Windrush campaigner to receive posthumous award

A prominent Windrush campaigner who died this summer will receive a posthumous award.

Paulette Wilson
Paulette Wilson

Paulette Wilson is to be awarded the Campaigner Award on behalf of the Baton Awards, which celebrates women from diverse racial groups.

The organisation will also rename its Campaigner of the Year Award to the Paulette Wilson Award in her memory.

In 1968 Paulette arrived in Telford from Jamaica as a 10-year-old girl, before making her home in Heath Town, Wolverhampton.

Her daughter, Natalie Barnes, said: "I am honoured to receive this award on behalf of my mother.

"She has received a number of awards since her passing and this is just another fantastic celebration of her extraordinary life and contributions to the Windrush campaign."

Ms Wilson, born in Jamaica, campaigned for the Windrush generation who suffered injustices at the hands of the British Government.

She was herself was wrongly detained and threatened with deportation in 2017.

She received a letter in 2016 informing her she was an immigration offender and she needed to return to Jamaica immediately.

Inspire

This is despite her not having lived in Jamaica since she was a child. She moved to Telford aged 10 in 1968.

Ms Wilson was arrested twice, detained in a deportation centre and narrowly avoided being flown to Kingston from Heathrow.

It was only thanks to a last-minute intervention by her then local MP, Emma Reynolds, and Wolverhampton's Refugee and Migrant Centre, that remained in Britain.

In her final years, Ms Wilson dedicated her time to raising awareness of people who had been wrongly deported, despite entering the UK legally in the 1950s and 60s.

Dr Diahanne Rhiney, founder of the Baton Awards, said: "We are thrilled to announce that from 2021, the Campaigner of the Year Award is being renamed the Paulette Wilson Award.

"We hope Paulette’s story can inspire generations of campaigners to come and her name will live on through their achievements."

This year's awards will be aired live from a studio on November 24.

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