THE MAYOR of London, Sadiq Khan, described the Windrush scandal as a ‘stain on our nation’s conscience’, as he announced plans to provide £20,000 to help members of the Windrush generation gain access to support services.
Khan announced on Friday (Feb 8) that City Hall will match funding raised by the Windrush Justice Fund – a grassroots initiative created to provide legal advice, immigration support and outreach services for the Windrush generation, other Commonwealth citizens and their descendants.
The fund was launched by Patrick Vernon OBE last year to offer a range of services, including support for those applying to the Windrush Compensation Scheme. It will offer small grants of between £200 and £2,000 to grassroots and community organisations.
The Windrush Justice Fund has already secured £18,680 from online donations made by members of the public. In addition to practical assistance, the appeal aims to highlight the plight of undocumented Londoners and others forced to prove their legal right to remain in the UK.
Khan said: “The Windrush scandal has become a stain on our nation’s conscience. It shone a light on an immigration system which is simply not fit for purpose. But while the government dragged its heels in providing compensation and support, Londoners have dug deep to show solidarity with those affected.
“The Windrush Justice Fund has highlighted the kindness and compassion of Londoners, and I’m proud to join with them to recognise the contribution this remarkable community has made to our city.”
Patrick Vernon OBE commented: “We established the Windrush Justice Fund in partnership with GoFundMe and the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants at the height of the Windrush scandal in April 2018.
“Our aim was to raise money for the third sector and grassroots organisations that were helping those affected by the Government’s hostile environment access independent legal advice and assistance. It is great news that the Mayor of London is providing match-funding meaning we can help more individuals to apply to the Home Office Windrush Scheme and the forthcoming Compensation Scheme.
“The Home Office has resumed deportation flights so there is an even more urgent need for advice and support to members of the Windrush generation and their descendants and those hoping to affirm their status as British citizens.”
Vernon added that he’d like to thank the public and several key individuals for their donations to the Windrush Justice Fund. “I would also like to thank the team at GoFundMe and sponsors WeAreWindrush who provided t-shirts, Focus Games for the Windrush board game and Jacaranda Books who published Stephen Bourne’s book ‘War to Windrush’,” he added.