Community groups to get grant to commemorate Windrush 75th anniversary

Hackney Council National Windrush Day Celebration, Hackney Town Hall Square 2022 Pic: Sean Pollock

Grants of up to £2,000 for community groups and organisations to fund projects to mark the 75th anniversary of the first arrival of Windrush generation, are to be made available by Hackney Council.

Successful applicants for the grants will be announced the following week after the application deadline on Friday, March 17. A total of £10,000 has been allocated by the council for the grants to mark the anniversary in June this year.

In 2023, it will be 75 years since the HMT Empire Windrush arrived in Britain on June 22, 1948. The Windrush Generation denotes the people who emigrated from the Caribbean to Britain starting with this ship.

Patrick Vernon, Convenor of the Windrush 75 Network said: “The Windrush is a major part of Britain’s history that every child should learn about at school. The 75th anniversary is something every institution should mark in a significant way in 2023.”

Communities, non-profit organisations, and local venues in Hackney can apply for microgrants so they can fund events, activities, workshops, public awareness campaigns, mental health and well-being classes, or other projects that enhance the narrative of Windrush or preserve and share its history.

Councillor Carole Williams, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Equalities said: “This year marks 75 years since the UK began to benefit from the Windrush generation’s arrival. The microgrants are part of a promise made by the Council to highlight the significant contribution of the Windrush generation to the nation, in the form of arts and cultural events, and initiatives.”

“It is vital that through these projects we move away from singular narratives that limit the community to one group of people from one island, class, age group, or story of injustice and encourage exploration of the wider experience and history so we can present an authentic account for future generations.”

As part of Windrush’s 75th anniversary celebrations, Hackney Council is planning a year-long programme of activities, exhibitions, and events. You can see the listings on Love Hackney.

Local resident Peter Thomas, from Stamford Hill, told ELL: “My parents came from St. Lucia during the Windrush and settled in Stamford Hill. I think it is brilliant that Hackney is recognising a generation that helped build this country after World War Two.”

“Having the council fund people who were involved in monumental changes in this country means a lot to my community. As a result of Hackney’s efforts, I believe many other councils will follow suit.”

Hackney Council became the first UK council to pass a comprehensive motion in parliament committed to commemorating National Windrush Day on June 22 annually. In addition, they actively advocated on behalf of those affected by the Windrush scandal. This was where hundreds of Commonwealth citizens, many of whom were members of the Windrush generation, were wrongfully detained, deported, and deprived of their legal rights.

Williams and the Mayor of Hackney wrote to the Home Office this month to express concerns about the Windrush Compensation Scheme. This is in light of recent reports of the government abandoning key commitments.

However, Hackney Council plan on continuing to fund community programs, with a key focus on minority groups within the borough.

To apply for a Windrush grant please complete and send the application form on:

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