Free legal support for Windrush community

Windrush communities in the north-west of England are to get new access to legal advice thanks to Liverpool John Moores University and the charitable grassroot organisation, Liverpool Advocates For Windrush.

LJMU’s School of Law runs one of the UK’s largest Legal Advice Centres, investing £2.6 million in premises in the city centre, where individuals and businesses can access initial advice and guidance on family, disputes, commercial matters and much more. The LJMU building on Hardman Street, opened in 2022 and houses the Legal Advice Centre and the Business Advice Centre. Advice is conducted by law students under supervision. In limited cased, the public can be offered legal representation.

The Centre is now offering specialist help to the Windrush generation and their descendants, many of whom have found their legal status in Britain in doubt. Its campaigning partner group believes there are thousands of people across Merseyside who are entitled to justice and compensation, as reported in the Liverpool ECHO.

The Windrush generation are people who migrated to the UK from Commonwealth countries between 1948 and 1973 and take their name from the ship HMT Empire Windrush which brought the first immigrants. However, anyone who arrived between 1973 and 31 December 1988 from the rest of the world, are also eligible to apply to the Compensation Schemes. The Home Office has recently updated the Scheme to include anyone who arrived after 1988, under the age of 18 years, to join family who has settled status.

Rachel Stalker, from LJMU’s School of Law, said: “We’re offering free, transparent and professional support to the Windrush community in the north-west who need help in applying for compensation through the scheme the Government has set up, or assistance with applications that are already ongoing. In some cases, four or five generations of a single family can potentially be affected.”

She said the focus of guidance is on legal status, compensation claims, application processing for individuals in the UK and abroad, and trauma informed care.

On top of legal questions, Windrush communities have suffered psychologically, not least from the certainties of their statehood coming into question.

Liverpool Advocates for Windrush offers a range of counselling and support services and is working in collaboration with the Centre moving forwards.

A spokesperson for LAFW said: “Windrush is a British scandal and needs to be rectified by British society. These people are still facing grave uncertainties because of historic pieces of immigration legislation enacted to affect minorities.

“It is despicable and needs to be repealed, with fairer laws ratified. We have seen how the British society support similar injustices, such as the post-office scandal and the blood scandal. Why is the same support not being afforded to the Windrush Scandal?

“We are humbled to aid those affected and call on the British society and Government, to right this historic injustice and end the discriminatory practices."  

Image: Garrick Prayogg and Tonika Stephenson, founders of the charity.


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