Windrush Generations is an organisation in the Bradford area set up to represent the interests of people from British Commonwealth countries in the Caribbean known as the "Windrush Generation", who after being invited to Britain by the government to help rebuild the nation following its devastation in World War II, experienced a great deal of prejudice and hardships on account of their colour and heritage.
In 2019 we planned and hosted a series of events in their honour to commemorate this generation and their invaluable contribution which has helped to shape and enrich the lives of those within the community and the wider society as a whole.
With ongoing support within the community alongside Bradford Council it is hoped this will be an annual event.
House of Lords second reading of the Windrush Compensation Scheme Expenditure Bill
THE WINDRUSH STORY
In 1948, Britain was just starting to recover from World War II. Thousands of buildings and factories had been bombed, many homes were destroyed and large parts of the country lay in ruin.
In the Caribbean, many young ex-servicemen and women had returned home after having volunteered to fight in the British army, their countries being part of the British Empire at the time.
Following the end of the war, many people from the Caribbean including these veterans responded to adverts inviting them to come to Britain where it was claimed their help was needed to rebuild the nation and many jobs were available for them. Others just wanted to visit Britain for a short trip to finally see the 'mother country' they had been taught so much about in schools.
These all boarded the first ship, "Empire Windrush" - which left the Caribbean to travel the thousands of miles across the Atlantic to "fairer" shores. This was the largest single migration that had set sail from the Caribbean for Britain to date though many more would arrive in subsequent years.
It was 22 June 1948 when the Empire Windrush arrived at Tilbury Docks in Essex.
When the passengers alighted they found that instead of the warm reception they might have expected they were quite often met with complete disdain.
Many experienced racism and discrimination on an untold level, ending up struggling to secure accommodation after being rejected by landlords purely on account of their colour.
Many of the new arrivals also experienced difficulty to even gain the promised employment that had lured them there in the first place with some companies adopting policies set against employing people of colour.
Even the children didn't escape the experience either having to encounter
bullying and name calling from day one at school due to their colour of their skin.
The Windrush Scandal
The eruption of the Windrush scandal, as it has become known, sparked fierce national debate over immigration and the status of those who arrived from the Caribbean before 1973.
The government has now issued an apology over its treatment of the 'Windrush generation', who were being ordered to prove they had the right to stay in Britain - even though they had been here for over 50 years.
Like EU citizens who live in Britain now, Windrush migrants had permission to stay under UK rules but they were told that they had to prove their eligibility to stay - despite it emerging that the landing cards recording their arrival dates were destroyed in 2010, months after Theresa May became Home Secretary.
There is "no limit" to the amount of money that could be paid out to victims of the Windrush scandal, the home secretary, Sajid Javid has said, he hopes the scheme will "right the wrongs" of a "mistake that should never have happened".
Thousands of people were wrongly targeted by the "hostile environment" strategy for illegal immigration.
Many of those affected were people from Caribbean countries who arrived in the UK between 1948 and 1971.
People from other Commonwealth and non-Commonwealth countries who arrived in the UK before 1988 were also affected and are eligible to apply for compensation, Mr Javid said in a Commons statement.
The estates of people who have died whilst waiting for their status would also be allowed to make a claim, he added.
Windrush Compensation Scheme find out more