Brixton home celebrates Windrush – and the importance of welcoming new arrivals

Kelsey McCabe

Residents at a residential complex in Brixton celebrated Windrush Day with live music, activities and traditional West Indian foods.

Social housing provider Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing hosted the Windrush party for residents at Hanover Mansions, a housing complex home for African and African-Caribbean residents above the age of 55 in Barnwell Road.

Windrush Day commemorates the arrival of the HMT Empire Windrush in Essex in 1948, and the contributions that passengers from the Caribbean, India, Pakistan, Kenya and South Africa made to Britain’s post-war recovery, as well as the contributions that their descendants continue to make today.

Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing chief executive Geeta Nanda said: “MTVH is proud of the contribution that the Windrush generation have made to our society, and we are especially keen to remember and celebrate what these early migrants meant to the formation of our own organisation in its early beginnings.”

This year’s Windrush celebration capped off a week-long programme of events recognising Refugee Week at Hanover Mansions. This year’s Refugee Week theme was “our home.”

Although the Windrush generation were economic migrants, and not refugees, Ms Nanda pointed out that the importance of a welcoming environment applies to both groups when speaking about Refugee Week:

She said: “Its theme this year of “our home” emphasises the importance of new arrivals being welcomed to a new life, whatever their background.

“At MTVH, we’re acutely aware that people bring life skills and experience with them. This is why we are so keen to deliver support for our residents – in Lambeth and elsewhere – to help strengthen communities and work to build a fairer society.”

Pictured top: Residents, family and friends celebrate Windrush Day party at MTVH’s Hanover Mansions in Brixton. (Picture: Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing)

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