A FATHER who was banned from working and faced deportation has pinned his hopes of staying in the UK on the Windrush scheme.

Darren Harrety moved from the British colony of Punta Gorda in Belize, Central America, to England with his mother on a Belize passport when he was six months old. They were granted indefinite leave to stay in the UK.

But his world came crashing down in 2010 when he was told he could no longer work when the Home Office could not find proof of his arrival in the country and his mother’s passport had been lost.

The 36-year-old said he has fought to remain in the UK and has been unsuccessful with previous applications after spending thousands of pounds.

However, the father-of-six, from Nelson, said he has now applied for citizenship through the Windrush scheme.

Mr Harrety said this was the third type of citizen application he had sent off and he expects an answer in six months.

The Windrush scheme was launched this year to help Commonwealth nationals who settled in the UK before 1973 gain citizenship.

It processes citizenship applications for adults and the children of the Windrush generation who joined their parents before they turned 18.

He said: “I’m desperate for good news.

“I have lived here since I was six months old, I am British and I feel British.

“I went to school here, college and worked here all my life.

“I filled out the paper work, they’ve taken my fingerprints and a photograph.

“If this doesn’t work I don’t know what I would do.”

Darren never had his own passport or driving licence but using his birth certificate as identification he was able to vote, get married, hold bank accounts, work and even buy his own home aged 20.

Mr Harrety, a former shop fitter, said he wants to be allowed employment again so he can provide for his family.

He said: “My wife Kathryn works very hard but I want to be able to share the load with her.

“A father should be able to provide and I want to, I am able and fit to work.

“It’s going to be a long six months, but I have been fighting this for years. I hope it goes through.”