04:13, January 06 205 0 theguardian.com

2019-01-06 04:13:16
Guardian and Observer charity appeal 2018  ‘This country welcomed me. Now it’s my turn to welcome others’: how readers were inspired to donate

The 2018 Guardian and Observer charity appeal has already raised more than £850,000 for five charities who helped bring the Windrush scandal to light.

The charities provide legal assistance, advice, advocacy – and often welfare support – for migrants and UK citizens facing injustice, homelessness and destitution caused by “hostile environment” immigration policies. The Guardian’s award-winning coverage of the Windrush scandal highlighted how the charities’ work helped ensure people were not unjustly detained or deported, and in some cases ensured they received the vital NHS treatment wrongly denied to them.

As David Lammy MP tweeted when the appeal had reached the £750,000 mark: “There is a phenomenal level of generosity out there.” The appeal charities are: Praxis Community Projects; Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants; Refugee and Migrant Centre Black Country and Birmingham; the Runnymede Trust; and Law Centres Network.

Many of the thousands of readers who made a donation online left a message explaining why they had been inspired to give. Here is a selection:

Melissa Morrison: “My grandparents made the trip from the Caribbean to start a new life and seek opportunities with their British passports as part of that generation. It could easily have been a member of my family: my mother, my aunts or my uncles that faced deportation. Thank you to the Guardian for highlighting the issue and thank you to the charities.”

Siriol Hugh-Jones: “What are our ‘values’ worth if we refuse to welcome and support those who have every entitlement to be in the UK?”

Claire Edwards: “I was so disheartened by the treatment of people who came to our country and became the backbone of many of our public services. There is much to despair about at the moment so this donation is a small way I can contribute to the work of others who show up to make things better.”

Bela [surname withheld]: “I am a lawyer and an immigrant and I could not have become the former without having been the latter. This country welcomed me and now it’s my turn to welcome others.”

Pernille Marqvardsen: “Knowing how hard it is to fight against the Home Office, I feel that making even a small contribution to the organisations who fight for justice for the people directly affected was the best Christmas present I could give myself. Thank you to all the journalists who worked – and are still working - on these stories!”

Janet Taylor: “As a retired solicitor who worked in the public sector I am ashamed that only the wealthy now seem to have access to justice. It seems that everything we worked for is systematically being destroyed. We should treat people as we would wish to be treated if we fall on hard times.”

Dr Doerte Prescott: “I am European and have worked as a doctor in this country for over 30 years. I have always felt part of British life, but now the uncertainty and watching my European colleagues leaving the NHS makes me feel like a second-class citizen.”

The appeal closes at midnight on Thursday 10 January.

Please donate to our appeal here