I would like to reflect on the success of Windrush Day, which was marked on June 22. This was the second annual National Windrush Day, and the third year that Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has supported celebrations since the 70th anniversary. I would like to thank my Noble friend for his role in initiating these earlier celebrations.
The day was well recognised in national and international media, with hundreds of broadcast features, including a piece on BBC’s The One Show and CNN broadcasting live from Brixton. There were tens of thousands of tweets, instagram and facebook posts shared to celebrate the Windrush Generation and their descendants. This was illustrative of the way in which communities and individuals led the way in marking the day.Supportive messages were delivered by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, His Excellency the Jamaican High Commissioner and the Most Reverend Primate, the Archbishop of Canterbury.
In the midst of challenging circumstances, most of the 49 organisations which received funding from MHCLG’s Windrush Day Grant have demonstrated admirable willingness, aptitude and innovation to deliver their events through online or virtual means. Celebrations were mostly digital, but there were still plenty of them taking place across the country. From Bristol to Birmingham and Leicester to Leeds, grant recipients hosted online exhibitions, radio documentaries and educational workshops and lectures over zoom.
I was pleased to take part in the day myself by being hosted on a tour of Reading Museum's online exhibition The Enigma of Arrival . The exhibition was part-funded by MHCLG's Windrush Day Grant and was developed in partnership with the University of the West Indies as well as the Barbados Museum and Historical Society and members of the town's Caribbean community. I was particularly moved by images of men working at the town's Huntley and Palmers Biscuit factory and took a moment to reflect upon the truly vast scope of the Windrush Generation's contribution to all aspects of our national life in the aftermath of the Second World War.
I would finally like to reiterate my gratitude to the Windrush Day Advisory Panel, originally convened by my Noble friend, in supporting the funding's delivery and helping ensure that the day is marked appropriately year-on-year.