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Wales joins in Windrush celebrations

UNITY: An event at the Senedd was one of the ways that the 70th anniversary was marked in Wales (Image: Race Council Cymru/Twitter)

WALES HAS celebrated the vital contribution migrants have made to Welsh society and continue to encourage better understanding between communities.

On the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush and her 492 passengers from the Caribbean, ministers, representatives from Race Council Cymru and Black History Month Elders came together at an event at the Senedd to acknowledge the contribution the Windrush Generation have made to the UK.

Leader of the House, Julie James and health secretary Vaughan Gething hosted the celebration, as part of a week of events to mark Refugee Week, to commemorate Windrush Day and recognise its wide historic and present day significance.

First minister Carwyn Jones said: “We want the Windrush Generation to know that we value their contributions to Wales over the last 70 years. Not only have they contributed to Wales' economic growth, they have enhanced our cultural and artistic diversity. The combination of new forms of art and lifestyles, as well as opportunities to mix and mingle with people from other cultures, has had a profound and positive effect on tolerance and community cohesion in Wales.”

Speaking ahead of the event, Julie James said: “Today we pay tribute to the contributions made to Wales by the Windrush Generation and their descendants, as well as the other migrant communities who came before and after. We thank them for their efforts and sacrifices over the generations. We will continue to welcome and embrace those from other places who seek to improve our communities and we will challenge discrimination faced by these communities wherever we find it.”

Uzo Iwobi, CEO for Race Council Cymru and Chair of the All Wales Black History Network, said: “It is gives us great pleasure to work with Welsh Government and all the partner organisations to mark the 70th anniversary of the Windrush migrants arrival and their contributions to Wales. It has been bitterly disappointing to see the manner in which some Windrush migrants are being treated by the UK government in recent months.

Iwobi said the event would “set a marker in the sands of time that makes a clear statement that Wales celebrates and values the contributions of our Black History Elders, the Windrush elders and their families who have given years of selfless services to the Welsh Society over the past 70 years and more”.

“Race Council Cymru also applauds the work and contributions of all commonwealth migrants and all migrants who continue to serve their communities, public, private and third sector organisations across Wales,” Iwobi added.

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