Windrush Day and the Windrush Scandal – Adversity and the fight for Justice

2023 sees the 75th anniversary of the HMT Empire Windrush arriving in Britain on 22 June 1948.

The arrival of the ship Empire Windrush at Tilbury docks in 1948, brought hundreds of passengers from the Caribbean, in a moment that shaped modern Britain. It was a key symbolic moment in the story of the Black British contribution to this country and the broader post-war migration from across the Commonwealth and beyond that helped create the country and County that we share today.

Those arriving often faced discrimination and harassment. Those with skills and qualifications often could not get jobs in their chosen field of work. However, a newly created National Health Service and growing public services welcomed many migrants as workers.

The Windrush scandal began to surface in 2017 after it emerged that hundreds of Commonwealth citizens, many of whom were from the ‘Windrush’ generation, had been wrongly detained, deported and denied legal rights. Many of those that arrived as children came on the passports of parents and were unable to prove that they had the right to work, claim benefits or pensions despite living in the UK all their lives. Many had paid tax and national insurance for decades but suddenly found themselves at risk of being deported. Although many people from the Caribbean were affected, the hostile environment policy affected people from a wide variety of nationalities. Many people even today have still not had their issues resolved with many existing with an insecure immigration status, without access to public funds such as pensions, benefits or healthcare and without the ability to work. Many have lost tens if not hundreds of thousands of pounds and have faced crises such as homelessness or detention. There is a compensation scheme to address this that the government has but it is lengthy and difficult to use and is fraught with delays.

Northamptonshire Rights and Equality Council has been funded to support people facing difficulties as a result of the Windrush scandal. We seek to help individuals regularise their immigration status and deliver practical, emotional and moral support while their compensation applications are processed.

To raise awareness of this and to celebrate Windrush day we are hosting two events in June.

Saturday 17th June 2023 Wellingborough Windrush Community Event WACA, Rock Street Wellingborough NN8 4LW

Saturday 24th June Northampton Windrush Community Event


NREC Honouring Windrush 75

Edutainment – Memories – Local Black History

Northamptonshire Rights and Equality Council remembers the 75th anniversary of The Windrush arriving in the UK.

Honouring Windrush 75 Events in Wellingborough and Northampton will be visual, musical, cultural and historical representation of the Windrush Generation’s community and personal struggles.  Events acknowledge how they continue to contribute, rise and inspire, in spite of challenges.

We intend to remind the whole community of their contribution to every aspect of British society, but to also highlight rights that continue to be denied.

Wellingborough Free Event:  Saturday 17 June, 3.00pm @ Wellingborough African-Caribbean Association. 

To start ‘fire in the belly’, there will be a public showing of the film ‘Burning an Illusion’ at 3.00pm, made by Black British producers.  We will then discuss the film’s representation of race, gender, social status and impacts on Black experience in the UK.

Local participants in the evening’s programme starting at 6.00pm will provide personal insights including the creative and historical. 

Wellingborough poet and storyteller, Alliouagana Pearl will host the evening’s delicacies, including Revellers Steelband, the sharing of a new presentation of Windrush Hidden Histories by Nairobi Thompson and Windrush-based novel by Sarah Lee.

As part of the drive to encourage more blood and organ donations from Black and Asian people, we will hear from Calvin Campbell, who will tell his personal story of the struggle to get enough matching blood to survive Sickle Cell.  A special tribute will be made to recently passed, Norma Watson, long time campaigner for health equalities in the town.

Tre Ventour will invite contributors to his Northamptonshire Windrush Oral History PhD Project: An opportunity to respectfully acknowledge lived experience and herald local Caribbean achievement.

The evening will be sweetened by sounds from Inspiration FM’s Robert McGowan and tastes of Caribbean Cuisine.

Book by Eventbrite:

Please email/message us by 9th June if you have any dietary or access requirements:

Northampton Free Event:  Saturday 24 June, 6.00pm @ Northamptonshire County Cricket Club

Hosted by Northampton’s ‘Hostess with the mostest’, June-Elizabeth  White-Smith Gulley and Alliouagana Pearl, a selection box of drama, Afrikan culture,  local creative expression, as well as Caribbean Catering will delight the senses.

The programme will include the wisdoms of Ras Jabulani, The RAS TAFARI EDUTAINER, Tre Ventour introducing his Windrush PhD Project and Victor Richards’ acclaimed play ‘Streets Paved with Gold’, which vividly describes the experience of the Windrush generations’ welcome to the UK.

Poet and Storyteller, Alliouagana Pearl will be followed by local singer/ song writer, Robbie Valentine and Sounds by Inspiration FM’s very own Mark Dean. 

Book by Eventbrite:

Please email/message us by 9th June if you have any dietary or access requirements:

Windrush Compensation Scheme

Northamptonshire Rights & Equality Council has established experience of challenging discrimination, particularly racism in a county consisting of mixed urban, rural, belief systems and identities. 

Our Immigration advice to people experiencing Britain’s hostile environment, includes the Windrush Generation.  We can help you prepare an application to Windrush Compensation Scheme.

We understand that Caribbean people’s previous bad experience of asking for help can prevent them from putting themselves forward now and therefore not accessing what they could be entitled to. Come and meet us at our Honouring Windrush 75 events and be assured of sensitivity to your queries. 

Immigration Advice to people experiencing UK’s hostile environment 01604 400808/ 0739 3181 482/

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