In a situation? The handling of the Windrush Generation

“The department does not know how many members of the Windrush generation have been wrongly impacted by policies designed to target illegal migrants, and the extent of the problems they have faced.” – UK National Audit Office (5th December 2018)*

The extent of problems faced with regard to the Windrush Generations mental health and wellbeing would be quite difficult to measure. There are a handful of studies that have tested the impact of legal status and psychological wellbeing.  However, a recent study by Patler and Pirtle (2018) has highlighted the positive emotional consequences of transitioning out of undocumented status for young Latino immigrants.  Further raising concerns about the current “situation” and it’s impact on the psychological wellbeing of the Windrush Generation.

The past and present psychological impact on the Windrush Generation would be very difficult place into a neat and tidy box.  Not least because as part of an ageing population this group face higher rates of dementia, are twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes amongst other health disparities.  But because the whole “situation” encourages critical consideration of the part cultural identity, socio-economic status and the lower take up of health care services (Kamila and Rhule, 2008) reported to be lower amongst older black minority ethnic groups play in this botched handling of the Windrush Generation

The testing of the new E.U Settlement Scheme (intended to be fully digital) where immigrants from European countries are being asked to participate with an expected 100% participation rate is an ambitious and some may argue, unrealistic target set by the UK government.  So as the UK Government continue to “test” such regularisation programmes, implement Windrush task forces and continue to consult on the Windrush compensations scheme,  the road ahead for the Windrush Generation is most certainly going to require an increase in health education, promotion and programmes to support their wellbeing.

We welcome you to browse our campaigns to learn more about our initial planning stages for the work we are doing in support of ‘Healthy Ageing: Windrush Wellness and Dementia’.  It is our hope that we can collaborate with other organisations to help impact, empower transform the wellbeing of our elders during this time.  Let us be cognisant of the wider health and wellbeing challenges being faced by some of the generation of elders who helped lay the foundation for the African Caribbean community and seek to create a better future for us all who will become part of this ageing population here in the UK.

*The full report: ‘Handling of the Windrush Situation’ release on 5th December 2018 by the National Audit Office can be found here.