Community projects celebrating the Windrush generation will be supported through a £500,000 government fund launching today.
The annual Windrush Day Grant Scheme provides up to £50,000 to individual projects to mark the fifth annual Windrush Day 2022 on 22 June through events and activities.
Projects could include art lessons, public celebrations, community activities, or developing the educational and entrepreneurial skills of young people from Britain’s Caribbean Community and their peers.
This year, councils, charities, and community groups are being encouraged to come up with proposals that engage with the Windrush story in powerful, enterprising, and thoughtful ways.
2021 celebrations included:
- Vine Community Centre: An East Midlands based organisation held a commemoration service in Nottingham town centre with guest speakers, gospel singing, and the raising of the Windrush Generations flag by the Sheriff of Nottingham.
- Unity Housing Association: An exhibition of photographs and videos focusing on the contributions made by the Windrush Generation to business and social reform in Leeds.
- Strike a Light: A Gloucester based theatre group created performances inspired by the Windrush Generation, and shared stories through live streaming radio and a film.
- Birmingham Museum Trust: The organisation produced in-school learning resources supported by the digitisation of The Birmingham Black Oral History Project, and an online lecture as part of the museum’s On Demand programme.
- Harmony Youth Project: A three-month creative exhibition and event with a local Caribbean church choir, including a disco for young people and performances at various residential homes by school pupils.
Minister for Levelling Up Communities, Kemi Badenoch, said:
“The legacy of the Windrush generation means so much to so many.
“As a first-generation immigrant myself, I understand personally how important it is to highlight how much we welcome and celebrate the contributions made by those who choose to make Britain home.
“In this spirit, the government is committed to recognising the achievements of the Windrush Generation and the contributions and sacrifices made by Britain’s Caribbean communities.”
Chair of the Windrush Community Funds and Windrush Schemes group, Paulette Simpson CBE, said:
“I am delighted that for the fifth annual National Windrush Day on June 22nd this year, the outstanding contributions that the Windrush Generation and their descendants have made, and continue to make, to British Society will again be marked through funded projects that remember and celebrate their enduring legacies.
“This year we are encouraging new, innovative and enterprising proposals to share the Windrush story and reach out to people that make up our diverse local communities. In doing so, we can ensure projects will impact history, education and celebration in a meaningful way.”
Philippa Smith, Community Producer at Strike a Light, said:
“It is so important to share and celebrate the influences of Caribbean people on British culture.
“Our project for Windrush Day 2021 was entirely co-created with people who came to Gloucester through Windrush.
“A particular highlight was a brilliant poem by 12-year-old community member called ‘Windrush and Me’. Her school saw the poem and asked if they could share it with pupils during Black History Month, and we’re now working with local schools on future projects.”
Robert Bird, Centre Manager at Vine Community Centre, said:
“From speaking with Nottingham residents, it became obvious there were huge gaps in people’s knowledge and understanding of what “Windrush” is – even with direct dependents.
“This project allowed us to showcase the stories of the Windrush Generation – many of which have not been told before – in a safe place, as well as the achievements of black people in our communities.
“Over 200 people participated in a wide range of activities and a particularly poignant moment was seeing the Windrush flag fly over the council house in the city centre – it was a huge success.”
This announcement comes as Basil Watson was confirmed as the winning artist for the landmark Windrush Monument, expected to be unveiled in London Waterloo by Windrush Day 2022.
The monument will be an ambitious public artwork that stands as a testament to the contribution of Caribbean pioneers in communities across the United Kingdom. It will create a permanent place of reflection and inspiration and be a visible statement of our shared history and heritage. The project is being overseen by DLUHC and led by the Windrush Commemoration Committee (WCC), chaired by Baroness Floella Benjamin DBE.
Written By: Becky Pierce-Jones