News: National Campaigner Award for Churchill Fellow
Published: 9 Apr 2019
Churchill Fellow Patrick Vernon OBE has been recognised at the 2019 National Campaigner Awards for his activism on race equality and social justice issues over the past 20 years. He received the Long-Term Achievement Award at a ceremony in London last month.
Patrick has campaigned for people affected by the Windrush Scandal. He created the Windrush Justice Fund, a grassroots initiative providing legal advice, immigration support and outreach services for the Windrush generation, which has so far raised over £40,000. He also created an online parliamentary petition demanding an amnesty for Windrush generation minors, which was signed by over 180,000 people.
Patrick’s campaigning has also addressed issues as diverse as deaths in custody, mental health and teaching black history as part of the national curriculum.
“It is fantastic to be honoured for my activism and campaigning. I hope I can use this award to share my experience and inspire others. As we approach the first anniversary of the Windrush Scandal, I have dedicated this award to the survivors and their families who are still fighting for justice and fair compensation.”
The National Campaigner Awards are hosted by the Sheila McKechnie Foundation (SMK), a UK charity providing training and resources to campaigners. Their CEO Sue Tibballs said:
“The SMK Campaigner Awards are a unique opportunity to celebrate some of the most inspiring, innovative and often courageous people who are speaking out to effect change. Our communities are fairer, safer, kinder and more tolerant as a result. Our thanks and congratulations to them all.”
Patrick is a founder of Every Generation Media and 100 Great Black Britons, initiatives creating education programmes, publications and films on cultural heritage and family history. He has won awards for his expertise around African and Caribbean genealogy in the UK.
For his Churchill Fellowship, he travelled to Barbados and Jamaica to explore arts and cultural interventions aimed at supporting good mental health in African and Caribbean communities. He will complete the final leg of his Fellowship travels in the USA later this year.