Bexley Wellbeing Partnership Celebrates Windrush 75

The Bexley Wellbeing Partnership has announced a special project in collaboration with Active Horizons, a local youth charity – to mark the 75th anniversary of the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush in Tilbury, Essex, on 22nd June 1948.

22 Jun 2023
Children and young people

Young Windrush Ambassadors have been recruited to film interviews with members of the Windrush generation living in Bexley, to create a film honouring their legacy and contribution to the NHS.

As well as the film, a podcast and booklet will be released at a special reception to be held on 18th July 2023.

People from the Caribbean were invited to the UK to support rebuilding the country between 1948 and 1971. Although not all Windrush generation migrants arrived on HMT Empire Windrush, the ship became a symbol of mass-migration.

Many of those who came to the UK as part of the Windrush generation had served in the British armed forces in World War Two, and many joined the newly established NHS.

Preparation work has started on the project, and introductory meetings between the elders and ambassadors have taken place.

Yeukai Taruvinga, Chief Executive of Active Horizons, said: “It is an honour to work on such an important project and I have been touched by the enthusiasm of our young ambassadors. I can feel their excitement in documenting Windrush recollections.

“Windrush is part of our history and not something we should talk about one day a year – it needs to be embedded in our cultural curriculum.”

The stories of our elders are often forgotten with each passing generation. I am hoping that this film will keep their stories alive and become a living history of how the Windrush generation helped to shape the NHS.”

Diana Braithwaite, Chief Operating Officer, NHS South East London Integrated Care Board, said: “We are delighted to support this project that recognises the immense contribution of the Windrush generation to the NHS. We also mark 75 years of the NHS this year, and both anniversaries go hand in hand.

The NHS was built on the shoulders of immigrants like the elders who will be honoured in the film, and it is important that we create a lasting legacy through our young Windrush Ambassadors, who will ensure their story is told to future generations of young people living across Bexley.”

The final film will be launched at a special reception to be held at the Bexley Civic Offices in the Council Chambers on Tuesday 18th July. Details will be released in a few weeks time.

The Windrush Ambassadors meeting Windrush Elders for the first time
The Windrush Ambassadors meeting Windrush Elders for the first time