UCL Grand Challenges


The Ties That Bind: Mapping the Intergenerational Mental Health Consequences of the Windrush Scandal

'The Ties That Bind' combines public art & research to examine the toll that hostile immigration policies have exacted on victims of Windrush Scandal in the UK, especially in terms of mental health.

Windrush ship

1 September 2021

Image credit: Imperial War Museum Credit: Royal Navy official photographer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons  


Grant: Grand Challenges Special Initiatives—Intergenerational Dynamics
Year awarded: 2021-22
Amount awarded:  £10,000 


  • Dr Rochelle Burgess, Institute for Global Health
  • Prof Patrick Vernon, University of Wolverhampton

Victims of the Windrush Scandal faced dentition, were forcibly separated from families, lost jobs, livelihoods, and housing; factors which are consistently associated with poorer mental health outcomes. Despite calls for the development of a national mental health programme to support victims, there have been few efforts to provide services for this group of victims of hostile immigration policies. The Ties That Bind: Mapping the Intergenerational Mental Health Consequences of the Windrush Scandal and Hostile Immigration Policies Within Black African and Caribbean Families in the UK speaks to this gap through a research project and public art exhibition, which will disseminate findings to wider communities.

This project is one of the first of its kind to explore the intergenerational mental health consequences of the Windrush scandal on Caribbean and Black African families. Victims of the Windrush Scandal endured forced detention, a loss of employment, housing and livelihoods and were forcibly separated from families. They often continue to have negative experiences as a result of hostile immigration policies. 

Using mental health questionnaires and photovoice methods, this study seeks to document and improve the mental health services provided to these families. This intergenerational study will work with 20 families affected by Windrush over a period of six months to explore mental health challenges via survey methodologies, alongside an action research photovoice project. The project will map perspectives and realities of living through this crisis within families and wider communities. The results of the photovoice project will be shared via a public and online exhibition in collaboration with The UCL Health of the Public Creative Health Community. A policy roundtable will be held to engage survivors, academics and policy makers to raise awareness and encourage support and change.

The Ties That Bind exhibition panel at the Grand Challenges, Grand Impacts exhibition, 2023