What is Windrush Day? Why and how is it celebrated?

22 June 2021, 13:03

What is Windrush Day? Why and how is it celebrated?
What is Windrush Day? Why and how is it celebrated? Picture: Getty

Windrush Day is celebrated on the 22nd June, but what is it? Here's everything you need to know about the national annual anniversary.

The fourth national Windrush Day is celebrated on 22 June – which was also the date when the HMT Empire Windrush arrived in Tilbury Docks, Essex, in 1948.

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Windrush migrants from the Caribbean came to the UK to join the effort in rebuilding Britain following the war.

Here's everything you need to know about Windrush Day.

  1. What is Windrush Day?

    In 2018, Windrush Day was introduced in order to mark the 70th anniversary of the migration of around half a million British Caribbean people to the UK.

    The celebration takes place on June 22 every year. This year marks the 73rd anniversary of Windrush Day.

    The 'Empire Windrush' arriving from Jamaica, 1948.
    The 'Empire Windrush' arriving from Jamaica, 1948. Picture: Getty

    Windrush Day that celebrates the Caribbean community and their contribution to Britain.

    It also gives society a chance to support Black people and unify those who have faced hardships since arriving in the UK.

    Windrush Day marks the anniversary of when the Empire Windrush - along with around 500 migrants from the Caribbean Commonwealth- arrived at Tilbury docks in 1948.

    It was the first of many ships and migrants to arrive who were soon to be known as the Windrush generation. The migrants were invited to the UK until 1971.

    West Indian immigrants arriving in the United Kingdom, 30th June 1962.
    West Indian immigrants arriving in the United Kingdom, 30th June 1962. Picture: Getty

    The migrants came to the UK due to the British government pleading for help to rebuild the country following the destruction from World War II.

    The day was also introduced due to the scandal in 2018, which saw people from the Windrush generation wrongly detained, deported and denied legal rights in the UK.

    Home Secretary Amber Rudd resigned and apologised to those affected.

  2. Why is Windrush Day celebrated?

    In 2018, the Government backed activist Patrick Vernon's campaign for June 22nd to be marked every year, in celebration of the Windrush generation.

    The day is intended to honour the British Caribbean community and pay tribute to the Windrush generation's contribution to British society.

    West Indian immigrants arrive at Victoria Station, London, after their journey from Southampton Docks in 1956.
    West Indian immigrants arrive at Victoria Station, London, after their journey from Southampton Docks in 1956. Picture: Getty
  3. How is Windrush Day celebrated?

    In 2021, we are commemorating the 73rd anniversary of Windrush.

    This year, the government has promised £500,000 to communities around the country to celebrate the day.

    The government are funding projects this year that will honour those in the Windrush generation and their descendants, through telling their stories and creating awareness on how they shaped Britain's heritage.

    There will be Windrush performances at the National Maritime Museum and a virtual panel from the London Transport Museum.

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