Windrush Heritage Gardens

Caribbean food at the Windrush Celebrations 2019 marked 70 years since the SS Empire Windrush arrived at Tilbury docks, carrying passengers from the Caribbean who assisted the post-war reconstruction of Britain. To mark this historic occasion, Trust Links partnered with the South Essex African-Caribbean Association (SEACA) to launch Southend’s Windrush Celebrations in the summer of 2019.

Over the summer, we designed a Caribbean-inspired garden at our Growing Together Westcliff site. Our community gardens are open to everyone and we want our gardens to reflect the heritage and inclusivity of Southend people. We built a specially-designed raised bed area to plant vegetables associated with the Caribbean, including sweet peppers, pumpkin, chilli peppers and sweet potato. We’re looking forward to next harvest when we can enjoy the produce and remember the Windrush generation again.

A volunteer plays the steel drums at our Windrush celebrationsNorma Griffiths and SEACA volunteers cooked up a feast for Trust Links members and guests to enjoy. The day celebrated the Windrush Generation and it was the first of many events that took place in Southend. The Windrush generation were pioneers who shaped British social, cultural, and political life, and planting the Windrush Gardens was a perfect opportunity for Trust Links to celebrate diversity in Southend.

Matt King, the CEO of Trust Links, said:

It was fantastic to have this opportunity to work with SEACA and celebrate the value of the Windrush generation and their families. Trust Links is committed to valuing and celebrating diversity, and our gardens and community projects are inclusive to all. People often find that building connections and friendships improves mental health and wellbeing, which is at the heart of Trust Links’ work.’