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Paulette Wilson: Memorial plan for Windrush campaigner

By James Vukmirovic | Telford | News | Published:

A campaign has been launched for a memorial to celebrate the life and memory of Paulette Wilson, who died last month aged 64.

A new campaign has started to raise funds for a memorial to Windrush campaigner Paulette Wilson

The prominent Windrush campaigner from Wolverhampton was wrongly detained and threatened with deportation by the Home Office in 2016, despite having lived in the UK for nearly 50 years since arriving in Telford from Jamaica.

She became a figurehead for people who were wrongly classified as immigration offenders, and prior to her death had delivered a petition to Downing Street calling on the Government to deliver justice for those impacted by the scandal.

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A Go Fund Me page set up by her family and fellow campaigner Patrick Vernon to honour her memory has so far raised more than £16,000 towards her funeral, which is set to take place in Wolverhampton.

Ms Wilson's daughter, Natalie Barnes, said plans were also being discussed to create a memorial in her honour.

She said she wanted the community in Wolverhampton and further afield to celebrate the life of her mother and her achievements as a Windrush campaigner, and as a mother and grandmother.

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The memorial would be in the form of a statue or plaque and would be located in Wolverhampton, she added.

Mr Vernon said the fundraising target had now been raised to £30,000.

“It would be a national memorial to Paulette and her campaign for Windrush justice and would have significance in Wolverhampton as the black community are predominantly Jamaican, where Paulette came from," he said.

Paulette Wilson

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“It would identify the national recognition of the contributions the Windrush generation made and it would also be a symbol for young people across the country to work for a better Wolverhampton and a better Britain.

“Paulette loved Wolverhampton and loved Jamaica and was such a friendly and easy-going person, but also inspired people to work for social justice and equality, so this would be a wonderful way to mark her memory.”

Currently there is only one statue in Britain of a named black woman, the sculpture of pioneering nurse and Crimean War hero Mary Seacole, which was unveiled in London in 2016.

Visit gofundme.com/f/remembering-paulette-wilson for more information and to donate.

James Vukmirovic

By James Vukmirovic
Community Reporter - @jamesvukmirovic

Community Reporter at the Express & Star, helping under-represented communities to find a voice in Wolverhampton. Contact me at james.vukmirovic@expressandstar.co.uk.

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