshotOctober 2014), about the plight of ‘surprised Brits’, who find they are living with irregular immigration status. The research was the first to identify the Home Office failings, which would culminate in the 2018 Windrush Scandal.

From September 2011 to July 2012, she worked as senior researcher for the Guardian/London School of Economics research project, ‘Reading the Riots’, which investigated the August 2011 disturbances.

She is co-author of ‘Ricin! The inside story of the terror plot that never was’ (Pluto Publishing, 2010), which was written with Lawrence Archer, the foreman of the jury in the case. In this ground-breaking book, Fiona and Lawrence debunk the myths that still surround the 2005 so-called ‘ricin plot trial’, and expose the way the case was seized on by politicians here and in the US to bolster the ‘war on terror’ in the run up to the Iraq invasion.

Fiona was deputy chair of the campaigning group Women in Journalism from 2008-2013; and led on two key pieces of WiJ research into the impact of the press on young people, Hoodies or Altar Boys: What is media demonisation doing to our British boys?’; and ‘Am I Bovvered? What are teenage girls really thinking? How is the media shaping the ambitions and aspirations of the next generation of young women?’ (2007). She was also involved with WiJ’s research. ‘Seen but not heard – how women make front page news’, published in October 2012.

In 2010, she completed a masters degree (distinction) in Criminology at Kings College London, during which she expanded her earlier research for Women in Journalism into media stereotyping of teenage boys for her dissertation.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Equally Ours – Equally Ours is launched…and the work begins
    Nov 21, 2013 @ 11:47:13

  2. Pennsylvania Green Divorce
    Aug 12, 2014 @ 05:52:54

    Great delivery. Outstanding arguments. Keep up the good


  3. kamauran
    Jul 04, 2016 @ 14:00:17

    Hi Fiona,

    Were any of your recommendations from the Chasing Statis LAG report taken up by the Home Office?

    I’ve got ILR and have had it for 21 years, yet find myself out of work for the past six weeks whilst awaiting any kind of acknowledgment from UKVI for transfer of ILR from a recently expired Canadian passport to a biometric residence permit. They’ve got my passport,
    too, so can’t travel for the foreseeable either.

    I’m very shocked and dismayed to find myself in this situation and felt a real affinity with the interviewees of your article.

    If you’ve any advice on where I can turn to get answers / action, I’d be very grateful.


    Kara Partridge


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: