The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants
The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants was founded in 1967, when 240 representatives of immigrant communities and anti-racism groups met at the Dominion Cinema, Southall. The meeting was called in response to the introduction of new restrictions on movement, the rising tide of racist attacks against the UK’s migrant communities, and the failure of the authorities to protect them. Since then, the council has provided legal and advice services to vulnerable people confronting discrimination, destitution and the denial of rights. When the Windrush scandal came to light in 2017, the Joint Council launched its Windrush Justice Appeal. Through the appeal, which was matched by the Mayor of London, the Council was able to assist directly affected communities through microgrants which it distributed amongst grassroots organisations. When the COVID-crisis began in 2020, the Joint Council launched a new appeal to help the Windrush generation through the difficult winter season. The council will again supply small, emergency grants to grassroots groups. However, this time grants will have an added welfare focus, acknowledging the immense hardship faced by this generation as they attempt to self-isolate whilst facing loss of status, denial of rights, and threats of deportation.