Lisa Lovell: I worked hard all my life to be an active member of society, to contribute, to support communities to give back, through my lived experience. My gateway into the hostile environment fully emerged on the 8th of July 2016. Every experience before, then brought me closer to that Gateway and I didn’t even know it. I am 2nd Generation Windrush. No one has ever apologised to me for the distress I went through, even when I was reinstated. My mental health plummeted I became anxious and fearful.
Me, with the label “child of the state”, Social Services to seal my fate, separate me from my siblings living in a home, staff do their job no love known. Me, with the label “vulnerable child”, being in the playground bullies were vile, some teacher’s saviours, others a chore learning was tricky music made me soar.
Me with the label “civil servant”, discovered at 40 I’m Neurodivergent Still, my work was the thing that allowed children to be heard. Me with the label “professional”, I was so proud, hostile environment all around. Worked all my life to be called a legal liar, my life in tatters as if I don’t matter. Me with the label “presumed criminal”, dropped by my employer, left unstable; caught in the Windrush living in fear, faceless, voiceless stateless……… I’m still here!
I am Lisa Lovell no longer faceless, voiceless, or stateless, after seven years of fighting I received my citizenship certificate.