Residents are being invited to support a local charity via a national newspaper's Christmas appeal.

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The Guardian has selected the Wolverhampton based Refugee and Migrant Centre to be one of the recipients of its annual fundraiser in recognition of its work with partners including the City of Wolverhampton Council to support members of the Windrush generation.

This year's Guardian appeal focuses on "Windrush - access to justice and combating the hostile environment", with the Refugee and Migrant Centre one of five organisations selected to benefit from it for the huge impact they have had on not only the lives of individual people but also on government policy.

The RMC and the council joined forces earlier this year to launch the Paulette Wilson Windrush Citizenship Project, providing specialist advice and support to help residents from the Windrush Generation gain their rightful citizenship.

A skilled team of staff are on hand to support people who arrived in the UK from the Commonwealth between 1948 and 1971 who may have either lost their documentation or who were not provided with the correct paperwork in the first place.

Arten Llazari, the charity's CEO, said: "Since 2012, the RMC has helped dozens of people from the Windrush generation here legally, struggling to prove their rights and being treated dreadfully. Their entitlement and legality should have never been questioned in the first place.

"RMC's remit is very broad and our mission is to assist refugees and migrants through crisis and disadvantage, by removing barriers to their integration and enabling them to become equal citizens. Since being established in 1999 we have supported tens of thousands of individuals and families at the crucial stages of their settlement and integration in the UK."  

Councillor Roger Lawrence, Leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council, said: "The way some members of the Windrush generation have been treated has been dreadful and I am delighted that the work of the RMC to help people caught up in this situation has been recognised by the Guardian.

"I would encourage people to support its Christmas appeal, and in doing so help the RMC and other organisations which are helping residents gain their rightful British citizenship."

People can make a donation via the Guardian's Christmas Appeal from now until 7 January, 2019 by visiting Type=links;Linkid=11339;Title=The Guardian and Observer Charity Appeal 2018;Target=_blank;, while anyone who wishes to donate directly to the RMC can do so by calling 01902 311568. To find out more about the work of the RMC, please visit Type=links;Linkid=10620;Title=Refugee and Migrant Centre;Target=_blank;.

Residents of Wolverhampton who are unsure of their immigration status and need support and advice through the Paulette Wilson Windrush Citizenship Project can call 01902 311554 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, or email

Paulette Wilson, from Wolverhampton, is a former cook at the House of Commons who came to Britain from Jamaica in 1968. Her case was raised by Wolverhampton North East MP Emma Reynolds after she was detained at Yarl's Wood Immigration Centre and threatened with deportation.

  • released: Tuesday 11 December, 2018