The 22nd of June may mean nothing to you, but on that day 492 people from the Caribbean were brought to Tilbury dock in the Empire Windrush ship. They came to a new land, uncertain and hopeful about their future. June 22nd, 2021 marked the 73rd anniversary of Windrush and the scandal that affected a whole generation. So, why do we continue to celebrate a day marred with so much tragedy?
What is the Windrush Scandal?
Windrush immigrants were supposed to be given permanent right to reside stamps once they arrived on UK shores. As we know, that was not the case for many of them. Immigration law requires people to have documentation to work, rent a property or access benefits and NHS services, leaving many people in the Windrush generation in dire straits. Legal migrants found themselves with no papers and no rights, causing them to lose their jobs, their homes, and more.
Why Do We Celebrate Windrush?
While Windrush is recognised, it bred an environment of hostility and rejection that impacted an entire generation. The Windrush generation managed to persevere despite this hostile environment and were able to receive reparations. It is their perseverance and sacrifice that we celebrate every June 22nd.
If you or a loved one was impacted by the Windrush scandal, there are programs in place to help you. To learn more about the compensation scheme or to apply for compensation, visit Apply to the Windrush Compensation Scheme: How to claim - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).