Crowdfunder for retired Wirral shopkeeper Nelson Shardey smashes £20,000 target

Fundraising to help a former newsagent’s fight to be recognised as British has smashed its £20,000 target in just two days.

Nelson Shardey, from Wallasey, Wirral, was told he is not British by the Home Office despite being in the UK for nearly 50 years.

The 74-year-old, who says he has paid his taxes since moving from Ghana in 1977, went public with his battle earlier this week.

A crowdfunding page to help with the legal challenge has now reached more than £32,000.

Nelson said he was overwhelmed by the support.

“I am very grateful to all the people - both people who donated money and people who sent words of comfort,” he said.

“It shows me and my family that we are not alone."

Jacob, Nelson's son says he "can't comprehend" the support his dad has received since going public with his battle

Nelson who has been in the UK for nearly 50 years, performing jury service, and even being given a police bravery award for tackling a robber who was attacking someone with a baseball bat.

The dad assumed he was a citizen for many years but when he applied for a passport in 2019 he was told he had no right to be in the UK.

Instead the Home Office told him he would need to apply for the 10-year route to settlement, which would cost around £7,000.

Nelson’s son Jacob said the family hopes the outpouring of public support may influence the Home Office.

He revealed they had received one anonymous donation of £5,000 but that the main objective was to spread the word out about “the injustice."

“Thank you to everyone,” he said.

“My dad never shows his emotions. I think I’ve seen him cry for the first time in the 26 years I’ve been alive."

The family say that the money will go to charity if Mr Shardey wins his case and has no legal costs to pay.

A Home Office spokesman said: "It would be inappropriate to comment on active legal proceedings."