To mark Windrush Day and to recognise the huge contribution made to the UK by the Windrush generation and their families, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge carried out two engagements.
Firstly, Their Royal Highnesses visited ELEVATE in Brixton where they met with younger generations of the British-Caribbean community, and other diasporas, who represent the next generation of British creative talent. ELEVATE is an innovative youth programme led by the London Borough of Lambeth which aims to open up the creative and cultural sector to every young person in the borough, working towards a future where everyone can benefit from a rich, dynamic and diverse cultural environment.
ELEVATE works with a network of schools and colleges, training organisations and employers to build strong pathways from early years through to adulthood to ensure that young people are able build skills, access opportunities and achieve successful careers within the creative industries.
The Duke and Duchess met young people supported by ELEVATE taking part in a filming and photography workshop, led by creative production agencies ‘Iconic Steps’ and ‘Oxygen Arts’. Their Royal Highnesses were guided through a number activities by those taking part, including filming and editing, before sitting down for a conversation about their career aspirations and hopes for the future.
The visit took place at Brixton House, a newly renovated building in the heart of the community which will serve as a home for a new generation of artists, creatives and audiences. Since its opening, Brixton House has become a key partner of the ELEVATE programme, hosting workshops and providing creative workspaces for young people in the local area.
Following this The Duke and Duchess attended the unveiling of the National Windrush Monument at Waterloo Station. The monument symbolises the courage, commitment and resilience of the thousands of men, women and children who travelled to the UK from 1948 to 1971 to help rebuild post-war Britain, and acknowledges and celebrates the outstanding contribution and dedication of the Windrush Generation to British history.
Designed by renowned Jamaican artist Basil Watson with the advice and guidance of the Windrush Commemoration Committee, chaired by Baroness Floella Benjamin, the monument been delivered with support and £1 million funding from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
It has been created as a permanent place of reflection, fostering greater understanding of the Windrush Generation’s talent, hard work and loyalty to Britain, inspiring future generations forever.
The service featured a musical performance of the ‘Windrush Anthem’ by Nadine Benjamin OBE, a poetry reading, and a blessing from Bishop of Dover Rose Hudson-Wilkin. Following speeches from Baroness Benjamin, Michael Gove MP and The Duke of Cambridge, a small group of the Windrush community, spanning the generations, unveiled the monument.