Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Windrush Day celebrating British-Caribbeans to be held annually, Government says

The headline event will be a national service of thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey in London.

A day celebrating the Windrush generation and their descendants is to be held annually and will be supported by a grant of up to half-a-million pounds, the Government has announced.

British-Caribbean representatives will oversee Windrush Day, set to take place every June 22, marking the day the generation began when around 500 migrants from the West Indies disembarked from the Empire Windrush in Tilbury Docks in Essex.

Making the announcement, communities minister Lord Bourne said the day will help “recognise and honour the enormous contribution” of those who arrived on the ship in 1948.

It will cement in the national consciousness the important contribution of those who travelled from the Caribbean to Britain 70 years ago Arthur Torrington

The news comes ahead of Friday’s 70th anniversary of the migrants disembarking from the ship to find new opportunities and help rebuild post-war Britain.

The headline event will be a national service of thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey in London.

Up to £500,000 will be available to charities and communities wanting to hold commemorative and educational events every Windrush Day, a department spokesman said.

“It will keep their legacy alive for future generations, ensuring that we all celebrate the diversity of Britain’s history,” Lord Bourne said.

Windrush Foundation director Arthur Torrington celebrated the announcement as a “moment of great satisfaction”.

“It will cement in the national consciousness the important contribution of those who travelled from the Caribbean to Britain 70 years ago to build a better life and participate in making Britain a stronger nation,” he said.

Activist Patrick Vernon, who has long been campaigning for a national day, celebrated the “great news” and thanked the public for pressuring the Government into action.

The announcement comes after a period of turbulence for the Government over the Windrush scandal, which has seen citizens wrongly detained and deported and others denied access to healthcare, work, housing benefits and pensions.

Amber Rudd resigned as home secretary over it and Theresa May – her predecessor at the Home Office – came under fire for her “hostile environment” policy towards migrants.

Sajid Javid, who replaced Ms Rudd, signalled a softening of immigration policy under his leadership and that the much-criticised policy would be reviewed.

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph