The Windrush Compensation Scheme has now paid out over £14 million in compensation and has offered a further £12 million, Home Secretary Priti Patel has announced today.
More than £8 million was paid in compensation to members of the Windrush generation in March – more than doubling the amount that had been paid in the 20 months since the scheme was launched in April 2019.
Home Secretary, Priti Patel said:
The Windrush generation were repeatedly failed by successive Governments and faced appalling treatment.
I have always said that I will listen and act to help those who suffered terrible injustices, and have been resolute in my determination to make sure they are fairly compensated.
I overhauled the scheme last year, and I am pleased to see we have now paid £14.3 million in compensation. These changes are already having a real impact on people’s lives, with significantly more money being paid more quickly.
The published statistics show that to the end of March 2021, the Home Office had paid £14.3 million to 633 people.
£12.3 million, 81%, of the money has been paid since December. This substantial increase has been driven by significant changes which were made to the scheme meaning that individuals now receive a minimum of £10,000 compensation – 40 times greater than the previous minimum award available.
In addition, the Home Office has also awarded the first round of grants from the Windrush Community Fund, which allows community and grassroot organisations to bid up to £25,000 to make sure all people affected by Windrush are aware of the support available through the Windrush Compensation Scheme and Windrush Scheme.
Following a competitive bidding round, 14 charities and grassroot organisations across the UK have been awarded grants between £2,500 to £25,000 to support them in delivering projects to ensure affected Windrush communities are aware of the support and compensation available to them.
One organisation to receive funding is the Derby West Indian Community Association, who will generate awareness of the scheme through both live and virtual events, and create an art exhibition at the association headquarters and the Derby Museum. They will also host drop in sessions for people to share experiences, and raise the profile of the compensation scheme by networking with carnivals or alternative online events that have a high number of attendees from Commonwealth countries.
Another organisation to receive funding is the African Pot Project in Manchester, a group that promotes social inclusion by working with people of African origin and African Diaspora. They will use the cash to create animated films targeted at African, Caribbean and other community groups, which will be distributed across social media channels.
This project will generate awareness of the Windrush Schemes through the programming of live and virtual events. It will make use of cultural and archived sources and produce new art that will culminate in an exhibition at Derby West Indian Community Association and Derby Museum. The project will conduct sessions creating a safe environment for people to share experiences. It will raise its profile by networking with carnivals or alternative online events that attract the attention of people from commonwealth countries.
Phase two of the Windrush Community Fund is now open for bids from further organisations until 30 June.
The Government has taken a number of steps to right the wrongs that the Windrush Generation faced, which includes issuing 12,500 people with documentation confirming their status or British citizenship free of charge under the Windrush Scheme.