Final grants made from delayed charity fund for Windrush victims

31 Jan 2022 News

Home Office

Credit: Fergus Burnett

The Home Office has made its final grants from the delay-hit Windrush Community Fund (WCF).

A total of 27 charities and community groups have now shared in just over £500,000 to help victims of the Windrush scandal. The second and final round of 13 grants was announced late last week.

The grants will fund events to help survivors of the scandal obtain any documents they need and apply for compensation.

The WCF had previously been criticised as a “funding shambles” following months of delays. The Home Office was also forced to correct the record after claiming that the charity managing the Fund, Voice 4 Change England (V4CE), was still processing applications as late as last month. The department subsequently admitted that the charity had actually completed that work in July 2021.

Grant winners

Dorota Peszkowska, director of the Scotland-based Citizens’ Rights Project, which was awarded a grant from the WCF, said: “We are keen to play our part to help those in our communities in Scotland to get the help they need. It’s so important that everyone eligible for compensation is able to get it, as it could make a big difference to their lives.”

The government announced that it has paid out £35m in compensation to the Windrush generation so far.

Over 100 groups applied to the second phase of the WCF. The organisations and consortia which received grants totalling £237,000 are:

  • African Caribbean Community Development Forum
  • African Health Policy Network
  • Citizens’ Rights Project
  • COPEF Training Skills
  • Croydon Black & Minority Ethnic Forum
  • MV Balmoral Trust Fund
  • Refugee and Migrant Centre
  • Rising Stars North West CIC
  • Stockwell Good Neighbours
  • SVGA Reading
  • University of Wolverhampton
  • The African Caribbean Leadership Company
  • Wellington Road Seniors Community Project

However, Civil Society News understands that at least one organisation was not told the outcome of their application before the awards were made public. They learned that decision from the government press release.

Previous ‘incorrect’ claims

The Windrush scandal occurred when hundreds of Black British citizens were denied jobs, healthcare and even deported from the country under strict new immigration rules introduced after 2010. 

The WCF was created in January 2021 in response to the scandal, offering up to £25,000 to charities to fund projects encouraging more victims to work with the Home Office.  

At the time, it was promised that “funding should be released to all successful applicants within eight weeks of application submission”, but applicants to the second phase of the Fund were left waiting more than six months without a decision.

Days after the delays were first reported, V4CE accused the government of making “incorrect” claims about its work and asked the Home Office to clarify that the charity had “no involvement in any delay” processing applications. The department subsequently admitted that V4CE had completed this work last summer, not in December as it had first claimed.

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