Tag Archives: windrush day

Floella Benjamin marks Windrush Day with event in Parliament

Windrush Day is celebrated on 22 June every year. HMT Empire Windrush arrived in Britain on 22 June 1948. On board were more than 800 passengers from the Caribbean.

This June marks 75 years since that voyage. It is a major national moment, a chance to come together and celebrate this shared history.

Last week, Liberal Democrat Baroness Floella Benjamin met with successful black business owners to commemorate this event. A heartwarming and empowering afternoon spent in Parliament, talking about personal experiences being a second and third generation of Windrush.

Special thanks to Baroness Floella Benjamin, Roderick Lynch from the Lib Dem Campaign for Racial Equality (LDCRE), the London Diversity team, Craig O’Donnell, London Regional Development Officer and staff members involved in organising the event.

London Diversity and Inclusion Leader William Houngbo said:

On 15th June, Nicole Turner (HQ Diversity & Inclusion), Roderick Lynch (LDCRE) and I went to parliament with 23 Afro-Caribbean London based business owners, to attend our Liberal Democrat Windrush parliamentary reception with Baroness Floella Benjamin. We celebrated the Windrush 75th anniversary.
Baroness Floella Benjamin made an inspiring and powerful speech.

Many of us who were in the room will remain impacted by it the rest of our lives.

Roderick Lynch said:

As a 2nd Generation member of the Windrush Community I was honoured to be at the House of Lords to hear Baroness Floella Benjamin delivered an impassioned recital of her journey and arrival in the U.K. aboard the Empire Windrush.

The 75th Anniversary reception was attended by approximately 23 Black Business Owners who I proudly now call Lib Dem members and supporters.

Attendees including myself was brought to tears listening to Floella’s journey. As a member of the Windrush community I’m very much aware of tales such as this. Nothing prepared me for what I was about to hear, albeit when Floella said we are going to hear “real talk” I should have known something was coming.

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22 June 2020 – the overnight press release

Mark Windrush Day by giving the right to remain to all NHS workers, Lib Dems say

The Liberal Democrats are marking Windrush Day by renewing calls on the Government to give all NHS and social care workers who have worked in the UK during the coronavirus pandemic indefinite leave to remain.

Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine urged Ministers to make clear by backing these calls that “those who have put their lives at risk for our country are welcome to live in it.”

The Royal College of Nursing are also calling for reform, citing statistics from the Nursery and …

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Isabelle Parasram writes….Restoring the Rights of the Windrush Generation

This is a second chance to read this post, coinciding with today’s special event (see below)

As a child of the Windrush generation, Windrush Day is hugely important to me. I’m so glad that we, as a society, are marking it.

The term ‘the Windrush Generation’ stems from the arrival, on June 22, 1948, of the ship The Empire Windrush at Tilbury Docks, just east of London, bringing with it the first immigrants from the Caribbean.

It denotes the large-scale influx of Caribbean immigrants during the years that followed.There’s been a lot of Press about the terrible treatment of people who came here from the Caribbean in the late 1940s and onwards, who now find that their very official existence has been denied.There’s also much discussion about the poor treatment of those Caribbean immigrants upon their arrival in the UK to date.

But there are also some positive stories and memories mixed in with those experiences.

I’ve recorded an 8-minute audio interview with someone who came to this country in 1962. She shared with me some of her memories and they were both good and bad. You can listen to the interview here via Soundcloud:

The memories shared in the interview are such as these:

I came to the UK after a one month journey from Trinidad by ship with my young stepson and my new baby boy. When we arrived it was the coldest winter they’d had in a long time and we only had summer clothes.

I remember having no furniture, no heating, no washing machine, no fridge, no winter clothes. We had to try to stay warm in one roomusing a paraffin burner. Then, on Christmas Day, someone gave us a bed for my stepson. I was so happy!

It was hard to find a job because no black people were allowed. The British people didn’t want immigrants –“…no black people”, they said.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

Isabelle Parasram writes….Celebrating Windrush Day

As a child of the Windrush generation, Windrush Day is hugely important to me. I’m so glad that we, as a society, are marking it.

The term ‘the Windrush Generation’ stems from the arrival, on June 22, 1948, of the ship The Empire Windrush at Tilbury Docks, just east of London, bringing with it the first immigrants from the Caribbean.

It denotes the large-scale influx of Caribbean immigrants during the years that followed.There’s been a lot of Press about the terrible treatment of people who came here from the Caribbean in the late 1940s and onwards, who now find that their very official existence has been denied.There’s also much discussion about the poor treatment of those Caribbean immigrants upon their arrival in the UK to date.

But there are also some positive stories and memories mixed in with those experiences.

I’ve recorded an 8-minute audio interview with someone who came to this country in 1962. She shared with me some of her memories and they were both good and bad. You can listen to the interview here via Soundcloud:

The memories shared in the interview are such as these:

I came to the UK after a one month journey from Trinidad by ship with my young stepson and my new baby boy. When we arrived it was the coldest winter they’d had in a long time and we only had summer clothes.

I remember having no furniture, no heating, no washing machine, no fridge, no winter clothes. We had to try to stay warm in one roomusing a paraffin burner. Then, on Christmas Day, someone gave us a bed for my stepson. I was so happy!

It was hard to find a job because no black people were allowed. The British people didn’t want immigrants –“…no black people”, they said.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 5 Comments
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