A late reprieve for singer Gwendolyn

Sheffield & District African Caribbean Community Assoc International Community Cultural Day...Pictured enjoying the day is Gwen Roomes

Sheffield & District African Caribbean Community Assoc International Community Cultural Day...Pictured enjoying the day is Gwen Roomes

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ONE of Sheffield’s best-known characters who is facing deportation to Jamaica was given a last-minute reprieve yesterday (Thursday).

The UK Borders Agency agreed to have another look at the application of Gwendolyn Roomes to remain in the country.

Gwendolyn, who is renowned for singing hymns and playing guitar in the city centre, was about to be flown back to Jamaica after being held at a detention centre in London. However, she will remain in the centre until her case has been reviewed.

Her family and friends are calling for her to be allowed to come home to Eckington in the meantime.

The devout Christian, aged 59, says she took up a Government invitation to come to the UK ten years ago as part of a programme to overcome teacher shortages. When her visa expired, repeated applications to the Home Office for her to stay were rejected. She says she was sent the wrong application form but the mistake was not spotted in time.

Gwendolyn passed her British citizenship test in 2009 and has spent more than £4,000 in fees and legal costs.

She said: “I think I have been lost in the Home Office system. I am hoping and praying that this can be sorted out. I am traumatised by it.”

The UK Border Agency said it did not comment on individual cases.