The Atonement of a Scandal / The Ties That Bind

Has enough been done to compensate victims of the Windrush Scandal and their descendants?


The Ties That Bind

Together, Professor Vernon and Dr Burgess have now launched a new project, The Ties That Bind, which explores the intergenerational mental health consequences the Windrush Scandal has had on Caribbean and Black African families in the UK.

The project is the first study of its kind to map the mental and physical impacts of the scandal and the UK’s hostile immigration policies, not only on those who have been directly affected, but also their family members – who all may have experienced mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and race-related trauma.

Taking place over six months this year, the project aims to map perspectives and realities of living through the Windrush Scandal within families and their wider communities.

Discussing the research, Dr Burgess said: “The project exists in two parts. The first part is a demographic and mental health survey with survivors and their family members and kin networks, where we’re asking them to reflect on any sort of questions related to their experience with the scandal and their mental health status.

“That’s a larger sample of people we’ll be asking to participate – around 100 or so.  Selected from that, we’ll be inviting a maximum of 50 people across two sites.

“We’ll be undertaking workshops for an arts-based action oriented project, using a methodology called “Photovoice”, which invites people to reflect on particular issues in their lives through photography.

“This is something that can be helpful if people are dealing with issues that are particularly difficult or traumatic, and creates a pathway for them to share stories in ways that they control rather than it being mediated through a researcher’s perspective on what questions to ask.”

The results of the Photovoice project will be publicly shared and exhibited online in collaboration with the UCL Health of the Public Creative Health Community.

A policy roundtable will also be held later this year to engage survivors, leading activists, mental health practitioners, academics and policy makers to raise awareness and encourage support and change.

“We want to bring people together to reflect on the findings and have discussions about what the best ways forward are, in terms of what we find,” Dr Burgess added. “We want to open up a conversation that makes people think about having specific mental health support for the community that have been broken as a part of justice.”


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