NTU students help bring stories from Nottingham's Windrush generation to life
A group of students, known as Faith Ambassadors at Nottingham Trent University (NTU), have caught the public’s attention after a project about the Windrush generation and peoples journeys to Nottingham was introduced in a public lecture during Black History Month.
Presented by two PhD students—Sofia Aatkar, studying Caribbean-British travelling writing at NTU, and Kelsi Delaney from the University of Leicester—who are researching the cultural politics of form in contemporary anglophone Caribbean poetry, the project records the journeys of migration of Caribbean descents living in Nottingham.
Contributors to the project were from the Caribbean, aged between 14 and 90 years old, recalling their journeys to the United Kingdom and journeys to the Caribbean in the form of collective poems and narratives. It reveals the psychologic impacts of migration on this generation and its descendants, particularly those who are of the Windrush generation—which refers to the Caribbean migrants who came to the UK between 1948 and 1971.
Clive Foster, the Multi-Faith manager at NTU, who is also a senior pastor in the Pilgrim Church Nottingham, stressed the impacts on Windrush generation.
He says the range of experiences that people were showing to them is concerning in the wake of Windrush scandal. There are people who were forced to make the decision not to attend a family funeral back in Jamaica because of the concern that they might not be able to return to the UK with a visitor passport, and an elder who had lung cancer suffered anxiety from worrying about being deported.
“People are struggling whom to go to for the emotional and psychologic support,” Clive said, “They need people they can trust and can talk to, just listen to them really.”
Working closely with NTU, Faith Ambassadors are a group of students from all over the world, from all religious and non-religious backgrounds, promoting the positives and the mutual understandings of different faiths, Clive believes faith groups can be a trusted community where people can go to tell the situations that worry them.
“It is important that there are people on this campus recognising and understanding different communities who are very much faith-inspired and how important that faith plays a part for those who were going through the struggle,” said Clive, “…it is also a great opportunity for Faith Ambassadors to hear about Windrush generation and understand what they were going through.”
Through various events both on campus and in local communities, NTU Faith Ambassadors are building interfaith dialogues and creating a safe place for people to share their experiences regardless of their faith.