Windrush Day 2020: MTVH proudly mark our history

| 29 June 2020

Summary: “All the hard work becomes worthwhile when one actually sees the result in human happiness” Lady Molly Huggins, Founder of Metropolitan (Origin organisation of MTVH)

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.

As one of just 6 out of 600 housing associations in the UK to specifically house migrants in 1957, Lady Molly was bold and courageous in her work. She stood against injustice and invested in the people who make Britain what it is today.

On Monday, we proudly marked this heritage with a virtual programme of events for colleagues, many of whom have close connections to the Windrush generation. As part of this programme of activity, we premiered a new film about our Windrush history and the story of how our founders created an organisation to give people from the Commonwealth a new home and the chance to live well.

The energy and spirit embedded in our founding story continues to drive our work today. The MTVH Migration Foundation recognises the particular challenges faced by the UK’s migrant population and offers practical solutions through supporting access to justice; housing support; and migrant entrepreneurship.

Our Windrush Day programme of events spotlighted some of our current work to support migrant communities. We were joined by Migrateful, a Migration Foundation partner that run online cookery classes led by migrant chefs, who taught colleagues how to make Efo riro, the most popular vegetable soup of south-West Nigeria. We also took colleagues on a virtual tour of Re-Start Point, our first-of-its-kind service for destitute migrants in Derby.

Our Windrush Day celebrations were as much about looking forwards as they were reflecting on our origins. From our first homes in Hackney, we have been driven by the same vision; giving people a home and the chance to live well. We invited colleagues to share their personal reflections on why it’s important to honour where we came from:

“When I was applying to become a permanent member of MTVH, I was drawn to the motives of its founder, Molly Huggins.  In a time when my forebears were cold and in shock – both from the weather and the frosty reception they received – here stood an organisation with the humanitarian values to stand apart and do something that almost nobody else was doing: support Windrush migrants. This was, and remains, incredible to me.” Danielle Kow, Information, Advice & Guidance Advisor – Love London Working at MTHV

As we mark Windrush Day 2020 amidst the current wave of activism of the Black Lives Matter movement, the belief in equality embedded in our history has never been more important. It drives our commitment to people powered living; today and into the future.