More than 40 groups have been awarded funding through the Windrush Day Grant Scheme for arts, educational and sporting projects across England on the 75th anniversary of arrival of the MV Empire Windrush to the UK, the Minister for Communities announced today.
£750,000 has been awarded to projects across England, including The Brixton Project, a community-led carnival of art, theatre and music, and the Blackstory Partnership, a commemorative Windrush 75 event in Birmingham.
More than 200 Windrush Day projects have received a share of the £2.75 million funding over four years in celebration of the contributions of the Windrush generation and their families.
These community-led initiatives will celebrate the anniversary with events and activities taking place between 8 June and 31 August this year.
Lee Rowley MP, Minister for Communities, said:
We wanted to celebrate the positive contribution the Windrush generation and their families bring to this country and recognise the contributions made by all British Caribbean people in our communities.
Bringing people together is a way to ensure better understanding and social cohesion. I very much encourage everyone to get involved in what’s going on in their local area.
This year’s celebration of the British Caribbean community will mark the arrival 75 years ago of the MV Empire Windrush, when the first passengers disembarked at Tilbury Docks.
Next month, communities will come together to honour and celebrate those pioneers who answered the call to come to Britain and help rebuild the nation following the Second World War.
Last year also saw the unveiling of the National Windrush Monument at London Waterloo station. The Monument is a permanent tribute to the contribution of Caribbean pioneers in communities across the United Kingdom.
DLUHC worked with the advisory Windrush Commemoration Committee, chaired by Baroness Floella Benjamin DBE, to complete the project.
Chair of the Windrush Community Funds and Schemes sub-group of the Windrush Cross-Government Working Group, Paulette Simpson CBE said:
This year’s celebration of the British Caribbean community will be extra special, as we mark the arrival of the MV Empire Windrush at Tilbury Docks 75 years ago.
From those first passengers who went on to build their lives and make their home here, those that followed, and their descendants have and continue to make an enormous contribution to all aspects of British life.
National Windrush Day is now a firm fixture in the nation’s calendar and from Brixton to Wolverhampton, fantastic events and activities will be taking place across the country.
I’d urge everyone to get involved in this significant moment in our shared history.
Funded projects for 2023 include:
- The Brixton Project is a community-led celebration with the support of local artists that cements the histories, experiences and voices of the Windrush generation, promoting community cohesion through a carnival of art, theatre and music as well as local landmark visits integral to the Windrush story.
- Manchester City of Literature is a creative project that allows young people to develop the skills and confidence needed with a professional filmmaker to create documentary films and podcasts of Windrush generation members from South Manchester churches to tell their stories of migration, faith, education, home and community-building.
- The Blackstory Partnership showcases a truly commemorative Windrush 75 event in Birmingham, including choir performances of West Indian folk songs, a West Indian Army Standard Ceremony, the launch of the ‘Windrush Generation – This Is Our Story’ book, as well as a Windrush 75 Awards Ceremony that will recognise Windrush pioneers.
- Jamaica Society Leeds presents ‘Here: Windrush 75 Leeds’ – a series of public Windrush installations across the city featuring 75 larger than life portraits to showcase the Windrush generation’s contribution to social and economic life within Leeds. Interactive school sessions, a publicity campaign, and an online gallery of the portraits will form the project’s legacy.
- Wolverhampton NHS Trust Charity’s ‘Came to Care’ project explores the entwined stories of the arrival of the MV Empire Windrush and the NHS, both of which celebrate a 75th anniversary this year, offering young creatives the opportunity to exhibit artwork at a celebratory Windrush and NHS 75 event.
- Friends of St Paul’s Luxuriance creates a floral display in central Bristol to honour the Windrush generation, running an educational training programme for young people and launching an afternoon garden party entwining Caribbean and UK native plants to produce a stunningly beautiful, vibrant display.