I just want to say a BIG THANK YOU to the ladies who took time out to nominate me for this award.
But I’m sure, like me, some of you have never heard about the Baton Awards (BA). The BA “acknowledges the U.K’s females from diverse racial group achievers whilst honouring the role models who have made their achievements possible by paving the way. These awards will celebrate progress and recognise women from diverse racial groups in the U.K who demonstrate outstanding achievements.” To find out more about this prestigious group, click here: https://bit.ly/30CBgHx
There are 13 categories and I’ve been nominated for the “Paulette Wilson Campaigner of the Year” Award. I have to be honest I didn’t know much about Paulette but after reading her story and how she fought for others who had been wrongly detained by the Home Office, I am proud to be even nominated for this Award. To find out more about Paulette Wilson, read the blog below.
Please support this event by purchasing a ticket. The funds raised will be for the children’s charity, Strength With In Me Foundation (S.W.I.M); the children’s Domestic Abuse charity that works toward building a generation of empowered females by educating them about healthy and toxic relationships.
Look forward to seeing some of you on the 30th November! Whether I win the Baton or not, I’ll still be a winner!
Paulette was a prominent Windrush campaigner who was wrongly detained and threatened with deportation by the Home Office. She died unexpectedly at the age of 64, a month after delivering a petition to Downing Street calling on the government to deliver justice to those affected by the scandal.
She was an inspiration to many people. She was my heart and my soul and I loved her to pieces,” Barnes said.
Paulette had moved Britain from Jamaica aged about 10 in 1968, worked as a chef for most of her life. She had travelled to the UK legally but in 2016 she received a letter informing her that she was an immigration offender, and needed to take immediate steps to return to Jamaica, a country she had not visited in half a century.
She was arrested twice, and spent time in Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre, before being transferred to another centre in Heathrow in 2017, ahead of a flight to Kingston. It was only a last-minute intervention by her MP, Emma Reynolds, and the Refugee and Migrant Centre in Wolverhampton, that prevented her deportation.
Paulette’s wrongful arrest and detention encouraged dozens of other people to come forward and describe how they also had found themselves wrongly classified as immigration offenders. Many had suffered catastrophic consequences as a result of the Home Office’s mistake. Some were denied healthcare and others were sacked from their jobs or evicted from their homes, as they became wrongly caught up in the “hostile environment” immigration policy brought in under Theresa May.
About 164 were mistakenly detained or removed from the UK. When the scandal broke in April 2018 it provoked the resignation of the then home secretary, Amber Rudd, and the government was forced to apologise.
Paulette later said she had been put through “the worst heartache anyone could go through”.