Preston Windrush campaigner and community volunteer Glenda Andrew honoured with BEM

A Windrush campaigner from Preston has been honoured in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her services to the Afro-Caribbean community in the city.

By Fiona Finch
Wednesday, 1st June 2022, 10:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd June 2022, 8:35 am

Born and bred Prestonian Glenda Andrew, co-founder of Preston Windrush Generation and Descendants UK, has been awarded the BEM (British Empire Medal). The 59 year old former pupil of Tulketh High School, who was praised for her volunteer work and community spirit, said: “I’m very surprised and shocked. I do feel there are so many other people that are so deserving. I couldn’t have done any of this if my mum and dad didn’t come here and also we’ve a great team of friends and supporters who do the work with us. It’s a massive team effort of family and friends and people of Preston Windrush.”

But she singled out one special person for praise saying: “ I couldn’t have done it without founder Sekeena Muncey - she founded Preston Windrush and it was her idea to raise awareness and to find people like herself.”

Glenda said she became involved as co-founder after working to ensure her mum Pauletter Andrew was naturalised i.e. gained her rightful UK citizenship as a member of the Windrush generation.

Glenda Andrew, who has been awarded the BEM (British Empire Medal), pictured at the Preston Windrush foodhub

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The Birthday Honour citation notes: “Motivated by the actions she undertook engaging with the Windrush taskforce to resolve her own mother’s British status she has become a staunch supporter of individuals impacted by the Windrush scandal.”

Glenda’s mother died in 2021 and her father Oswald in 2014. Glenda said both would have been so proud of her achievement, especially her mother: “I know she was very patriotic for the Queen and to be in that list – that’s an honour.”

The Preston Windrush Generation group was founded three years ago to publicise the Windrush schemes and offer support to those affected.

Glenda Andrew pictured on Windrush Day in Preston at Preston Town Hall Photo Neil Cross;

Glenda, who is also a member of the Windrush National Organisation has petitioned Whitehall about the citizenship rights of the Windrush generation.

Since 2018 she has worked in collaboration with the Home Office Windrush outreach and engagement teams and has facilitated several events. The latter were funded through donations and from her personal finances. The citation noted that this had been: “a challenge but a real achievement as the organisation has continued to support individuals throughout the pandemic. “

Her citation noted that: as a Windrush Ambassador Glenda acts as a conduit between the Home Office and local communities she represents providing feedback from the communities impacted; she provides one to one support to individuals and provides advice, workingcollaboratively with Home Office colleagues to ensure issues are progressed; she has been key to several successful status applications.

Dureing the pandemic Glenda led a community group in Preston which began providing 20 meals each Friday, initially to elderly and vulnerable Caribbean people confined during lockdown. This rapidly expanded to helping 400 people. Glenda said the group remains keen to help keen to help where needed with food, and information about health, education, criminal justice and community cohesion. Glenda added that it is important to bring the community together and remember that the Windrush generation is also about the Commonwealth.

Glenda, who works part time at the Windrush Millennium Centre in Manchester, said she will probably celebrate her birthday honour by going out for dinner with her family.