Voice of the Windrush
The Windrush scandal tore the hearts of many African Caribbean communities living across the UK when the ugly truth of the governments hostile environment was revealed earlier this year.
With hundreds of thousand people across the country supporting leaders such as Labour MP David Lammy and key figures like Patrick Vernon in being a voice to the voiceless, the government announced the Windrush Compensation Scheme.
The True Essence
The government call for views on some of the important design features of the Windrush Compensation Scheme came
shortly after. Part of our core values at Noire Wellness is about “creating wellness services that reflect the true essence and authenticity of Africa & the Caribbean”. So we’ve submitted our thoughts before the consultation closes on the newly extended deadline on 16 November at 5pm.
Our Key Points
1. We did not believe that compensation should be distributed by way of a tariff schedule that lists fixed amounts of payments. Further, that calculating compensation using a tariff style approach where a claimant had been detained for instance, reduces the individual impact experienced by claimants to a simplified measuring tool which is unjust.
2. We believed that non-financial recompense such as counselling, letter of apology from Home Office and the exploration of reinstatement of employment (where applicable) should be offered. Additionally we stated that this should include the re-modelling of the historical African Caribbean Societies in order to become the central transformative space to rebuild the health and wellness of the Windrush Generation.
3. We added additional comments on the previous point in stating that counselling would in fact incur a financial commitment, as would the remodelling of the historical African Caribbean societies. However, we further highlighted that counselling should not be provided by organisations that have a lack of understanding about mental health amongst African Caribbean communities.
The Right Experience
This compensation scheme proposal was outlined by the government to help redress the impact on the Windrush generation who have faced difficulties in demonstrating their lawful status under the immigration system.
They have stated that the compensation scheme will build on the measures already introduced to
“right the wrongs experienced by members of the Windrush generation.”
The specific details of policy design (such as eligibility, and level of compensation awarded) is said to take into consideration responses to the consultation, alongside wider contextual factors, to form part of a final business case for cross-Government consideration.
Crossing Wellness Networks
A cross-party campaign back in 2013, backed by a host of prominent figures has meant that we now observe 22nd June as National Windrush Day. In 2018 we observed the first annual celebration to recognise the arrival at Tilbury Docks of the SS Empire Windrush in 1948.
We hope that you consider joining us to engage with government and others in your network to help impact, empower and transform the health and wellness of the Windrush generation. Have your say on the Windrush Compensation Scheme and visit National Windrush Day to learn more.
We’re now exploring how our geographical locations, digital access and interdisciplinary wellness networks could deliver an authentic wellness experience for our elders in 2019 and beyond.