Six in 10 people agree Britain owes ‘great deal’ to Windrush generation

A new poll conducted by the Windrush 75 network has found that 61 per cent of people in Britain agree that it owes “a great deal” to the Windrush generation of migrants.

The poll comes as preparations to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the Windrush generation to the UK takes place this year.

Patrick Vernon, convenor of the Windrush 75 network, said: “Windrush 75 is like a Diamond Jubilee for modern, diverse Britain.  

“We are celebrating four generations of contribution, legacy, struggle and positive change. And it is a moment to look to the future too, at how we address the challenges to come.”

In 1948, the HMT Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury, in Essex, having arrived from Jamaica, bringing many passengers who would come to settle in South London.

People also want this history taught in schools – a further 62 per cent of those  polled agree that the arrival of Windrush is a key moment in Britain’s history and is important for integration today that all of our children are taught about the shared history of a multi-ethnic Britain.

Windrush 75 network and voices from across UK society have spoken out about why the generation should be recognised for their contribution as part of our national story.

The Windrush 75 network of national organisations, which aims to advance racial and cultural harmony in the UK through education, is co-ordinating events to celebrate the historic milestone.

Actor Lenny Henry and historian David Olusoga are among those showing their support for Windrush 75

Mr Henry said: “It’s vital this year to celebrate the courage of those Windrush pioneers 75 years ago, who gave up the life they knew to seek a better one here in Britain. They paved the way for those of us who have followed.

“With my one man play August in England and upcoming TV series Three Little Birds I want to bring their stories to wider attention in 2023. Big respect to those pioneers – we stand on their shoulders.” 

The 75th anniversary of the Windrush generation’s arrival will take place on June 22.

Historian David Olusoga said: “The arrival of the Windrush is a pivotal moment in black history and British history. 

“We see its legacy every day, when we turn on the radio or TV, walk down the high street or cheer for England at the World Cup.

“So it’s important that the anniversary is marked in a significant way and that everyone is invited to take part.”

Pictured top: Jamaican immigrants welcomed by RAF officials from the Colonial Office after the ex-troopship HMT ‘Empire Windrush’ landed them at Tilbury (Picture: PA)

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