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HomeCommunityHome Office implores African communities to apply for Windrush Compensation

Home Office implores African communities to apply for Windrush Compensation

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Individuals and families from the African communities and other nationalities who have had encountered troubles due to the fact they couldn’t prove their legal right to live in the UK for not having a valid visa due to the Windrush scandal could be eligible for a redress pay-out of a £10,000 or more in compensation.

The Home Office, therefore, urges those affected by the Windrush scandal to apply for compensation as well as getting their documentation sorted.

However, there seems to be a lot of misconception out there in the public domain as to who is illegible for compensation in the UK and it is for this reason that in 2019, His Majesty’s Government embarked on a mission to compensate those affected by the Windrush scandal and to further ensure that people understand the correct facts of matter as to how they can get the support.

On arrival in the UK: The Windrush troopship

The compensation scheme was launched in April 2019 following the Windrush Scandal, in which many people who legally came to the UK from Commonwealth countries several decades ago were wrongly denied services and threatened with imprisonment or deportation.

The UK government through the department of Home Office is thus, therefore, seeking to tackle misinformation going around in communities and the society at large as to who can apply for the Windrush Compensation Scheme by reaffirming that it is available to people of all nationalities and ages – including those from African and Asian backgrounds.

According to the Home Office service is at hand to support the affected in securing the right documents needed to prove their legal right to live and work in the UK.

Place of honour: The Windrush Monument at Waterloo in London.

In an interview Mr. George McDonalds-Duffry, 57, of Inham Road, Nottingham, whose both parents are said to be part of the Windrush generation who were brought into the UK from the Caribbean, Jamaica said the Home Office must be commended for their quest to right the wrong through this compensation scheme.

“I think the Home Office is doing the right thing. The most important thing is not the money that they will give to the affected individuals or families or descendants of the victims, rather it is the acknowledgement of wrongdoing and the urge to make things right.

“Both my mother and father died bitter as they were affected by the Windrush Scandal, but they would be happy to know that now the Home Office is righting the wrong and that those affected are being supported. The Government through the Home Office must really be commended,” said Mr. George McDonalds-Duffry.

In another interview, Malawi Association UK (MAUK) Treasure General and executive member of Association of Malawians in Nottingham, who is also an ex-British Army soldier, who served in Afghanistan and Iraq during his time of service, Mr. Henry Ntholowa exclaimed: “It is great to learn that the Windrush Compensation Scheme is also applicable to commonwealth countries citizens like Malawi.

Serviceman Ntholowa: It is useful to know.

“The misconception out here is that at the mention of Windrush, everyone thinks it (Windrush Scandal) is strictly an issue that affected people from the Caribbean. It is useful to know that it also affects African and Asian people.”

Mr. Ntholowa added: “We will surely let our people know about this significant piece of information, and I am sure some of our people will get help.”

Eligibility

While much of the Windrush Generation is made up of people from the Caribbean – hence its namesake being the ship that brought the first wave of British subjects to England from Jamaica in 1948 – the term also includes people from Commonwealth countries in Africa and Asia.

Therefore, people who came to the UK from a Commonwealth country before 1973 (or their offspring), or came to the UK from any country before the end of 1988 may be eligible for compensation.

Those eligible for compensation include those that may have suffered losses such as; losing a job, being denied access to services such as housing, benefits or free healthcare, experiencing problems travelling, being wrongly detained or deported and all those that have been negatively impacted by non-financial impacts such as anxiety and distress.

Angola Women Association of UK chairperson Ms. Paula Pontes whose organisation carter for women from varied nationalities and ethnicities received the news with excitement saying there are a lot of women out there, especially from the minority ethnic groups who needs help and support as regards the Windrush Scandal.

Pontes: We recommend Home Office for this project.

Pontes said: “A lot of people, particularly, women from the African and Asian descent have no idea that they are eligible for the Windrush Scandal compensation scheme. 

“We commend the Home Office for this project. We, at Angola Women Association, believe that there are a lot of women who are affected by the Windrush will get help because people now do understand clearly that this (Windrush Compensation) does not only apply to those from the Caribbean.”

Background

On 21 June 1948, British troopship HMT Empire Windrush laid anchor at Tilbury Docks, with her passengers disembarking the following day.

The Empire Windrush carried hundreds of passengers from the Caribbean who, alongside people from other parts of the Commonwealth, came to the UK to fill post-war labour shortages. 

The ‘Windrush generation’ became the symbolic shorthand for people who came to work or join family in the UK between 1948 and 1973, particularly from Caribbean countries.

The Windrush generation arriving in the UK in 1948

In 2018, the government announced a national Windrush Day would take place on 22 June each year to pay tribute to the Windrush generation and their descendants.

In the same year, the government established the Windrush Commemoration Committee, chaired by Baroness Benjamin (Liberal Democrat) and in 2021, the committee commissioned the sculptor Basil Watson to create the National Windrush Monument. 

This was unveiled at London Waterloo Station on 22 June 2022.

The government also announced the establishment of the Windrush Day grant scheme in 2018 with an intention to fund projects to mark Windrush Day each year.

In 2018, at the same time the government was establishing national Windrush Day and the Windrush Day grant scheme, it was also putting in place measures intended to address the injustices suffered by people affected by the ‘Windrush scandal’.

Help is at hand.

Ultimately, The Windrush Compensation Scheme aims to address the hardships faced by the Windrush generation. If you suffered losses due to not having documents to prove your right to live in the UK, you may be eligible for compensation.

Local support

In Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, further support and information are available from the following charities:

People who need help accessing or using the internet may also be eligible for free assisted digital services from We Are Group by calling 0808 196 8496 or texting “Visa” to 07537 416 944. The service is open on weekdays from 9.00am to 6.00pm.

Find out more at GOV.UK/WindrushHelpTeam or by calling the Windrush Help Team for free at 0800 678 1925.

“there are a lot of women who are affected by the Windrush and we hope they will get help.”

Ms. Paula Pontes.

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