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Faith leaders asked for help by Home Office to reach Windrush generation

by Cara Bentley

The Windrush generation refers to people who were encouraged to come to the UK from mostly Caribbean countries after 1948 to fill the work shortage after World War Two. Years later many were then denied work opportunities and not recognised as citizens because they were never given the correct paperwork or were told they wouldn't need it.

The Windrush Compensation Scheme by the government aims to contribute to rebuilding trust with communities affected.

Bishop Dr Desmond Jaddoo, deputy presiding bishop at Vision Temple of Praise Church in Birmingham and Chair of the Windrush Movement UK, attended a meeting with Home Office officials on Thursday. 

He told Premier: "Many people have lost their jobs, they've lost homes, they've lost businesses, they've suffered health issues, it's impacted immensely upon families and some have been deported as well.

"People have died as well over the period of time and it's really to redress some of the impact that the Windrush scandal has had upon people."

He added that there was a deeper problem other than the more obvious losses: "I want to just make it crystal clear right now, no amount of compensation will ever replace the hurt that people have suffered. So, it is not going to be a quick fix but the compensation does seek to redress, particularly financial, losses that many people have suffered."

Dr Jaddoo explained that many people who had been deported and stuck abroad have returned to the UK and must now apply for the Windrush status scheme first.

"The issue is there is still mistrust and one of the things that we're trying to do with the Windrush Movement UK is to encourage people to come forward. When they come forward to us, they come forward in a safe environment, in order that they may get their status regularised, because one of the biggest problems we are finding now is third and fourth generations are impacted by this."

Dr Jaddoo helps out at community meetings to inform people about how to get their status recognised.

He said the government was beginning to acknowledge the impact of the problem, saying: "I do believe there is now some recognition of the impact it's having on communities, because it's coming to the children, the grandchildren and great grandchildren as well."

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: "The Windrush generation were failed by successive Governments and I want to ensure we reach all those affected through the Windrush Compensation Scheme through direct community engagement.

"This is why I am enlisting trusted faith and community leaders from across the UK to raise awareness of the support available and to work with us directly on delivering this scheme.

"By working hand in hand with our community partners the Government will be able to provide the essential support to members of the Windrush generation and address the suffering experienced by many people across a range of communities."

Dr Jaddoo told Premier: "They are moving in the right direction but I think there's still a heck of a lot more that needs to be done in all honesty, because we have to overcome the issue of mistrust and at the end of the day there are still things happening in terms of the hostile environment type activity, which does set back the work that's been undertaken."

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