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Supporting Reading ‘Windrush Generationers’ on Compensation Scheme


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People who have had problems because they couldn’t prove their legal right to live in the UK due to the Windrush Scandal could be eligible for £10,000 or more in compensation.

The British Government through the department of the Home Office is seeking to tackle misinformation around 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.

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 back to their respective countries of origin. 

Generation Windrush

A service is also offered, by the Home Office, to support people in securing the right documents needed to prove their legal right to live and work in the UK. 

Many of those affected had been born British subjects and had arrived in the UK before 1973, particularly from the West Indies, as members of the “Windrush generation, named after the Empire Windrush, the ship that brought one of the first groups of West Indian migrants to the UK in June 1948.

Massive influence

Reading, a town and borough in Berkshire, is a major commercial centre, especially for information technology and insurance, is one of the many locations across the UK where many of the Windrush Generation settled and still lives.

The arrival of the Empire Windrush in 1948 and other passenger ships and aircraft throughout the post-war period had an important effect on Reading’s local community, playing a hand in its transformation into the diverse town we know today.

The Caribbean community has a massive influence in local culture, such as the creation of Reading Carnival, which has been held almost every year since its foundation in 1977.

Therefore, it is not surprising that a lot of people in Reading are active when it comes to issues and matters pertaining to the Windrush Generation and the Reading Museum runs the Windrush Voices project where people from all walks of life and ethnic groups access digital archive of voices, stories and oral histories provided by members of Reading ‘s Caribbean community.

The work, which began as part of the Windrush Day commemorations in 2020, still runs to this day through the Memories of the ‘Reading Windrush Generation and their descendants’ project.

Memories of a generation

The Memories of the Reading Windrush Generation and their Descendants is a series of short films that were first shared at Reading Museum in October 2021 as part of Black History Month, and this has actively continued to this day.

Each short film features the unique story and experiences of people who travelled from their place of birth to build a new life in the UK, often in the face of adversity, then.

One interesting story is one of a Windrush Generation offspring of British subjects, Nordia Nelson, who landed in the UK in 1964 from Jamaica to England to better her life and settled in Reading where she still lives to date.

Ms. Nordia Nelson

“I was just nine years old when I came to England. I came by ship in 1964, which took 16 days to get here and when I arrived, and I went straight to live in Reading, where I have lived all my life,” says Nelson in one of the film series.

Another Windrush Generation member, Rod Welch, who arrived in Britain in the early 60’s from Barbados by aeroplane when he was only eight years and has spent all his life says: “I have lived in Reading all my life and this what I call home now. My children and grandchildren are all here.”

Ms. Nordia Nelson and Mr. Rod Welch are a classic example that the Windrush Generation forms part of the modern British cultural diversity and it is people like these two, especially those that were wrongly mistreated by the government.

It is for this reason that the Home Office is on the path to right the wrong by providing them the right information on how best to seek compensation if they feel they were unfairly treated.     

The importance of Windrush in Reading is immortalised in the Black History mural, which is painted on the side of what used to be Reading Central Club which was opened in the 1970s for the young black people of Reading to use as a community space.

Organisations like Mojatu Foundation through its partner, Utulivu Women and Mojatu Pro bono Legal Clinic are taking part in engaging the communities in Reading to help giving people the right information and quell off misrepresentation and misconception on the Windrush Compensation Scheme.

How to apply?

According to the Home Office, a person could claim compensation if they suffered losses because he or she could not show that they had a right to live in the UK.

In this context, losses’ can be things like not being able to work, find a place to live or get health treatment. They can also include immigration action, like detention or removal from the UK.

People are encouraged to apply can apply if they came you came to the UK from a Commonwealth country before 1973 and or if their parents or grandparents came to the UK from a Commonwealth country before 1973.

Those who came to the UK from any country before December 31st, 1988, and are now settled here are eligible to apply for a monetary compensation and legal documents that will allow them to stay in the UK legally.

Furthermore, people can also apply if they are family members of someone eligible to claim and they have had significant losses themselves.

It must be noted, however, the compensation scheme denotes to only the losses that happened because one could not show that he or she had a right to live in the UK.


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 if, they have suffered losses such as losing a job, being denied access to services such as housing, benefits and free healthcare.

Further, those who have had been facing problems travelling, had been wrongly detained or deported or non-financial impacts such as anxiety and distress can be able to get compensation. 

Local support

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

  • St Vincent and the Grenadies and Friends Association
    https://svgareading.org.uk/| email – infosvga@reading.org.uk

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 678 192.

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