Tune in to Windrush Day celebration radio show

Charles Challenger (inset) is chairman of Ipswich's Windrush Select Committee Picture: JONATHAN BRAD

Charles Challenger (inset) is chairman of Ipswich's Windrush Select Committee Picture: JONATHAN BRADY/PA/CHARLES CHALLENGER - Credit: JONATHAN BRADY/PA/SUPPLIED BY CHARLES CHALLENGER

An all-day special radio broadcast starts this morning to celebrate the massive contribution the Windrush generation made to the Suffolk community.

The Ipswich Windrush Select Committee has taken over Ipswich Community Radio for the day to mark the annual Windrush Day, which is being celebrated nationwide tomorrow.

The show will start at 8am and run until midnight, with a two-hour break between 10am and 12pm for Ipswich Community Radio’s regular broadcast.

Previous events have been held in Suffolk by the committee to mark Windrush Day - but the Covid-19 pandemic and government restrictions forced any plans for celebrations to be scrapped.

Instead, they have opted to hold the event virtually.

The show will feature shows on a range of different topics that celebrate Caribbean culture - including comedy, cooking, music and stories.

Charles Challenger, chairman of the committee, moved to the UK from Antigua in 1968.

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He said: “Our plan was to have a celebration, but with Covid-19, we thought the best way to keep Windrush Day alive was to host it on the radio and online.”

Ivy Scott, who moved to Suffolk from Barbados in the 1970s, added: “We will be celebrating the generation’s lives, their history and where they have worked.

“It will allow us to talk about the impact they made on their communities in Ipswich and Suffolk.”

What is Windrush Day?

Windrush Day was introduced in June 2018 to mark the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the migration of people from the Caribbean to the UK.

After the Second World War, the country was in desperate need of a rebuild and there was a shortage of labour.

At the encouragement of the government, thousands of citizens of Caribbean countries such as Jamaica, Barbados and Grenada moved to the UK to fill the gap in the market over several decades from the late 1940s.

The name ‘Windrush’ was taken from the HMT Empire Windrush cruise ship, which carried more than 1,000 people from Jamaica to Tilbury Docks in Essex in 1948.

Political activist Patrick Vernon successfully campaigned for the government to recognise Windrush Day in commemoration of the achievements of those who made the move.

Windrush Day is held annually on June 22.

•You can listen to Ipswich Community Radio on 107.5FM, online or via the app.