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Windrush Justice Fund

£40,650 of £20,000 goal

Raised by 348 people in 11 months
Created 16 April 2018
PO
Patrick Vernon OBE
on behalf of The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants
The Windrush Justice Fund was launched by Patrick Vernon OBE in mid April 2018 during the height of the Windrush Scandal linked  to the wider campaign for Windrush amnesty petition to the government which over 180k people signed.

The fund currently sits on the crowfunding platform of GoFundMe .JCWI is looking after the funding raised in its bank account. the focus of the fund is to raise money and provides a small grant scheme to cover the following key aims:

•            Focus and target to organisations/networks around the country that are currently or established doing additional free legal advice sessions for Windrush Generation and other Commonwealth citizens.

•            Encourage  and support migrant and third sector to engage with those affected by the Windrush Scandal to extend their offer and services to meet the increase in case work and

 Over £11K has been raised on the platform plus 5K separate donations. The target is to raise 20k by the end of September. We have been approached by several organisations that are doing additional fundraising on our behalf of the fund and thus we now decided to extend the end of fundraising to the end of November 2018.

Please see Patrick's latest radio show where he interviews some victims of the Windrush scandal. 

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The Windrush Generation were invited to Britain from Commonwealth countries. Now the children they brought with them are now being told they are here illegally.


I started a petition calling for them to be granted immigration amnesty - https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/216539
but many have got in touch saying they need help now.

The government appears to be in a state of confusion of what's happening - leaving people in fear for their future in the UK. That’s why we urgently need a dedicated hotline staffed by experts who can immediately start helping people who might be affected - and help for legal services they may need.


I’m launching this fund with the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, Runnymede Trust and the Black Cultural Archives to help those affected by this cruel injustice.


The first £15,000 raised will fund legal assistance, including a helpline by the JCWI for those affected by these rules.

The Home Office has set up a helpline which may provide useful information, but everyone caught up in the immigration system needs independent, impartial advice from legal professionals whose duties are to them, not to the Home Secretary or the Government of the day. Since the Government removed legal aid from most immigration cases, the best way we can make sure people who can't afford to pay get that advice is if you can donate to help lawyers and charities provide it.

I’m talking about people like Albert Thompson, who was refused NHS treatment for his cancer. People like Paulette Wilson who was taken to Yarls Wood and nearly forced onto a plane to Jamaica despite having lived in the UK since 1968. Or people like Elwaldo Romeo, who lived in Britain for nearly 60 years before being told he was here illegally by the Home Office. He moved to the UK from Antigua when he was four years old. Now he has been told to report to the government every two weeks.

Please give as much as you can, and share this fund to stop the injustice being done to the Windrush Generation.
+ Read More
Windrush scandal is ‘stain on nation’s conscience’ says Mayor as he launches funding for support services

· Sadiq Khan has allocated £20,000 to support the Windrush Justice Fund
· Fund will provide a range of legal advice, support and outreach services

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has 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. Last year the government said at least 63 members of the Windrush generation could have been wrongly deported from the country after being asked to prove their legal status to remain in the U.K.

Today the Mayor has announced 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.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq 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.”

Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement, Debbie Weekes-Bernard said: “The Windrush scandal has been a catalogue of errors, with the Government’s actions causing untold distress and pain. The Windrush Justice Fund is a remarkable example of what can happen when communities come together and I’m proud to join the Mayor in standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the Windrush generation and their descendants.”

Patrick Vernon OBE said: “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. I would 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’.”

Satbir Singh, chief executive of JCWI, said: “Ten months after the country learned about the Windrush Crisis, far too many people remain struggling to access the kind of support that can help them piece their lives back together. This fund, made possible by the remarkable generosity of ordinary Londoners and matched by the Mayor, Sadiq Khan, will provide much-needed support to many community groups and grassroots organisations who may struggle to make ends meet but who nonetheless go above and beyond to help.”

Notes:
The money will be hosted by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants. It will be distributed by an Advisory Board which will include a representative of the Mayor.

The process for applying to the Fund will be published in the coming weeks.

For more information on the Windrush Justice Fund visit their GoFundMe page here - https://uk.gofundme.com/windrush-justice-fund
+ Read More
The Windrush Justice Fund will be open for donations until January. Please also support the campaign for a fair & just compensation scheme https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/227821
+ Read More
Listen to the interview: Martin Forde QC who has been appointed as independent adviser on Windrush Compensation Scheme and Patrick Vernon on types of claims that victims should be offered and why a cap on compensation claims is bad news. https://www.mixcloud.com/patrick-vernon/museum-of-grooves-october-2018-black-history-month/
+ Read More
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£40,650 of £20,000 goal

Raised by 348 people in 11 months
Created 16 April 2018
PO
Patrick Vernon OBE
on behalf of The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants
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