Citizens Advice in West Sussex helped Robbie through a lifelong struggle being unable to claim his right to UK citizenship.

From the age of four, Robbie had lived his life an undocumented Barbados citizen, unable to apply for a passport or driver’s license because he didn’t possess proof of citizenship.

This led to Robbie’s dismissal from his job as a carer, a role he had had for over a decade, and was barred from accessing public services.

Without Robbie’s income the family home was soon lost. After separating from his wife and their three children, Robbie went from family breadwinner to living on the streets where he remained for years. These events led his mental health to spiral.

“I was lost and despondent, not knowing where to go. Feeling really, really low” said Robbie.

Eventually, Robbie was put in touch with our advisor, Monica, Crawley Connects Project Lead, who found that he easily met the eligibility criteria for the Windrush Compensation Scheme. Monica assisted Robbie with forms, collating evidence and submitting documents on his behalf.

The Home Office accepted Robbie’s Windrush claim and made a preliminary award of £10,000 with more payments to follow. Robbie now has all the rights of a UK citizen and with the family reunited, Robbie is looking forward to starting a new job and even has a new flat. He’s now receiving treatment for his depression and life is looking much more positive.

Robbie said, “I’m really doing ok now. Everything that happened is coming to a close, I’m very happy.”

For more information on our Crawley Connects community engagement project, see here.