New Windrush Justice Clinic Service set to launch in Wolverhampton in honour of Paulette Wilson

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Campaigners are set to launch a new Legal Advice Clinic in honour of the late Windrush activist Paulette Wilson.

The Windrush Legal Advice Clinic, which is a not-for-profit organisation, will be based within the Black Country in Wolverhampton, which is where Paulette Wilson worked and resided.

Paulette who experienced the Home Offices’ hostile environment first hand campaigned to see its end. Crucially, Paulette Wilson took on the fight for justice not only for herself but to protect the rights and legal status of others.

The service will focus on helping individuals to complete Windrush Compensation Scheme forms as well as assisting those who are undocumented with obtaining documents to legitimise their immigration status.

Both prior to and since Paulette’s passing, campaigners have remained committed to highlighting and campaigning against the Home Office’s treatment of people from the 'Windrush Generation'.

This latest effort has been established by the local solicitor Ms Maureen Mitchell and the Windrush campaigner Patrick Vernon OBE, for those within the Black Country area.

Several professionals are assisting in the set-up and running of the organisation. This includes Bridgett Tatham who is a partner at Brown and Jacobson; Jahnel Davis, Paralegal and Judith Tatham. Wolverhampton University and their Law Centre are also partnering the service and to assist with the triaging of clients from the Windrush Generation. The service has already made connections with the Windrush National Organisation amongst other Windrush activist and lawyers organisations across the UK.

Speaking on the launch of the service, Maureen Mitchell who helped establish the service remarked that it was ‘most definitely needed’ for the people in the Wolverhampton and the Black Country who had ‘suffered from the Home Offices “hostile environment”’:

Many of our service-users have difficulty with accessing help with legal issues, sometimes because of their vulnerability, sometimes because of lack of trust, but mainly because of the high costs associated with defending their claims. We aim to be a service that people from our community can trust to provide them with professional reliable and quality service.'

Natalie Barnes, the daughter of Paulette Wilson stated:

We hope this service can provide the type of support that can help victims still experiencing Windrush Scandal around their status and accessing the compensation scheme. It is a kind of service that my late mother would benefit from, especially those in the community in Wolverhampton and the Black Country area.’

Patrick Vernon, the Windrush campaigner who helped to establish the service, believes it will mark an important step forward in the campaign for justice:

As we approach the third anniversary of the Windrush Scandal, many of the issues are still not resolved around the compensation scheme nor the status for many of the Windrush Generation and their families. The late Paulette Wilson and many others have still been let down by the Home Office, despite recent changes to improve the compensation scheme. Access to legal assistance is still a major barrier and this new Windrush service which I have been involved in to help set up in the City I was born and raised, is an important step forward in campaigning for justice for the Windrush Generation in Wolverhampton and The Black Country’.

The service will formally launch on 19 April 2021 at 58 Bank Street Bilston West Midlands, WV148D0P. It will be available to watch via Zoom from 7.00 - 8.00pm. Use the link below.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2028897998?pwd=V25iRkozU0hSQzMvOGlsYW9CU2YyQT09

Meeting ID: 202 889 7998

Passcode: 19xcin

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