Thursday 22 June 2023 is 'Windrush Day'; marking 75 years since the historic journey of MV Empire Windrush and, importantly recognising the immense contribution of the Windrush generation and their decedents.
Westway Trust is one of 45 groups to have been awarded funding through the Windrush Day Grant Scheme for arts, educational and sporting projects across England to mark the occasion.
Working with community partners, Westway Trust will celebrate the contribution of the Windrush generation and their descendants' contributions to the vibrant culture and community of North Kensington.
Windrush Day will be marked in North Kensington with the installation of a permanent Walk of Honour - a set of commemorative plaques inlaid into the high traffic footpath of Thorpe Close; together with a ‘Windrush Star’, to be unveiled on Portobello Green. Each plaque will honour a Windrush generation or descendant individual or organisation that has significantly contributed to North Kensington.
Second, through a series of workshops, 300 local children across 12 Supplementary Schools will co-design a Marine Pool floor mural alongside local artists of African and Caribbean heritage, representing their migrant and heritage stories. The Marine Pool will be divided into 13 segments, representing each School/group, which in turn represent the diverse communities across North Kensington, including the Caribbean community. The children will be encouraged to create designs representing their heritage, families and culture, to celebrate and foster a sense of pride.
Finally, the Walk of Honour and Marine Pool will both be launched as part of a wider Windrush Day celebration event on 22 June for the whole community. Westway Trust will co-host this event on Portobello Green alongside community partners, particularly those serving the Caribbean community, providing Caribbean food, music, entertainment and activities, including an accessible traditional Soca dance activity.
More information on the Windrush Day Celebration event, the Walk of Honour and the Marine Pool project, can be found at www.westway.org/windrush
Lee Rowley MP, Minister for Communities, said:
We wanted to celebrate the positive contribution the Windrush generation and their families bring to this country and recognise the contributions made by all British Caribbean people in our communities.
Chair of the Windrush Community Funds and Schemes sub-group of the Windrush Cross-Government Working Group, Paulette Simpson CBE said:
This year’s celebration of the British Caribbean community will be extra special, as we mark the arrival of the MV Empire Windrush at Tilbury Docks 75 years ago. From those first passengers who went on to build their lives and make their home here, those that followed, and their descendants have and continue to make an enormous contribution to all aspects of British life.
Venu Dhupa, CEO of Westway Trust, said:
We are delighted to have been able to access resources to encourage connectivity and understanding between communities and generations, around this important day.
Activity like this and days like this highlight the value of community spirit, making necessary and positive change easier.