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The Rosenior family whose roots in Lambeth stretch back to 1954 are preparing for their day in court to fight for the right to stay of William James a much loved member of the family who has lived with them since birth.

Will with familyThey would like people to join them in peaceful protest out side the Court in Feltham, Tuesday 4th May 9am - 11am IAC, Hatton Cross, York House, 2-3 Dukes Green Avenue Feltham, TW14 0LS

British citizens Mr & Mrs Willie Rosenior came to live in the UK in the 1950s from Sierra Leone, West Africa. Mr Willie Rosenior served in the Royal Air force and later worked for many years at Lambeth Council as an Electrical Engineer. Formerly a nurse, Mrs Rosenior retired from the Post Office in 1980 after 12 years service. They have been model citizens and together have contributed substantially to the UK. They are well respected and loved in their neighbourhood.

In 1989 the Roseniors retired to Freetown, Sierra Leone after successfully raising five children. In 1990 Mrs Rosenior delivered the baby of a local couple and as a mark of gratitude they named the baby after Mr Rosenior. From birth, William ‘Will’ James spent most of his time with ‘Granddad’ and ‘Nanny’ and in time came to live with them fulltime. When Will was a toddler his parents recognised the care and support the Roseniors could give Will and agreed for them to be his guardians. From that time Will went everywhere with his grandparents including travelling back and forth to the UK on holidays. In 1994 the Roseniors filed to formally adopt Will with the full blessing of his birth parents.

The Rosenior’s peaceful retirement was interrupted when the brutal Sierra Leone civil war broke out in 1997 and they were unceremoniously airlifted out of the warzone. Then aged 7, Will was airlifted out with them and for the past 13 years has lived with them and is a much-loved member of the family.

In August 2009 Mr Rosenior sadly passed away after a sudden illness and Will became the main carer for Mrs Rosenior who aged 78 suffers from a number of ailments. Despite a happy school life at Glenbrook primary and Lilian Baylis Technology School where he gained 11 GCSEs, when Will was 18 he made some poor choices and whilst at college was found in possession of a bicycle chain, (deemed an offensive weapon) and as a result spent 4 punitive months in youth detention.

With the support of his girlfriend Hayley and close-knit family Will has completely got his life back on track. He is currently studying IT and Business at Lambeth College and in February 2010 won an award for ‘the most promising new entrant’ in the Lambeth Young & Safe programme, where young role models advise and guide troubled teenagers in Lambeth.

However, in January this year Will’s application for indefinite leave to remain in the UK was refused and the UK Border Agency now want to deport him. They want him to return to Sierra Leone, a country he knows very little about, where he has no known family and to a life completely foreign to him. The judgement is based on a claim that Will has not sufficiently demonstrated that he has an established ‘family and personal life’ here in the UK.

For the family this is clearly far from the truth and will appeal against this harsh judgment on May 4th 2010 at Feltham Court. The family have the full support of neighbours, friends and colleagues who feel strongly about this injustice and have shown their support by writing letters and signing the “Will Must Stay” petition.


Paul Hanes

Paul Hanes

Paul Hanes is a member of Counterfire who started Fourman Films in 2003 after his first feature documentary that year. He is an award winning film maker, active trade unionist and a prolific video blogger and citizen journalist. He has over 1,000 YouTube videos which form an historic and in depth record of the movement, often overlooked by the mainstream media.

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