Hanover Mansions Residents, Lambeth celebrate Windrush Day

26 June 2024

Summary:A party was held by MTVH as part of a series of events to recognise Windrush Day and Refugee Week.

To coincide with this years ‘Windrush Day’ events, MTVH was delighted to host a ‘Windrush Party’ at Hanover Mansions in South London. The celebration was held to respect the invaluable contribution of West Indian people to the UK. It included a variety of West Indian music provided by musician Bad Anju; a feast of traditional West Indian food, as well as activities. This was particularly special for residents of Hanover Mansions as this MTVH Brixton-based sheltered accommodation provides support for Afro-Caribbean adults over the age of 55.

Windrush Day is a particularly important day for MTVH, as the story of the Windrush generation is a central part of our history. More than 50 years ago, our founder Lady Molly Huggins established a charitable organisation to provide safe and affordable homes for the people who came to rebuild Britain in the 1950’s. Molly Huggins was troubled by the poor state of housing for new arrivals, and so established the Metropolitan Coloured People’s Housing Association – later to become Metropolitan (a forerunner of MTVH) – to provide quality, affordable accommodation for London’s Caribbean community.

This year’s Windrush celebration comes at the end of a weeklong series of events held by MTVH to recognise Refugee Week. Although the Windrush generation were economic migrants – and not refugees – there is a common thread between the two events. This year’s theme of Refugee Week is “our home,” and MTVH proudly acknowledges the work of its Migration Foundation and facility at Re-Start Point in the East Midlands, which provides housing for newly arrived refugees and is committed to supporting them have the dignity and security they need to rebuild their lives.

The local Lambeth Councillor for St Martin’s Ward, Saleha Jaffer who is also the Deputy Cabinet member for Stronger Communities on Lambeth Council, said:

“I was delighted the residents, their family, and friends as well as MTVH staff were able to celebrate Windrush Day at Hanover Mansions in Brixton. I’m pleased that this was just one event among many in the local Lambeth community that commemorated the Windrush Generation.

“The annual day is held to highlight those migrants who were first invited to post-war Britain to help rebuild the country – and went on to make a huge contribution to modern British life in many fields. Many of these were in my home Borough of Lambeth, where many new arrivals spent their first months in rented lodgings before settling in Brixton. So, it is fitting that MTVH, who are an important provider of affordable housing in Lambeth today, continues that tradition. Lambeth Council have built a proud reputation of marking Windrush Day and learning more about our shared histories. I’m very pleased that the event at Hanover Mansions brought many people together to remember and learn these important lessons from the past.”

MTVH’s Chief Executive, Geeta Nanda OBE, said:

“MTVH is proud of the contribution that the Windrush generation have made to our society, and we are especially keen to remember and celebrate what these early migrants meant to the formation of our own organisation in its early beginnings. We were delighted to be hosting this Windrush Day party with our residents and friends at Hanover Mansions, and that Lambeth’s Cllr Jaffer has given her support, because Lambeth is the first home of the Windrush Generation who, alongside their descendants, have made a huge contribution to different fields of public service, including the NHS, as well as housing, music, and the wider economy.

“We are also very pleased that this Windrush Day event coincided with the end of Refugee Week. Its theme this year of “our Home” emphasises the importance of new arrivals being welcomed to a new life, whatever their background. At MTVH we’re acutely aware that people bring life skills and experience with them. This is why we are so keen to deliver support for our residents – in Lambeth and elsewhere – to help strengthen communities and work to build a fairer society.”