The University of Greenwich has joined together with partners to launch a free legal advice service for victims of the Windrush scandal.

The new Windrush Justice Clinic will see local law students offer independent, free legal advice and assistance to the victims of the scandal in making claims under the Windrush Compensation scheme.

It is the result of a collaborative partnership between the University of Westminster, London South Bank and Greenwich's Legal Advice Clinics, several law centres and a number of community groups.

The partnership has been set up in response to the Windrush Compensation Scheme, which was set up in April 2019 to provide victims with compensation for their suffering.

Since the Government first apologised two years ago for the treatment that people were subjected to, more than 12,000 people have received documentation from the Home Office confirming they are living in the UK legally.

This offers an indication of the number of people who should be able to claim compensation before the scheme ends in April 2023.

Sally Gill, principal lecturer and director of Greenwich University's Legal Advice Centre, said they hope it can become a national service to enable people to get free access to justice on Windrush cases."

She said she has "felt strongly about the injustices suffered by the Windrush generation and their families as a direct result of the racist hostile environment policy ever since it happened."

"The Windrush Justice Clinic is a collective of organisations committed to offering the victims free legal assistance.

"By collaborating in this way it ensures that we are able to reach more of the community who were effected."

By the end of September 2020, 1,531 people applied under the compensation scheme, but only 168 people (11% of those who had lodged claims) have received Windrush compensation payments during the first 18 months of the scheme's operation.

Only £1.3m had been distributed from a fund that the Government expected might be required to pay out between £200-500m

Those applying have to provide extensive and complex documentation, often going back decades, providing evidence 'beyond reasonable doubt' of their losses.

As the application runs 18 pages long and requires detailed calculations and supporting evidence, it is hoped the university law clinics will be able to help.

The service will initially be based in London and will be provided through each individual university law clinic's website and phone lines.

The new Windrush Justice Clinic is already taking enquiries and will see clients from 2 November 2020, taking a specialist approach that seeks to recompense applicants justly, offering advice, assistance, casework and representation as appropriate.

Where specialist immigration advice or legal representation is needed, the London-based Clinic can refer clients to a specialist within their network.