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Sunday, 16 June 2024

£1m lottery funding boost for UK communities to commemorate Windrush 75

MORE than 100 community groups across the UK have received a share of almost £1 million from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Windrush this year.  

The historic occasion falls on Thursday 22 June and National Lottery grants of up to £10,000 are being made available throughout the year for communities to come together to celebrate and reflect upon the huge contribution made by Windrush pioneers and their families to the UK.    

Almost £1 million has been granted to date and projects funded include carnivals, history exhibitions, intergenerational workshops in schools, and an event celebrating Caribbean jewellers in the British jewellery trade. 

One of these groups is the Caribbean & African Health Network in Manchester, which will host a Windrush 75 Health Walk and Festival that has been designed, produced and delivered with older Caribbean people and their families and Black-led community groups.  

The event takes place on Saturday 24 June at Alexandra Park in Manchester and will celebrate the contributions of local Windrush communities through storytelling, performances and educational exhibitions. 

Dr Faye Bruce DL, Chair of the Caribbean & African Health Network, said:

“Both my parents arrived in the UK in 1961 having given up their home in Jamaica in the hope of building a better life for themselves and their family. They worked in some of the worst conditions and persisted with resilience for the sake of their children.  

“Celebrating Windrush is important to me and the Caribbean & African Health Network because their story is not unique, but a real opportunity to salute, commemorate, recognise and celebrate those that came and contributed to UK society for the sake of future generations.” 

Can’t Blame Da Youth in Leicester will be showcasing the story of Windrush through street and stage performances, bringing people from all communities together to understand the experiences of Windrush pioneers. A series of carnival arts workshops will take place over 12 weeks, and the group will also form part of Leicester Carnival on Saturday 5 August.   

Speaking about the importance of commemorating Windrush 75, Joanne Alexander, Director of Can’t Blame Da Youth, said:

“The 75th anniversary of Windrush means a lot to our organisation and community as many of our grandparents and parents are the Windrush first and second generation. 

“Thanks to the £10,000 National Lottery grant, we will celebrate the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush, when our grandparents emigrated from the Caribbean to Britain to help rebuild after World War II. Many took on jobs such as nurses, bus drivers, food and coal production and much more. 

“After facing racism, prejudice and stereotypes we have built new lives and families and had to fight to be accepted. We have the legacy of contribution, which makes us feel proud.”  

Another group to benefit from National Lottery funding is Nottingham News Centre, which will be holding a special event on Windrush Day itself (Thursday 22 June) at Haywood Road Community Centre in Nottingham. This will celebrate the contributions of former industrial workers of African Caribbean heritage from the Windrush generation through presentations and an exhibition.  

£1m lottery funding boost for UK communities to commemorate Windrush 75

Norma Gregory, Diverse Heritage Leader at Nottingham News Centre, said:

“This is an important occasion to reflect and to remember the significant contributions made by the African Caribbean community, their elders, and descendants as part of British society.   

“Over the past ten years, our group has been collating, preserving, and sharing our diverse, industrial heritage. We relish moments like this where communities can come together to share and hear memories, lived experiences and achievements of the Windrush generation, their descendants and their legacy.  

“Thank you to National Lottery players for supporting our progress and journey towards diversity and inclusion through heritage.” 

Blondel Cluff CBE, Chair of The National Lottery Community Fund, said:

As a daughter and granddaughter of members of the Windrush Generation, I know more than most how important their contribution and that of our forefathers has been to the making of Modern Britain. 

“As Chair of The National Lottery Community Fund, I am pleased that to mark the 75th anniversary, Windrush grants of up to £10,000 are available throughout this year. To not only celebrate our elders but to undertake community endeavours that will help to achieve the aspirations of our amazing, selfless pioneers for whom community meant so very much.” 

Windrush 75 grants of up to £10,000 are still available from The National Lottery Community Fund for activities taking place later this year, including for Black History Month in October.  

Visit to read Windrush 75 blogs which provide advice and top tips on how to apply and strengthen an application. 

A free grant application clinic is taking place on Monday 26 June, 4pm – 5pm, where people will hear about eligibility criteria, what grants can be spent on, and what The National Lottery Community Fund is looking for in an application. Visit to sign up.  

The National Lottery Community Fund recently launched its new seven-year strategy, ‘It starts with community’, which will underpin efforts to distribute at least £4 billion of National Lottery funding by 2030.    

The National Lottery Community Fund distributes money raised by National Lottery players, who raise over £30 million each week for good causes across the UK. Over eight in ten (83%) of its grants are for under £10,000 – going to grassroots groups and charities across the UK that are bringing to life amazing ideas that matter to their communities 

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