Celebrating Windrush Day

22 June 2022

Today we celebrate the Windrush generation. The Empire Windrush arrived at Tilbury docks on 22 June 1948. Approximately 1,027 migrants arrived here from the Caribbean in response to a call from the Government to assist with the labour shortages after World War II.
Celebrating Windrush Day

Windrush Day

Today we celebrate the Windrush generation. The Empire Windrush arrived at Tilbury docks on 22 June 1948. Approximately 1,027 migrants arrived here from the Caribbean in response to a call from the Government to assist with the labour shortages after World War II.

We would like to acknowledge and recognise the huge contribution the Windrush generation has made to the NHS.

On their arrival, they faced many challenges including racism and discrimination. There were barriers to housing, with many room adverts explicitly stating “Sorry no blacks”.

Although invited to work in the UK, nurses and midwifes from the Caribbean received a very hostile reception. The qualifications obtained in the Caribbean were not recognised and they were enrolled onto the State Enrolled Nurse (SEN) rather than the State Registered Nurse (SRN) training. They were also not allowed to share rooms with white nurses.

Despite all of this they settled, worked hard, and raised their families and became a vital force within the NHS.

Let’s pay homage to the Windrush generation who’ve worked in the NHS. We know that the generation of nurses from the Caribbean have played a significant role in the NHS and have paved the way for the second and third generation of BME nurses and midwifes in the NHS today—your contributions are not forgotten. Happy Windrush Day!