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Bid now for a slice of £500k Windrush fund

RELIVING HISTORY: (From left) Chris Nix of London Transport, Communities Minister Lord Bourne, Paulette Simpson, Director of The Voice; Councillor Donatus Anyanwu, Lambeth Council and Siddy Holloway of Hidden London

CHARITIES AND community organisations have been urged to quickly bid for a share in £500,000 worth of funds, under the Windrush Day Grant Scheme.

The call was made by Communities Minister Lord Bourne, during his rst tour of the Clapham South deep-level shelter, where Caribbean migrants who travelled on the Empire Windrush in 1948 were offered short-term accommodation.

The closing day to apply for funding to assist in cel- ebrations for Windrush Day is January 21.

INNOVATIVE

Speaking exclusively to The Voice at the south London shelter, 180 steps underground, Lord Bourne said: “The response to the scheme has been very good and the early evidence is that people are really interested, having come forward with innovative ideas, but there is still time for people to come forward with their applications.”

Windrush Day was launched in June 2018 and will be celebrated on the June 22 each year. The annual event was unveiled following last year’s scandal which revealed how the Windrush Generation and their children being incorrectly detained and deported.

Windrush Day is expected to build on the celebrations enjoyed last year to commemorate 70 years since the first arrivals from the Caribbean to the UK, on the Empire Windrush.

During the 2019 celebration a variety of sports, food and dance events will be organised, with a greater emphasis of activities outside of London. The tour of the deep-level shelter revealed the cramp sleeping conditions in the mile-long shelter and a labour exchange, where the 236 Windrush travellers found employ- ment before seeking permanent accommodation.

Lord Bourne on describing his impressions of the site said: “The Windrush Genera- tion were clearly very resilient. Coming here must have been an extraordinary experience and I have met their descends who have contributed so much to our national life. I’m sure if they visit this shelter they will be extremely proud of what their forefathers did and their part in our national history.”

Chris Nix, assistant director of Collections and Engagement at London Transport Museum, organises the guided tours. Nix stressed that it was normal for underground shelters to be used to provide accommodation in post-war Britain, for travellers seeking one night of shelter.

“What distinguished the Windrush travellers was that some spent up to a month in the tunnels, while they sought employment. Discussing the tour’s impact on visitors Nix said: “People are amazed at the size of the sight and the human-interest stories.

FACT

“The fact that we have been able to speak with people who have stayed here, having travelled on the Windrush makes it easy for an audience to grasp what it would have been like to live in these tunnels.”

Information on the Windrush Day Grant Scheme can be obtained from gov.uk/government/publications/windrush-day-grant-2019

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