'Windrush Day' will celebrate the arrival of Caribbean migrants 70 years ago

Telegraph Reporters
The ex-troopship 'Empire Windrush' arriving at Tilbury Docks in 1948 - HULTON ARCHIVE

A day celebrating the Windrush generation and their descendants is to be held annually and will be supported by a grant of up to half-a-million pounds, the Government has announced.

British-Caribbean representatives will oversee Windrush Day, set to take place every June 22, marking the day the generation began when around 500 migrants from the West Indies disembarked from the Empire Windrush in Tilbury Docks in Essex.

Making the announcement, communities minister Lord Bourne said the day will help "recognise and honour the enormous contribution" of those who arrived on the ship in 1948.

The news comes ahead of Friday's 70th anniversary of the migrants disembarking from the ship to find new opportunities and help rebuild post-war Britain.

Communities minister Lord Bourne said the day will help "recognise and honour the enormous contribution" of those who arrived on the ship in 1948 Credit: PA

The headline event will be a national service of thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey in London.

Up to £500,000 will be available to charities and communities wanting to hold commemorative and educational events every Windrush Day, a department spokesman said.

"It will keep their legacy alive for future generations, ensuring that we all celebrate the diversity of Britain's history," Lord Bourne said.

Windrush Foundation director Arthur Torrington celebrated the announcement as a "moment of great satisfaction".

"It will cement in the national consciousness the important contribution of those who travelled from the Caribbean to Britain 70 years ago to build a better life and participate in making Britain a stronger nation," he said.

Windrush Generation: 'They thought we should be planting bananas'

The announcement comes after a period of turbulence for the Government over the Windrush scandal, which has seen citizens wrongly detained and deported and others denied access to healthcare, work, housing benefits and pensions.

Amber Rudd resigned as home secretary over it and Theresa May - her predecessor at the Home Office - came under fire for her "hostile environment" policy towards migrants.

Sajid Javid, who replaced Ms Rudd, signalled a softening of immigration policy under his leadership and that the much-criticised policy would be reviewed.

Last week, Mr Javid admitted that as many as 63 Windrush generation migrants may have been wrongly deported by the Government. Mr Javid revealed the number could still rise as officials trawl through over 8,000 cases dating back to 2002, as he branded the term "hostile environment", coined by Theresa May, "un-British".

The admission followed weeks of denials by the department that any member of the Windrush generation had been forced to leave Britain.

Under questioning at the Home Affairs select committee Mr Javid said 32 of the 63 cases involved criminals and the other 31 were people who left voluntarily after being sent a letter by the Home Office asking them to leave.