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Windrush & Commonwealth Nurses and Midwives.

17 Oct 2021

photo; Patrick Lewes

A statue was unveiled in September 2021 in north London to commemorate the efforts of Windrush and Commonwealth NHS nurses and midwives, following a successful crowd-funding campaign. Commissioned by heritage organisation Nubian Jak, in collaboration with Islington Council and the Whittington Health NHS Trust, the monument was unveiled outside of The Whittington Hospital to an audience that included Islington’s mayor councillor Troy Gallagher, the area’s MP Jeremy Corbyn, NHS staff and former nurses and midwives.This granite statue of a women holding a baby finally commemorates the 40,000 Windrush and Commonwealth nurses and midwives who came to the UK between 1948 and 1973 to help the NHS. Without them it would have been very difficult for the NHS to have survived.

The granite sculpture of a woman holding a baby outside the Whittington hospital in Holloway was erected after a three-year campaign and crowdfunding effort by the Nubian Jak Community Trust and its founder, Jak Beula.“We finally have something that symbolises their experience,” he said. “We needed a legacy – a monument that people can visit that’s quite healing and inspiring and will be a symbol of pride, courage and dedication.”  Cllr Una O’Halloran, Islington Council’s Executive Member for Community Development, 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. “There are far too few monuments to this extraordinary generation, and we are proud, as part of our ambition to tackle inequality in our borough, to have supported the creation of this statue outside the Whittington Health”.