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Housing association secures funds for Leeds Windrush Generation exhibition

Cedric Boston, Unity Interim Chief Executive

Leeds-based housing association Unity Homes and Enterprise has been awarded Government funding to stage an exhibition showcasing the huge contribution of the Windrush Generation to business and social reform in the city.

The project, which will be hosted at Unity Business Centre in Chapeltown, will feature short video interviews with local Windrush reformers sharing their stories of resilience.

The videos are being produced in collaboration with Leeds Trinity University which has kindly agreed to support the initiative.

These will be complemented by a photographic display illustrating the growth and variety of Leeds Windrush businesses and their positive impact on the diverse communities they serve.

Funding for the exhibition follows a successful bid to the Government’s annual Windrush Day Grant Scheme which first launched in 2019.

Applicants were invited to devise projects that “will bring communities together, create a lasting impact and improve education and learning through building a deeper understanding of the Windrush Generation and their contributions to British society.”

Cedric Boston, Unity Interim Chief Executive, said: “We are proud to have secured the funding to deliver a truly first-class exhibition, in partnership with Leeds Trinity University, which will be closely aligned with our values and social purpose.

“The Windrush Generation has been pivotal in Unity’s establishment and growth and so much of our success as a community-focused organisation rooted in Chapeltown is down to them.

“Everyone at Unity is looking forward to raising awareness of the challenges the Windrush Generation faced and how they overcame each hurdle with dignity and grace.”

Katherine Blair, Senior Professional Practice Fellow and Broadcast Journalism Programme Leader at Leeds Trinity University, said: “We are delighted to work with Unity on this exciting and timely project to celebrate the hugely positive impact the Windrush Generation and their descendants have made on the city.

“It is a privilege for Leeds Trinity University journalism students to have the opportunity to provide a medium for these inspirational people to tell their stories.”

Cy Powell, who came on a scholarship to the UK from Jamaica in 1966 and serves on Unity’s Enterprise Board, said: “The exhibition will be about remembrance and informing younger people about the significant contribution of the Windrush Generation to this country.

“Their achievements have not been forgotten but they have been elided.

“Unity now has a platform to change that.”

The exhibition will open to the public on Tuesday 22 June – Windrush Day 2021 – and run until the end of the year.

More information, including opening hours and details of Covid-related safety restrictions that may be required, will be announced shortly.