Six projects celebrating the legacy of the Windrush generation
From oral history and archives projects that save the memories and mementos of first generation Windrush migrants, to celebrations of black diaspora culture, music and food – we've awarded over £8million to projects preserving and sharing this important part of the UK's heritage.
These projects help show how migration connects us all. They contextualise migration history in local communities by exploring the stories of people who migrated to the UK and the difference they have made to life in this country.
Saving this fragile heritage is vital
The Windrush generation came to the UK from Commonwealth countries, particularly the Caribbean, in the decades following the Second World War. They are named for the first ship that carried them in 1948, the Empire Windrush.
They were met with both welcome and discrimination as they made new lives for themselves, developing tight-knit migrant communities in cities across the UK. The nuance of their stories – and how easily it is lost as first generation migrants pass away – makes it all the more important to save, record and share, for now and the future.
Projects to inspire you
Windrush Scotland: African-Caribbean Experiences in Scotland
This oral history project collected stories of Windrush families who settled in Scotland – experiences that have seldom been recorded. Young people were trained in oral history recording, and the project created opportunities for the community to discuss issues of historical injustice.
This year the FJSS received further grant funding to mark Windrush 75.
Inspired by the Jamaican tradition of funeral booklets which celebrate a person's life, this project gathered stories and objects exploring the lives and heritage of Leeds's first generation Jamaicans. The community were involved throughout the project as well as partnerships with museums and archives, local media and internal support from the Jamaican High Commission. The culmination of the project was an exhibition which was extended due to its popularity.
Windrush Generations: Evolving Heritage
Young people – many from black community backgrounds – initiated this project to uncover the stories of Windrush descendants in Wales. They learned research skills and obtained media and interview qualifications, and created a film and booklet sharing the stories they collected.
The Record Store & Black Music: A UK History
A project documenting the role of independent record stores and music of black origin (MOBO) among the black diaspora, particularly as a resistance to racism, from the 1950s onwards.
Central to the project's goals is empowering volunteers to become active contributors. Volunteers will receive training to develop skills in conducting research, capturing oral histories and documenting the record store culture of the Windrush era.
Back on Track: Tilbury Riverside Station
The Grade II* listed Tilbury Cruise Terminal – where the Empire Windrush docked – is being restored. A new café and exhibition space is being added, where the Windrush generation who arrived there will be remembered. The project is also providing space for artists and events, education and skills development programmes, alongside a community grants scheme, to build local people’s connection to the site.
Connecting Lewisham to its Migration Heritage
A programme of events and activities and an exhibition showcasing businesses and products established by migrant entrepreneurs. The project includes family activity days, self-guided and volunteer-led tours, and celebrations such as the Windrush 75 Legacies Festival featuring activities run by local artists, storytellers and historians.
Get funding for your heritage project
If you have heritage in your area that you’d like to share, we can help.
Explore our funding programmes to find out how we can support your project.