Jane Hutt MS, Minister for Social Justice
This year, on 22 June, we will mark 75 years since MV Empire Windrush docked in Tilbury, the moment which symbolises the “Windrush Generation” and crystalises how migration to the United Kingdom has shaped our society today.
Windrush Celebration Day recognises and celebrates the contributions of men and women from across the Commonwealth who helped to build a modern Wales and made this country their home. We again want to embrace this anniversary wholeheartedly as we have in previous years. This year we will celebrate and recognise its wide historic and present-day significance.
We are aware that Windrush celebrations will take place across the UK. Our engagement with Windrush Elders and organisations in Wales has ensured that we are well-placed to support communities to retell their stories and celebrate their contributions to our nation. The Welsh Government will again be funding both local and national Windrush events. We will also remain committed to seeking justice for the Windrush Elders in line with the Wendy Williams report published on 19 July 2018.
Migrants been helping to shape and enrich our nation since long before the Windrush arrivals and they are continuing to do so right up to the present day. As a Welsh Government, we have long supported and offered sanctuary to refugees and asylum seekers.
I am very proud that this year we have seen how our vision to welcome people from across the world has been adopted and brought to life in response to events in Afghanistan and Ukraine. Support has come in many guises, from thousands of individuals and families as well as businesses, local authorities, voluntary organisations, faith groups and many more. This is what we mean when we talk about Wales being a Nation of Sanctuary.
Our vision is to welcome and help anyone who is dispersed or resettled to Wales to access services and integrate with communities from day one of arrival. It is about recognising the person before seeing their immigration status. recognising that individuals come with skills and experiences and not just simply needs to be met.
As part of this rich and continuing story of Wales as a Nation of Sanctuary, the Windrush generation has a particular and unique place in our national life. I most strongly encourage all of us to mark this historic anniversary, including participating in the celebrations, whether on Windrush Day itself, or throughout the year.