Windrush grandmother Paulette Wilson could get £100k payout
Windrush grandmother Paulette Wilson could be in line for a large payout from the Government over her ordeal which almost saw her deported.
Mrs Wilson, from Wolverhampton, is among thousands who are seeking compensation over the scandal and the Express & Star has learned she could receive up to £100,000.
The grandmother was held in a detention centre and came close to being deported, despite having lived in the UK for 50 years. The stories of the Windrush victims sparked widespread anger and plunged the Government into a crisis for which former Prime Minister Theresa May was forced to apologise.
The Government has set up a compensation scheme and those who are eligible have been invited to apply.
Reverend Desmond Jaddoo, chairman of the Windrush Movement UK, is helping victims make compensation claims.
A series of meetings have been held across the West Midlands to inform those affected of the possibility of compensation and how to submit a request. Mrs Wilson is among those who have attended the meetings.
Mr Jaddoo said "secondary" victims, such as family members who have suffered knock-on effects, could also receive payouts.
He has encouraged all Windrush victims who believe they are entitled to compensation to come forward. He said the size of individual payouts was difficult to estimate as "no two cases are the same" but that he believed Mrs Wilson could receive between £50,000 and £100,000.
It is thought the Government is ready to pay out more than £200m in total. Claims have begun to be processed and the compensation programme will remain open until April 2021.
Rev Jaddoo said: "Paulette Wilson will be entitled to a level of compensation, for being taken to a detention centre, the threat of deportation and the anxiety and mental health issues that come with that."
He said a key part of his role is to act as a mediator for Windrush victims and getting them to come forward as many are understandably distrusting of the Government after what they have been through.
Rev Jaddoo said no cash sum would make up for what has happened to those who have suffered but that it is only right they claim what they deserve.
He said: "What we are doing is really building that bridge between the community and the Government and ensuring we have dialogue either side.
"No amount of money will replace the hurt and humiliation these people have felt. However, it will recognise they have suffered a major injustice."
Eleanor Smith, Labour MP for Wolverhampton South West, said she hoped Windrush victims would be given compensation quickly.
She said: "Though the Government announced its Windrush Compensation Scheme Bill in the Queen’s Speech I have no great faith in it coming close to righting any wrongs in a timely manner.
"The delays in getting compensation to people who have been unfairly treated by the Government’s hostile environment is nothing short of disgusting
"I truly hope the Government will now swiftly give redress to everyone affected. But for anything to really change, the Government will have to address its culture and attitude which created the hostile environment policy in the first place. It doesn’t seem to be doing this.”
The next meeting will be held at African Caribbean Resource Centre in Thomas Street, West Bromwich, on Monday at 6pm.