Windrush community groups visit local schools


Primary school children enjoyed learning about the Windrush generation and hearing first-hand stories from Windrush elders when Uprising Community Club and Hackney Council’s Windrush lead, Cllr Carole Williams, visited St. John the Baptist school in Hoxton yesterday. 

Uprising Community Club, an organisation that brings together members of the Windrush community, told the children stories of their journey to the UK, and how they felt when they arrived in Britain, seeing snow for the first time and smoke billowing from the chimneys. 

The stories were interspersed with dancing and singing popular Caribbean songs, which the children were encouraged to join in with. The 1970s song, “Brown Girl in the Ring”, popularised by the Euro-Caribbean group Boney M, had the children, elders and teachers on their feet. The children also had the opportunity to ask questions to the Windrush elders about their stories during a Q&A session. 

Afterwards, the children were each given a Hackney Black History Season badge, and the school was provided with a copy of the Council’s Windrush cookbook for their library. The cookbook features a range of traditional Caribbean recipes, and was collated as part of an intergenerational baking project as part of the Council’s Windrush Generations Festival. 

This comes as the second of two Windrush school visits. Last week, Kingsmead Primary School were treated to a visit by Hackney Caribbean Elderly Organisation (HCEO), who performed ‘Mercy’s letters’ to the children. Centred around the character, Mercy, this performance retold the journey that the Windrush generation experienced, through letters sent back home to the Caribbean. 

Cllr Carole Williams, Cabinet Member for Employment, Skills and Human Resources
It was wonderful seeing the children so enthusiastic and engaged, listening to the Windrush elders as they painted a vivid picture of their journey to the UK and how they settled into life in their new home. 

The Windrush generation have made incredible contributions to our borough and our country, and it’s important that today’s young people are aware of their instrumental role in rebuilding our country after the Second World War. We hope that the children have learnt some important lessons about the Windrush generation and how they have helped to shape modern Britain’s identity - from employment, business and trade, to food and culture.

This year, the Council’s Windrush Generations Festival saw 3,000 Windrush elders and descendents enjoy a domino tournament, cricket matches, a street party, an intergenerational baking project, and our second Caribbean tea party, to name a few. We look forward to celebrating the Windrush generation’s contributions to the UK and to Hackney for many years to come.
Cllr Carole Williams, Cabinet Member for Employment, Skills and Human Resources