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Dear all,

My name is Chadwick Jackson. I am 27 years old. Though I was born in Jamaica, I have been living in the UK for the past 17 years.

My life came to a pause when my “limited leave to remain” expired in 2016. As a result, I have not been able to work or claim income support despite owning a National Insurance Number and paying taxes.

Whether it was a paper round at 11 years old or research jobs, I worked with aspirations of independence, and to do my part in this country.

At 18 years old, I was fortunate enough to enter the film industry - working on short films, supporting other emerging creators, and assisting in production houses. I did not look back.

But the film industry isn’t fiscally generous to its entry level staff. This, as well as diversity issues put me in a predicament. I’d often take up time-consuming, labour-intensive, sporadic work in an effort to aide my professional development. These problems did not go away when I moved on to project-by-project work.

I was able to combat work slumps and financial issues by working in kitchens either as a porter or as a trainee/assistant chef (cooking is a passion of mine and a skill I hold dear to my heart). Later on, by volunteering at my local community centre and assisting the elderly, I would also keep my sanity and remain grounded.

I was awarded a place at the prestigious National Film and Television School after years of working and adding invaluable experiences to my CV. My visa ran out in whilst I was still there. To me this is staggering, considering I’ve lived here most of my life. Up until recently, I lived and was treated no differently from a British citizen. And with all the costs incurred around my education, I could not afford it.

After I left NFTS, I found that I was no longer allowed to work in the UK. This has had a harrowing effect on my finances, and means that three years since my visa ran out, my future in this country is still up for debate.

I came to the UK when I was 10. The Jamaica I left is not the same Jamaica I’d be returning to after nearly 20 years.

So I am currently raising money for my living costs and expenses, and if you can contribute, I would be so grateful. Any money raised outside of my target will go towards my living costs: food and travel, and rent contributions to my current host.

The last three years have been a very difficult time for me, and it was a leap of faith to have my story told. But after the Huffington Post article was released, I was amazed and thankful to see all of the encouragement and support I was receiving. Much appreciated for your time and for reading my story.

Organizer and beneficiary

Chadwick Jackson
Jasmine Morrison

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