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Crowdfunded statue celebrates Windrush generation’s role in building the NHS

Statue honours the role of black nurses who travelled to work in post-war Britain

Statue honours the role of black nurses and midwives who travelled to work in post-war Britain

A statue to celebrate the contribution of ‘Windrush’ nurses to the NHS has been unveiled following a successful crowdfunding campaign.

Crowdfunded statue unveiled at Whittington Hospital

The granite monument, which represents a nurse and child, stands outside the Whittington Hospital in London.

It was commissioned by

Statue honours the role of black nurses and midwives who travelled to work in post-war Britain

Photograph of people at the unveiling of the statue that honours the role of Windrush nurses at Whittington Hospital, London
At the unveiling of the Windrush statue, from left: Whittington Health NHS Trust chief nurse Michelle Johnson; Nubian Jak Community Trust founder and chief executive Jak Beula; NHS England director of nursing and deputy regional chief nurse for London Jane Clegg; chief midwifery officer for London Kate Brintworth; and chief midwifery officer for England Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent Picture: Lewis Patrick

A statue to celebrate the contribution of ‘Windrush’ nurses to the NHS has been unveiled following a successful crowdfunding campaign.

Crowdfunded statue unveiled at Whittington Hospital

The granite monument, which represents a nurse and child, stands outside the Whittington Hospital in London.

It was commissioned by heritage organisation Nubian Jak, which aims to highlight the contribution of people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds to British society, together with Whittington Health NHS Trust and Haringey Council.

Organisers said the aim was to mark the achievements of the 40,000 nurses and midwives from across the Commonwealth who came to the UK between 1948 and 1973 to help the newly created health service.

Nurses and other workers who travelled to the UK to help address post-war labour shortages have been named the ‘Windrush generation’ after one of the first ships to arrive.

The statue was erected following a crowdfunding appeal which raised nearly £100,000, including £16,000 from Islington Council’s Local Initiatives Fund.

Its unveiling comes amid debate about who should be celebrated by public monuments and calls for greater diversity, as well as ongoing efforts to tackle racism and discrimination within the NHS.

Commemorating a vitally important contribution to the UK and health

Whittington Health’s chief nurse Michelle Johnson said: ‘I hope the memorial will encourage everyone to find out about the history of nursing and it gives a sense of pride to the nurses and midwives who work at our trust as well as those across the country.’

Islington councillor Una O’Halloran said: ‘The contribution of this generation of nurses and midwives to this country and our health system cannot be overstated, and it’s vitally important that they are commemorated appropriately.’

In 2016, a statue of Jamaican-born nursing pioneer Mary Seacole was unveiled in the grounds of St Thomas’s Hospital in London. It was the first statue of a named black woman in the UK.


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