London South Bank university students will offer free legal advice to Windrush victims under an initiative formally launching tonight.
The new Windrush Justice Clinic brings together students at the universities of Westminster, Greenwich, and South Bank to help victims navigate a government compensation scheme.
The compensation scheme was established in April last year, after the government apologised for the suffering it had inflicted on Windrush victims.
To date, more than twelve thousand people have received confirmation from the Home Office that they are living legally in the UK.
This is an indication, campaigners say, of the number of people who may be able to get compensation from the scheme which ends in 2023.
But by the end of September 2020, only 168 people had received payouts totalling £1.3m. Estimates had suggested the scheme could be forced to pay out up to £200m.
“I have felt strongly about the injustices suffered by the Windrush generation and their families as a direct result of the racist hostile environment policy ever since it happened,” said Sally Gill, a lecturer at Greenwich University who is involved in the advice centre.
“The Windrush Justice Clinic is a collective of organisations committed to offering the victims free legal assistance.
“By collaborating in this way it ensures that we are able to reach more of the community who were affected.
“We hope that it can become a national service to enable people to get free access to justice on Windrush cases.
“The service will begin seeing clients from November 2. South Bank’s legal clinic can be contacted on the following details: www.lsbu.ac.uk/legaladviceclinic or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.