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News22nd June 2023

Ark comes together to honour the 75th Windrush anniversary

As the UK marks the 75th anniversary of the Windrush, the Ark network also took a moment to appreciate the contributions and sacrifices made by the Windrush generation.

Our schools showed a film featuring the experiences of those who travelled on the ship and what that choice has meant for their families. The film included historical extracts, interviews and narration from King Solomon Academy and Ark Byron students.

In the film, Nickael Briggs, Vice-Principal at Ark Acton spoke fondly of the stories her grandad would tell about his journey aboard the Windrush, and shared some of the challenges he faced when he arrived on UK soil.

Many Ark schools also planned special activities to celebrate the day, including Caribbean-inspired lunches, exhibitions and performances.

In the Ark office, we unveiled a collection of images providing a glimpse into the past. We also heard from Jade Nembhard, Office Operations Manager, whose family came from Jamaica during this time and settled in South London. She said: “Here’s to the extraordinary legacy and invaluable contributions of those who travelled to the UK for a better life. The Windrush generation had a significant impact on British society and culture. They made substantial contributions to the economy, healthcare, and education. Today, we commemorate 75 years of their journey.”

The HMT Empire Windrush arrived at Tilbury, Essex, on 22 June 1948. Its passengers from the Caribbean were brought to the UK to help address labour shortages. From 1948 to 1971, Caribbeans helped rebuild Britain after the war. Windrush Day celebrates the contributions they made, while also recognising the many challenges and injustices they faced.