To ensure those affected by Windrush can continue to access help and support during the coronavirus pandemic, the Home Office will be running a series of online engagement events.
These will start later this month and will follow a similar format to the engagement events that have already been held around the country.
Those affected can get advice from members of the Commonwealth Citizens’ Taskforce and the Windrush Compensation Scheme, who will explain what help and support is available and how to make a claim for compensation.
The digital solution has been devised to ensure vital outreach and engagement can continue on Windrush. The government continues to be absolutely committed to righting the wrongs experienced by the Windrush generation and ensure nothing like this happens again.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said:
Reaching all those affected by Windrush is a priority and these online events make sure that the vital outreach and engagement on Windrush continues during the pandemic.
This will help ensure that all those who need help applying for compensation or to the Windrush Taskforce can continue to get any support they need.
The Home Office will work closely with stakeholders who will host or co-host the events using their own online conferencing channels and manage any registration for the event.
This will be guided by stakeholders, who will identify the most effective platforms for the communities they work with, subject to those channels meeting security requirements.
These measures have been put in place whilst the UK continues to observe social distancing, but the Home Office plans to revert to face-to-face events as soon as it is safe to do so. So far, the Home Office has held or attended over 30 events across the country since April 2019.
The department continues to work closely with stakeholders and partners trusted by the community to develop and deliver communications activity to raise awareness of the Windrush Taskforce and Windrush Compensation Scheme.
The events will be promoted using a range of methods, including adverts on social media and through trusted community networks. Details on the timings of online engagement events will be available here.
The Home Office continues its work to right the wrongs experienced by the Windrush generation, which is shown by the fact that over 12,000 people have been provided with documentation confirming their status so far.
The Windrush Compensation Scheme also continues to make payments to compensate for those who suffered.
Citizens Advice, funded by the Home Office, are continuing to provide free, independent claimant assistance during the pandemic for those wishing to apply to the Compensation Scheme. This can be accessed by referral through the Windrush Helpline: 0800 678 1925.
As announced by the Home Secretary in March, the Home Office will shortly launch a separate £500k fund for grassroots organisations to promote the Windrush Schemes and provide advice services. We will work with stakeholders to co-design the fund.
The Wendy Williams Lessons Learned review was published in March 2020. The Home Secretary made clear in her statement to the House of Commons on the day of publication that the department will carefully consider the detail of the report and its recommendations to develop a comprehensive plan for changing the ways of working of the Home Office.