Leeds Trinity University has collaborated with Unity Homes and Enterprise to create the ‘Voices of Windrush’ broadcast, a series of films profiling Windrush reformers and their stories of resilience.
The series includes interviews with influential people in Chapeltown and will form part of an exhibition showcasing the huge contribution that the Windrush Generation has made in the areas of community, business and social reform.
The project is taking place less than a year after Leeds Trinity became the first university in Yorkshire to receive the Race Equality Charter Bronze award, in recognition of its commitment to achieve racial equality and promote inclusion.
The exhibition will run from Tuesday 22 June, the date established as Windrush Day in 2018, and will be hosted at Unity Business Centre in Chapeltown for six months. The official day was put in place to recognise the Windrush Generation as important members of British culture and history.
The films were created by Leeds Trinity’s Final Year Journalism students, alongside the University’s MA Journalism cohort and Senior Professional Practice Fellow and Broadcast Journalism Programme Leader Katherine Blair.
Katherine said: “After such a difficult year for our students where much of their work had to be done online, I jumped at the offer of doing these interviews with people in the Chapeltown community.
“It is such a great project and gave me the opportunity to work with the students filming and interviewing on location so they could be guided as we went along. They really demonstrated how much they’d learnt this year once they put the films together in the edit suite. This project was a great culmination of all the skills they’ve learnt and has given them something to be really proud of – showing how far they’ve come in just one year.
“It has been a pleasure to work in the community and bring these stories to the screen. Everyone we interviewed had such rich stories to tell. They were so generous with their time and their memories. It was an absolute pleasure to have worked on this and the students are delighted with what they created.”
Martha Sanders, Leeds Trinity MA Journalism student and producer of the series, said: “Making 'Voices of Windrush' was a hugely enjoyable and inspirational experience. The people we spoke to had so much to say and it was fantastic being part of the team that put the project together. The stories we helped to tell are so important to Leeds as a city and it was a privilege to be asked to produce the show. Making it within a week was an intense process, but we were all proud of the final product. I hope that people who visit the exhibition find the work impactful and that we have done the amazing interviewees justice.”
Funding for the exhibition follows a successful bid by Unity Homes and Enterprise 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.”
You can watch the films produced by Leeds Trinity University’s students on the Yorkshire Voice YouTube channel.
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