Statement of support from the Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership and Bradford District Wellbeing Board.
On 22 June 2023, the nation marked the 75 year anniversary of the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush. On board were around 800 passengers who gave their last country of residence as somewhere in the West Indies, and many of whom would migrate as workers and would settle in Britain and help steer its economic recovery after the Second World War.
This voyage was one of the first post-war trips from the Caribbean, and other parts of the Commonwealth, and the people that moved following World War Two (1948-1971) are now known as the “Windrush Generation”.
Here in Bradford District and Craven we are proud of our history of welcoming people from across different countries, nationalities and communities and recognise our responsibility as a place of sanctuary. We have significantly benefitted from people coming to choose to live and work in our place, with a strong link back to those who formed part of the Windrush Generation.
To this day, we continue to lead the way in celebrating and remembering the sacrifices of those who set sail on HMT Empire Windrush. Most recently a new Windrush flag was designed in Bradford by Nigel Guy and the Windrush Generation Bradford group. This year the flag was raised in 200 locations across the country.
The NHS is also celebrating 75 years since its founding, in which many of the Windrush generation took up work within the NHS. In doing so, many came and became nurses who helped shape NHS into what it is today, becoming role models and pioneers for future generations. Ethnically diverse colleagues make up 42% of the NHS’ medical staff to today, with the service hosting over 200 nationalities.
While we reflect on how we celebrate the Windrush Generation we must not lose sight of the challenges and sacrifices made by those arriving in Britain in 1948. Faced with overt racism, discrimination, and public outcry, they were not always welcome. The same experiences were faced by those who followed over the next few decades.
It is why we remain as committed as ever to rooting out racism, so that we can truly learn the lessons of the past and demonstrate how the sacrifices made by previous generations help us create a more cohesive and fair society.
We hope you can join us on Wednesday 4 October online hosted by the University of Bradford Studios from 10 -11.15am to hear from three women sharing their stories on the theme of ‘Saluting our Sisters’ focussing on Windrush, migration, generational trauma and allyship. For further details on how to book, please use this Eventbrite link.
Our statement is an opportunity for us all to say thanks to those who overcame so many challenges while making positive and lasting contributions to our communities and our society. Our commitment is that we will continue to celebrate our shared history, our shared stories and our shared contributions. Thank you to those who have paved the way for all of us.
Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe
Leader of City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council and Chair of the Bradford District Wellbeing Board
Professor Mel Pickup
Place Lead, Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership and Chief Executive, Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust