What is Windrush Day and how is it celebrated in the UK?

22 June 2020, 11:28

Windrush Day 2020: What is it a celebration for?
Windrush Day 2020: What is it a celebration for? Picture: Getty

Windrush Day 2020 is celebrated on June 22 but what is it? How is Windrush Day celebrated? And what was the Windrush scandal? Here’s what you need to know.

Windrush Day 2020 is being celebrated in the UK today, June 22, and it’s only the second ever celebration of the day - so what is Windrush Day?

A new celebration that started in 2018, those marking the occasion this year are trying their best to overcome coronavirus social distancing rules to make sure the day is celebrated the right way.

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So what is Windrush Day? How is it celebrated in the UK? And what was the Windrush scandal? Here’s what you need to know about the important day:

Empire Windrush arrived to help the UK rebuild itself from the World War
Empire Windrush arrived to help the UK rebuild itself from the World War. Picture: PA

What is Windrush Day?

Today, June 22, is a day that celebrates the Caribbean community and their contribution to Britain as well as a chance to show support and unify those who have suffered 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. This was the first of many ships and migrants to arrive (they were invited until 1971) who were soon to be known as the Windrush generation.

They came to the UK off the back of the British government’s pleas for help to rebuild the country following the destruction from World War II.

The Windrush scandal happened in 2018 which the UK government apologised for
The Windrush scandal happened in 2018 which the UK government apologised for. Picture: Getty

What is the Windrush scandal?

In 2018, hundreds of Caribbean migrants were wrongly deemed as being in the UK illegally and therefore denied legal rights, benefits, medical care and even threatened with deportation - with at least 83 recorded cases of people being wrongly deported.

As many migrants arrived as children, they lacked documentation to prove their right to remain in the UK despite living here their whole lives.

However, the Home Office admitted they had done wrong and announced an annual Windrush Day. This is backed by a £500,000 grant scheme.

How is Windrush Day being celebrated in June 2020?

Social distancing due to coronavirus is making the celebrations a little more difficult but not impossible.

There are a variety of community events being held across the country, some online because of lockdown.

There are readings and performances happening, some communities are decorating their windows and others are having a doorstep singalong.

Here at Capital XTRA, we're hosting a number of special mixes throughout the day and Ras Kwame will be hosting a special show around Windrush Day and Caribbean culture from 7pm.