Minister for Faith meets Windrush and refugee representatives

Published: Friday, 28th June 2019

Lord Bourne, Minister for Faith at the Department of Housing, Communities and Local Government (DHCLG), met with representatives of Oxford Windrush anniversary projects and members of Refugee Resource

The visit follows last weekend’s Windrush anniversary activities which saw the Ashmolean Museum hosted a day dedicated to music, dance, stories, talks and tours to celebrate and commemorate the arrival of the Empire Windrush from the Caribbean in 1948. The day was part of the multi-agency Oxford Windrush Group weekend of activities which received £15,000 funding from DHCLG’s Windrush Day Grant via Oxford City Council.

He also met with representatives of Refugee Resource, the Oxford charity that provides support to refugees and asylum seekers to build new lives as part of Oxfordshire’s diverse community. The charity has received funding from the City Council under DHCLG’s Controlling Migration Fund.

Councillor Mary Clarkson, Cabinet Member for Culture and City Centre, said “The activities to mark Windrush weekend were fantastic, and a huge amount of work from many different communities has gone into making it a success. I’m delighted we were able to show the Minister how engaged our communities are, and the work that Refugee Resource is doing to help some of the newest and most challenged residents in Oxford take their place in our wonderful city. The City Council funds a wide range of activity to help build strong communities in Oxford, and it’s good to see that this is being recognised by the Government.”

Kate Hood, CEO of Refugee Resource, said “We work with some of the most vulnerable people living in Oxford, many of whom have experienced terrible trauma and suffering. This was a great opportunity to highlight to Government the importance of continuing to fund our work, integrating vulnerable refugees and migrant into our communities and helping them become fully contributing members of our society.”

Pat Green, Committee member of BKLUWO community organisation, said “We have been working on a number of projects around Windrush weekend, in particular joining up school children with community elders to understand their different histories. The Minister heard from the elders today what an impact it has had for the children to connect some of our colonial history with real people in their communities whose lives were affected by the British Empire.”