Celebrating Brent’s Windrush generation

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UK Borough of Brent

Celebrating Brent’s Windrush generation

A message from Cllr Muhammed Butt, Leader of Brent Council

Since the 1950s Brent has been home for a large group of people who moved from the Caribbean and Africa. The Windrush Generation’s impact on the borough is rich and varied. Spanning across food, fashion, music, sport, entertainment, politics and our most important services and industries, some of the Windrush generation’s most inspiring leaders and innovators have called Brent home.

Councillor Margaret McLennan, Deputy Leader of Brent Council and Lead Member for Equalities has penned a powerful blog post about the contributions of the Windrush generation.

This year’s Windrush Day, on Monday 22 June, comes at a time when the Black Lives Matter campaign, and fight against coronavirus, have rightly fixed the spotlight on racism and inequality in our society.

Covid-19 has hit the poorest and most diverse boroughs, including Brent, the hardest. It’s simply unacceptable that pre-existing inequalities, like where you live, your job and your health, can put some people much more at risk than others. However, looking ahead, I truly believe that through working in partnership with community leaders we will make life in Brent fair and equal for all.

The men, women and descendants of the Windrush Generation are a group of people who provide immeasurable value to Brent. This has never been more obvious or vital than now. Many are key workers on the front line of this pandemic. Whether in hospitals, on public transport or in care services, so many are helping to save lives and protect those most at risk.

Over the next week, we will share some stories from Brent’s Black communities, including an online exhibition showcasing the borough’s rich Caribbean heritage and a video highlighting the legacy of Brent's Windrush generation to be released on Monday. I would also like to invite you to share your own thoughts and memories using social media – be it a photo, poem, song or your reflections. Tweet yours to @Brent_Council using #windrushday or #windrushgeneration.

After 12 weeks of lockdown our town centers and non-essential retailers reopened on Monday 15 June. Small independent businesses, the lifeblood of our High Streets, have been hit hardest by the lockdown – and they need your support now more than ever. By shopping local, you are doing your bit to support local businesses, save local jobs and protect the character of your local High Street. But we need to stay safe while we do so. It’s up to all of us to follow social distancing rules, queuing instructions and the one- way systems that have been laid out for all of our safety.

Watch: What to expect as Brent’s non-essential shops reopen

Finally, I would like to remind everyone to wear a face covering if using public transport. Protect yourself, and others, by keeping your distance to avoid bringing the virus home to a loved one. And, if you do have any coronavirus symptoms, ask for a test straight away.


BRENT 2020 honours Windrush

Head over to the Brent 2020 website to discover all the ways the programme is honouring the community - from archiving the oral histories of pioneering artists from the Windrush era in the No Bass Like Home Reggae Map, to a free online workshop discussing cultural leadership for emerging black leaders.

testing site

COVID-19 testing site open in Harlesden for local residents

London’s first local COVID-19 testing site has opened in Harlesden Town Garden as the Government pilots a new approach to testing. As Harlesden and the surrounding areas have some of the highest death tolls from COVID-19 in the UK, it’s hoped that the testing site will help to drive down these numbers by ensuring that local residents who have symptoms can get tested quickly in an easily accessible location.

You can book a test if:

  • You have symptoms of COVID-19
  • You can travel to the test site on foot or by motorcycle or bicycle and don’t need to use public transport
  • You have a face covering
  • You adhere to social distancing at all times, when travelling to and from the site

Appointments are available every day from 10am-5pm and residents can book by calling 020 8937 4440, the line is open from 9am-5pm, seven days a week.

>>Find out more about the local testing site in Harlesden


Apply now - discretionary business grants

660 Brent businesses will receive £5,000 each in additional Covid-19 support funding, after Brent’s Cabinet approved a plan earlier today (June, 15) to distribute £3.3m received from central government, for the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Scheme.

The deadline for submitting an application is 5pm, Monday 22 June 2020.

>>Find out more

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Help us to improve the Brent website

Now, more than ever, it is important that you can access vital council services online and find what you need quickly and easily. That’s why we are working hard to improve our website to make it better for you.

There is still time to get involved in a short online activity that will help us to improve the information on our website and how it is organised. This activity should only take ten minutes and will show us how easy it is for you to find certain topics and information.

Two lucky participants will be entered into a prize draw to win a £50 LDO voucher.

>>Get involved and help us to make our website work better for you

Public questions at Full Council meetings

Did you know that Brent’s Full Council meetings give an opportunity for local residents to submit questions for response by a Cabinet Member? If you would like to ask a question, these can be submitted via the request to speak form by 5pm on Friday, 19 June. You’ll receive a written response and will also have the opportunity to ask a follow-up supplementary question at the meeting itself.

Whilst our next Full Council meeting is being run as an online virtual meeting, members of the public will still be able to follow proceedings live via the Council’s Live Stream pages.

refugee week

Refugee Week

Refugee Week is the UK’s largest festival celebrating the contribution of refugees and promoting understanding of why people seek sanctuary. This Refugee Week (15 – 21 June 2020), the theme is ‘Imagine’. Because when things feel stuck; when the old ways of doing things are no longer working, that’s what we need to do.

>>Read more


Employment and benefits support

If you are affected by coronavirus or its effect on the economy, there is a wide range of support available.

This new government website provides information about the changes the government has brought in to support people who are already claiming benefits, need to claim benefits, or are at risk of losing their job as a result of coronavirus.

>>Understand what benefits you might be entitled to

Emergency help and support

Do you need help getting food or medicine delivered to you while you’re in isolation? If you are struggling and need extra help, call our helpline on 020 8937 1234 open 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday or email coronavirus@brent.gov.uk

More emergency help and support

Financial support for residents

Support for businesses and employers

Changes to council services

Get the latest health advice

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