Windrush campaigner Paulette Wilson's funeral to be held today

Paulette Wilson died in July. Credit: City of Wolverhampton Council

Windrush campaigner Paulette Wilson’s funeral will be held in Wolverhampton today.

Paulette, who lived in the city and was a former cook at the House of Commons, came to Britain aged 10 from Jamaica in 1968.  

She gave her name to the Paulette Wilson Windrush Citizenship Project, in 2018 to provide specialist advice and support to help local members of the Windrush generation gain their rightful citizenship.

She died unexpectedly in July, bringing tributes from people praising her as a person and what she stood for.

Thousands of people who came from the Commonwealth to the UK after the Nationality Act 1948 and before the 1971 Immigration Act were given the right of indefinite leave to remain, including around 3,000 people living in Wolverhampton.

However, a series of cases arose involving individuals who had been long-term residents of the UK but did not have documents to prove their status. As a result, they were incorrectly identified as illegal immigrants by the Home Office and put at risk of deportation.

Her case was raised in Parliament after she was detained at Yarl's Wood Immigration Centre and threatened with deportation.

The Government subsequently confirmed that anyone from the Windrush generation could become a British citizen and the Paulette Wilson Windrush Citizenship Project supported numerous local people to apply for British citizenship.

Councillor Ian Brookfield, Leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council, said: 

“Paulette Wilson was an inspiration to so many people and fought incredibly hard on behalf of fellow members of the Windrush generation who were caught up in the same dreadful situation she found herself in.

"As a council we were proud to be able to work with Paulette, her family and the Refugee and Migrant Centre to help support local residents to gain their rightful British citizenship. She will be much missed by everyone who knew her but her legacy will live on in the profound way that she helped to change so many people's lives for the better.

”On behalf of everyone at the City of Wolverhampton Council, I would like to pass on our sincere condolences to her friends and family.”

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Windrush campaigner who died had 'spirit broken by government', friend says