Community Windrush 75 commemorations awarded over £62,000 in grants

Published: Thursday, 15th June 2023

Community, arts and heritage groups across Birmingham have been awarded £62,465 in grants to fund a range of events to mark the 75th anniversary of Empire Windrush’s arrival to Britain.

On 22 June 1948, the first passengers disembarked at Tilbury, in Essex, all of whom would play their own part in helping to rebuild after the Second World War and help shape modern Britain.

Community groups, projects and organisations were invited to apply for grants of between £750 and £2,000 earlier this year – and the 35 successful bids were announced during an event held at Soho House, in Handsworth, yesterday (14 June 2023).

Many of these activities and projects will involve capturing stories from and about Windrush Generation - as well as younger citizens whose parents or grand parents came here to start new lives – to ensure these are not lost in time.

The grants will fund or part-fund events across Birmingham, including projects in Aston, Digbeth, Handsworth, Ladywood, Nechells, Northfield, Perry Barr and West Heath.

Among the recipients are Arts All Over The Place for their Windrush Stories inter-generational storytelling and poetry project; Birmingham Education Partnership which is producing resources to be used in all city schools to learn about the Windrush Generation; and Shades of Black’s Meeting Windrush project, which will capture the experiences of first Windrush arrivals including Eunice McGhie-Belgrave MBE.

Cllr Nicky Brennan, Cabinet Member for Social Injustice, Community Safety and Equalities, said: “The Windrush generation, who first arrived on British shores in 1948, are symbolic of the many people Birmingham has welcomed from the Caribbean, so we recognise the importance of commemorating their arrival and contributions to our city and wider society, over the past 75 years.

“The council-funded grants of more than £62,000 have been made to a wide range community groups and organisations, will see Windrush 75 celebrated and marked in events across the city over the next few weeks, details of which can be found on the council’s website.

“It is also an opportunity to have deeper public conversations about our the past, present and future of modern Britain – and the role of the Windrush generation within that.”

Recognize Black Heritage and Culture CIC, which hosted yesterday’s event, have been awarded a grant towards its Silver Screen Cinema Club as part of the Windrush 75 commemorations.

Garry Stewart, from Recognize, said: “It’s important that we understand the Windrush generations stories that make up the social fabric of British history.

“The 75th anniversary is a key moment to ensure that the stories of those pioneers becomes the bridges to future generations and cements their legacies.”

Nearly 80 bids for Windrush 75 grants were received and reviewed by a community panel.

Details of all Windrush 75 activity can be found on the city council’s website

On Thursday (22 June) – Windrush Day - there will be a flag raising ceremony in Centenary Square, which will be attended by Lord Mayor of Birmingham and representatives of the community. 

The Lord Mayor will later host a civic reception at the Council House to mark the anniversary and celebrate the Windrush generation’s and their contribution to Birmingham.

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