11:24, January 07 361 0 theguardian.com

2019-01-07 11:24:20
Guardian and Observer charity appeal 2018  
 There's still time to give to our appeal and help end injustices like Windrush

Our charity appeal for 2018 sought to celebrate the work of five charities who had helped bring the Windrush scandal to light, and raise vital money so that they can continue to fight for justice for those whose lives have been turned upside down by the hostile environment policy. With your help we’ve achieved both. It’s a fantastic achievement: thank you.

Thousands of readers have donated to the appeal – we have so far raised more than £920,000 for our five charities, and there are still three days to go before it closes (at midnight on Thursday). The average individual donation has been about £75. As always, Guardian and Observer readers have shown extraordinary generosity. In a harsh and often cynical world, the appeal feels like a small beacon for justice, tolerance and compassion.

The Windrush scandal was revealed by the Guardian in a series of award-winning reports last year. But it was first detected by the grassroots charities our appeal supports. They were able to identify the injustices and help those affected because they are close to and trusted by the communities they serve, because of their expertise, and because of their hard work and dogged pursuit of fairness and accountability.

Despite the resignation of a home secretary and ministers’ tardy apologies for the scandal, the hostile environment rumbles on. Each week more people fall foul of unfair and draconian immigration policies: people who arrived in the UK legally and have lived here for decades, worked, paid taxes, and raised children who find they have been unjustly thrown out of work, detained, denied healthcare, or evicted from their homes because they cannot provide documents to show they have a right to be in the UK.

It is not only members of the Caribbean community who have suffered from the arbitrary cruelty of the hostile environment; as our charities point out, people from the wider Commonwealth have also been caught up in it. After Brexit, thousands of established EU migrants who cannot show the correct documentation may also find themselves destitute and facing deportation when free movement comes to an end.

Readers’ donations will be shared among our five charities: Praxis Community Projects, the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, and the Refugee and Migrant Centre Black Country and Birmingham, each of which continue to do such vital work with migrants; the Runnymede Trust, a race equality thinktank, which played a key role in getting Windrush on to the political agenda; and Law Centres Network, which will use its share of the appeal to set up a fund its 43 local members can draw upon to fight hostile environment cases.

Your donations will make a difference. Again, a massive thank you: for your generosity, for your kindness, for your solidarity.

  • The Guardian and Observer charity appeal 2018 closes at midnight on Thursday. Please donate here.