Home Office Windrush Compensation Scheme comes under fire

The Home Office’s Windrush Compensation Scheme has been called into question by campaigners, who say it is exacerbating the mental health issues caused by the scandal.

Speaking at an event at the University of Westminster, activists Professor Patrick Vernon OBE and Charlotte Tobierre said the scheme not only fails to take into consideration the mental health impacts caused by the scandal on victims and their families, but is itself traumatic for applicants.

They’re now calling for the scheme to be placed in the hands of an independent body.

Charlotte, whose father Thomas is a Windrush victim, said: “The scheme is still very difficult for people. It’s stressful and it’s hard and it’s traumatic.

“Now I’ve taken over that on my father’s behalf – I’ve taken on the fight for him.

“I hope as we go forward, maybe we have an independent compensation scheme.”

The event took place ahead of Windrush Day on 22 June, which aims to celebrate the contributions of those of the Windrush Generation – most of whom travelled to the UK from the Caribbean as children – to rebuilding the UK post World War II.

Victims of the scandal, which came to light in 2017, were wrongfully accused of being in the UK illegally, and many were unable to access NHS services, lost their jobs or faced wrongful arrest.

At least 164 people were also mistakenly detained or removed from the UK.

A project to explore the mental health issues associated with the scandal has recently been announced by UCL.

It aims to explore the intergenerational mental health consequences of the scandal on the Caribbean and Black African families.

Taking place over six months this year, the project will map the experiences of those who lived through the scandal, focusing on communities in London and Wolverhampton.

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Find out more about the Windrush Compensation Scheme here.

Credit: Imperial War Museum / Royal Navy official photographer via Wikimedia Commons

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