Windrush Day marks the anniversary of the arrival of MV Empire Windrush at the Port of Tilbury, near London, on 21 June 1948. However, passengers disembarked a day later 22 June 1948 – hence why this has come to be known as Windrush Day.
The City Council is pleased to be celebrating Windrush Day this year by raising the Windrush flag on The Council House on Wednesday 22 June.
Leader of the Council, Cllr David Mellen and Chief Executive, Mel Barratt, will also be speaking at the Nottingham Windrush Civic Reception in The Council House Ballroom 11.00am until 12.30pm. Thanks go to community partners, including the Pilgrim Church Charitable Trust, for organising the event.
Cllr Khan, Portfolio Holder for Equalities, said: “The arrival of the Empire Windrush nearly 73 years ago marked a seminal moment in Britain’s history and has come to represent the rich diversity of this nation.
“Those who arrived on the Empire Windrush, their descendants and those who followed them have made and continue to make an enormous contribution to Nottingham, not just in the vital work of rebuilding the country and public services following WWII but in enriching our shared social, economic, cultural, and religious life.
“I applaud and thank the Windrush Generation for overcoming great sacrifice and hardship. We also want to celebrate their descendants who have gone on to lead the field across Nottingham’s public life, in business, the arts and sport.”
Nottingham City Council has renewed its support for people in the city from the Windrush Generation who may be seeking help, advice and compensation.
Councillor Leslie Ayoola presented a motion at a meeting of the Full Council just last month (9 May) outlining the issues facing the Windrush Generation following the Home Office’s failure to keep detailed records of the arrivals in the UK. This meant that many were unable to evidence their lawful status when facing immigration checks to continue working, access services or even to remain in the UK.
As part of its support for victims of the scandal, the council has confirmed it will continue to hold an annual civic event to commemorate the Windrush Generation on 22 June, as a celebration to recognise and honour the enormous contribution of those who arrived in Britain from Caribbean countries between 1948 and 1973. The motion, which was passed unanimously, also pledged ongoing support for members of the Windrush Generation living in Nottingham who may have suffered loss and unfair treatment over their immigration status, including threat of deportation due to the failure of the Home Office to maintain records of their lawful right to remain in the UK.
Councillor Ayoola spoke about the historical context of the Windrush generation, of brave individuals and families from the Caribbean and other countries who moved to Britain from 1948 to 1971 at the invitation of the British Government.
He said: “They moved in order to rebuild the shattered country following the Second World War and to fill post-war labour shortages. When they came, they came with full citizen status. These rights were there indefinitely – or so they thought. This was not the case, children of the Windrush Generation would have to prove to the UK Government that they had the right to live and remain in the country that they had lived in for as long as they could remember.
“Many of these people are still alive in Nottingham today and have experienced first-hand the horrors of their lives being turned upside down and being stripped of their citizenship and being sent back to a country that many of them only knew as a child and was therefore ‘foreign’ to them.
“The scandalous failure of the Home Office has meant that many have been unable to prove their lawful status to continue to work, access services or even remain in this country, years after making it their home.
“We agreed unanimously, across political parties, to call on the Government to help advice agencies to gain justice for all Nottingham residents affected by the Windrush scandal, not to cap compensation amounts payable to victims and waive fees for naturalisation and provide legal aid for all who have been affected.”