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Nottingham’s Windrush Generation speak out about long fight for justice after Home Office visit

Two Nottingham men who suffered greatly due to the injustice of the Windrush scandal have contrasting views of the future following the visit of Home Office minister Kevin Foster to the Pilgrim Church in the Meadows.

The church is home to Pilgrim Windrush Response Team, which aims to help people fight and appeal deportation as well as assisting them with any compensation schemes available.

The Windrush generation are those who arrived in the UK from Caribbean countries between 1948 and 1973 and in 2017, the Windrush scandal came to light after it emerged that many people were wrongfully deported due to being unable to produce documents through the government’s ‘Hostile Environment’ legislation.

Noel Baker, 70, came to the UK as a child from Jamaica and has spoken about his journey to getting compensation after 20 years.

During his fight, Mr Baker spoke about how appreciative he was of the Pilgrim Church’s support under the direction of Pastor Clive Foster.

“I had the church’s support but before that, I felt so alone,” he said.

“Reverend Clive mentioned that they were forming this group and I’m a part of it so I can put my energy and input into what we’ve been going through for years.”

Eventually, Mr Baker did receive compensation but he said that was scant recompense for what he and others had been through.

“The Home Office asked me if I was satisfied with the amount I got but everything that I lost during my fight wasn’t worth any amount of money,” he said.

“The fight of having to prove who you are has been difficult when it comes to sorting out your passport and citizenship.

“I’ve been fighting since 1986.”

Mr Baker said his battle to stay in the UK instead of being deported to Jamaica had led to health issues.

“I had to take time off work and lost a lot of money to employers who had seen that my fighting my case with the Home Office was making me weak,” he said.

“I’ve had that many jobs because racism drove me away and have so many traits because of it. I’ve always worked, that’s how I’ve survived but what the Home Office had done wasn’t right.

“The Home Office could do more, there’s a lot of people out there that need help. I felt a lot of relief when my case came to a close – but there’s other fights.”

He said he was pleased to see Mr Foster attend the church on Wednesday February 2 to talk about the Windrush Community Fund.

“It is important, because we need to get that message across to help others,” he said.

“It’s hard anyway getting support from the Home Office, so it’s important.

“We’ve got to look at the future and communicate better. The rewarding side is to know they will look into other cases.”



Kevin Foster on behalf of the Home Office listened to residents from the Pilgrim Windrush Response Team
Kevin Foster on behalf of the Home Office listened to residents from the Pilgrim Response Team

The Windrush Community Fund is a 500k fund which is awarded to organisations to help reach Windrush victims and encourage them to apply for the compensation.

Mr Foster spoke with residents and listened to their stories, worries and concerns.

He also thanked the Windrush Generation and their families for their contributions to in the UK and said he hopes that the Community Fund provided by the Home Office will ensure that members of the Windrush Generation can get on with their lives and that those who “are lawfully here are dealt with by the Home Office as “a face and not a case.”

However the minister’s words were of little comfort to Paul McCaffrey, 62, who is appealing his right to compensation.

Mr McCaffrey came to the country from Jamaica at 13 years-old and said he he isn’t getting his hopes up.

“I’m just sitting here waiting,” he said.

“I’m going to appeal but I’m not putting in too much hope.

“All these things they’re asking for, I don’t have some of it. All these loops, you can’t jump over them. It affects me differently [from Mr Baker] . I feel like for me, it’s over because they refused me but I will keep on fighting.”

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