The Prince and Princess of Wales celebrate the work of diverse community groups in Cardiff
Published 03 October 2023
To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the HMT Empire Windrush to the UK and mark the start of Black History Month, The Prince and Princess of Wales have visited Cardiff to meet members of the Windrush generation and celebrate the work of diverse community groups in the area.
The Prince and Princess met with members from the Windrush Cymru Elders, Black History Cymru 365 and the Ethnic Minority Youth Forum for Wales at the Grange Pavilion to hear about the incredible contribution the Windrush generation has had on the Welsh community and learn about how young minority ethnic individuals are creating positive change in Wales.
The Grange Pavilion is a partnership project between Grange Pavilion Project, Grangetown Community Action, Cardiff University and Cardiff Council which saw them redevelop a previously vacant bowls pavilion into a community facility. The space offers a community café, employment and training opportunities and has become a key meeting place for the Ethnic Minority Youth Forum, Windrush Cymru Elders and Black History Cymru 365 for Wales.
To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the HMT Empire arriving in the UK, Their Royal Highnesses met members of the Windrush Cymru Elders. The group was established in 2017 as part of Race Council Cymru and aims to promote the understanding of ethnic minority elders' concerns and needs whilst also celebrating the contributions of the Windrush Generation and people of African descent in Wales. The Prince and Princess heard about the lived experiences of the elders and the incredible impact the generation has had in Wales.
Following this, The Prince and Princess met young people involved in the Ethnic Minority Youth Forum. The forum is a youth advisory panel for Race Council Cymru and consists of young people aged 11-25 who seek to be a voice of change for young people from minority ethnic groups in Wales.
Finally, The Prince and Princess engaged with local young people from the Somali community, which forms a large portion of Grangetown. Their Royal Highnesses spent time with members of Wales Somaliland Youth Links and Cardiff Bay Warriors FC and heard about the community projects they have been involved in – from football to youth unemployment and building friendships between the young people in Cardiff and Somaliland.
The Prince and Princess then visited Fitzalan High School to hear from pupils about the work they have been doing around black history and learn about the vocational courses the school provides.
Fitzalan High School serves one of the most diverse and disadvantaged communities in Wales and in September 2023 they opened a new school building with a range of state-of-the-art facilities to help pupils achieve their highest potential. A number of pupils in the school are also direct relatives of the Windrush Cymru Elders and are from a variety of cultural backgrounds with 70% of pupils speaking English as a second language.
During the visit, Their Royal Highnesses heard from sixth form pupils working in different subject areas both in A Level and vocational studies including a range of science, technology and sports courses as well as a thriving English for Speakers of Other Language (ESOL) provision for new-to-English pupils. Their Royal Highnesses were taken to the school's brand new immersion room where they heard a brief history lesson looking at life in Tiger Bay, a key area where the Windrush Generation lived and the importance of learning about their cultural heritage.