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Black History Month: Mental Health Impact of Windrush with Patrick Vernon – 17th October 2022

The British Nationality Act of 1948 gave citizens of UK Colonies the right of settlement in the UK. In the wake of post World War 2 labour shortages, the British government campaigned for workers from abroad, which led to increased immigration from 1948 and 1970, particularly from African and The Caribbean. Working age adults and many children travelled to join parents or grandparents in the UK or travelled with their parents without their own passports. They helped to build the NHS, staffed the transport systems and transformed industry in the UK.

Despite these achievements, 2018 ushered in the ‘Windrush Scandal’, where it emerged that for years this generation had faced deportation and evictions due to failures by the Home Office to keep records of their legal status. This was met with protests and public pushback which resulted in a commitment to support and compensate those who have been affected.

So where are we now? What lessons can we learn for the future?

  • Why hostile environment policy created the Windrush Scandal
  • Why Windrush Generation was more impacted by other Commonwealth communities affected by Hostile Environment
  • Campaign to expose the scandal
  • The impact of Hostile environment policy on lifestyle and aspirations of the Windrush Generation
  • Righting the Wrongs of the Scandal (Windrush Taskforce, Compensation Scheme and Lessons Learned Review)
  • The impact of the scandal and mental health and wellbeing of the Windrush Generation

Platform: Please note this event is due to take place virtually via MS Teams

About the Presenter:

Patrick Vernon was born in the constituency where Enoch Powell was an MP. His family still lives in Wolverhampton and he is proud of his roots and the contribution of migrant communities from the Windrush Generation have made to Britain which forms a larger of his values and principles – Windrush Day Matters.

Patrick is a Clore and Winston Churchill Fellow, Fellow at Imperial War Museum, fellow of Royal Historical Society and former Associate fellow for the department of history of medicine at Warwick University. He has over twenty years’ senior experience working across mental health, public health, heritage and race equality and is well known in health, local government and the voluntary sector. Patrick is currently Associate Director for Connected Communities at the Centre for Ageing Better, Equality and Diversity Adviser to Lambeth Council, Chair of Citizens Partnership for Healthcare Investigation Branch (HSIB) and Senior Associate at OLMEC. He was the first director of Black Thrive a mental-health multi-agency tackling mental health in Lambeth, former non-executive director of Camden and Islington Mental Health Foundation Trust, Health Partnership Coordinator for National Housing Federation, former director of Afiya Trust, committee member of Healthwatch England, NHS England Equality Diversity Council, director of Brent Health Action Zone and regional director for MIND. Patrick was former Independent Chair of Westminster Partnership for Race Equality where he played a key role with the Met Police and the Muslim community with the aftermath of 7/7 bombings in Westminster in 2005.

He is a former member of the Labour and the Coalition Government Ministerial Advisory for Mental Health. Patrick was a former councillor in Hackney between 2006- 2014 and was appointed by Jeremy Corbyn as Race Equalities Adviser to the Shadow Equalities Ministerial Team between 2015 to 2017.Patrick is also founder of Every Generation Media and 100 Great Black Britons, which develops education programmes, publications and films on cultural heritage and family history. Patrick was made Pioneer of the Nation for Cultural History by the Queen in 2003. He is a leading expert on African and Caribbean genealogy in the UK. In 2017 was appointed editor for Black History Month magazine (2017 and 2018 magazines) and in 2018 for Windrush Commemorative magazine.

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