Apr 24, 2018 — Five weeks, 419,000 signatures, £46,000 and countless tweets and political machinations later, Albert has FINALLY been granted the free NHS treatment for his prostate cancer that we’ve all been tirelessly campaigning for.
Albert will start his radiotherapy in a week's time. He said he was 'very excited' about this, and that he was surprised at the sudden rush, citing all of the pressure on the government as the reason why - 'it has really shaken them up', he said.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone who has signed the petition for Albert, donated and spoken out about this terrible injustice which could easily have gotten buried underneath the many stories appearing about the Windrush Generation. For me, Albert’s case was particularly urgent because of the need for cancer treatment, but I have heard from organisations associated with this issue (plus a source at the Home Office) that our collective, united voice around his case has helped raise the profile of the issue more generally - which was always the hope.
I feel that Albert's case could set a precedent for others who are still suffering injustice at the hands of the Conservative Government. Read my letter in the Guardian today about this: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/apr/24/lets-keep-pressure-on-over-windrush
This week I'll print out (and edit!) the thousands of amazing comments people have written for Albert Thompson and hand deliver it to @Praxis_Projects to give to him before he starts treatment. Please comment below with messages of love and support for Albert and I will add these to the pot.
I am in discussion with all relevant parties now about the best way to use the money that has been raised for Albert's treatment. I will confirm this as soon as possible. It will take some coordination, and liaising with lawyers to work out how Albert is able to access the fund, so please be patient.
As stated before, the money is likely to go towards supporting Albert (I think he might need a holiday!) and also towards the charity Praxis, who have done a stellar job in supporting Albert and others, and raising this issue.
This isn’t the end of the Windrush story, nor Albert’s - who is still fighting a legal case about his immigration status - and I will continue to work to try to make sure that he gets the best outcome possible in every sense of the word. As soon as I have confirmation, I will share news of how the funds will be used plus keep you updated on further developments with his treatment as and where appropriate, according to his wishes.
I will also look to see how this campaign and its supporters might contribute meaningfully to the wider Windrush story happening right now - watch this space.
Thank you all again. I don't know about you, but I'll sleep much more soundly tonight. It’s been a crazy few weeks, and I know Albert has been delighted with the public support for his case. We should all give ourselves a big pat on the back.
PS. For now, I wanted to share Patrick Vernon's fundraiser, supported by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, Runnymede Trust and the Black Cultural Archives, for a special hotline for Windrush British citizens who need impartial, independent advice with their interest at heart - not the government's https://www.gofundme.com/windrush-justice-fund
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