Staff help tenant gain British Citizenship following the Windrush scandal

A resident living in Birmingham is extremely grateful to WM Housing Group staff after they helped him gain his British citizenship following the Windrush scandal.

Cleon Allen wanted to open a bank account two years ago but found he was unable to do so because he was unsure of his grandparent’s date of births, full names and places of birth.

Several other people across the UK also found themselves in the same situation which was known as The Windrush Scandal. It was highlighted in 2008 and most people affected by the scandal had arrived in the UK prior to 1973 but some were wrongly deported or wrongly denied medical care or benefits.

After Cleon’s bank account was turned down WM Housing Group, which is soon to become Citizen, became involved to help him gain his British Citizenship.

Operational Support Officer at WM Housing Group, Yvette Merchant-Bradley, said: “We got involved to help Cleon open a bank account – we gathered information and contacted the Jamaican Embassy Home Office for him.

“Luckily several of us managed to help Cleon by getting him his British Citizenship and this was presented to him by the Mayor and Mayoress of Birmingham.

“We are so thrilled that we managed to help Cleon through a very stressful time and are delighted he was presented with his Citizenship.”

Cleon said: “It was so difficult when I was told I couldn’t open a bank account because I didn’t know where my grandparents were born, and I had lived in the UK for years.

“A friend helped me to apply for a bank account but when this was turned down, WM Housing helped me through this really hard time.

“I cannot thank the people who helped me enough.”

Cleon would like to thank Tenancy Plus Officer Manoj Chopra, Neighbourhood Officer James Hobbs, Money Advisor Margaret Weekes and Operational Support Officer Yvette Merchant-Bradley for all their help.

He said: “The people at WM Housing put in so much work and helped me to become a British National after years of living here.

“I was finally awarded a certificate of Naturalisation by the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Birmingham, meaning that I am officially a British citizen and my passport has been delivered too. I’m so thrilled to finally receive citizenship.”