Windrush Day: on this day... (22nd June)

On the 22nd of June 1948, migrants from countries including Jamaica, Bermuda, Trinidad and British Guiana disembarked from the HMT Empire Windrush in the UK. The first wave of post-war immigration, those who made to the UK were amongst the first to be recruited in programmes to rebuild Britain following the ravages of WWII.

The History Press writes: "Recently it came to light that some of the Windrush generation of Commonwealth citizens were being denied access to state healthcare, had been made redundant from their employment and, in some cases, threatened with deportation, despite being legally resident in the UK for decades and often making paying taxes and making pension contributions."

"Then, in 2012, then Home Secretary Theresa May promised a ‘hostile environment’ for illegal immigrants to stop migrants having access to the NHS, welfare services, employment, bank accounts, driving licences and rented accommodation, unless they could prove their right to be in the UK (...) hundreds of those from the Windrush generation found they had not got paperwork to prove they had lawfully been in the UK for years"

"In April 2018 Home Secretary Amber Rudd apologised for the “appalling” treatment of the Windrush generation and announced a taskforce to resolve the immigration status of those affected, granting them the citizenship papers to which they are entitled, waiving application fees and awarding compensation. By the end of April Rudd had resigned as Home Secretary amid great pressure over the Windrush scandal."

You can read more about the history and story of immigration from the Caribbean, as well as the ensuing Windrush Scandal here.

Lambeth Council has put together an online portal of resources to commemorate Windrush Day, celebrating the contributions of the Windrush Generations to Britain. These include a playlist of music, an art and activities pack as well as links to the Black Cultural Archives and Lambeth Archives.