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Windrush celebrations

08 July 2018


Staff from Southend Hospital’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) network group were given the opportunity to attend the Windrush celebrations hosted by Essex Partnership University Trust (EPUT) on Friday 22 June 2018.

NHS staff from across the region were invited to travel on a Thames Clipper from Westminster Pier to the Port of Tilbury. On that same day in 1948, the former German cruise liner Empire Windrush arrived in the UK, carrying 492 passengers from the West Indies.

Mainly former service personnel, this was the first wave of post war immigration with many of the passengers taking up roles in the NHS, which launched just two weeks later.

As part of plans to mark the 70th birthday of the NHS, the 70th anniversary of Windrush and diversity of the NHS workforce was celebrated, from the Windrush generation of 1948, the south Asian arrivals in the 1960s and 70s, to today's workforce, currently represented by 202 nationalities.

The Windrush event was held to acknowledge, appreciate and celebrate the contribution of both the passengers and their descendants to the nation and inparticular to the NHS.

Maxwell Ndongwe, BAME Group Chairman & Surgical Matron, said: "This was such an important day and I feel honoured that staff from the Trust were invited to attend the celebrations.

"The Trust will officially launch its BAME network group on Thursday 19 July to support both the minorities working in the Trust and those working alongside them, as well as service users to help bridge and celebrate the cultural diversity that makes up Southend Hospital."