The late Cy Grant

Film Producer Patrick Vernon gives a personal account on meeting the late Cy Grant, who was credited for his work as an actor, singer, writer and who served in the Royal Air Force during the 1940s:

“It was with deep shock to hear of the death of Cy Grant. I only had the chance to get to know him during his twilight years but it was a real honour and pleasure to learn from such a distinguished elder.

I was only in correspondence with him for about six months past when I was hoping he would be involved with this project [The Charmed Life Campaign], so that young people from Haringey would interview veterans and ex service men and women. He however, declined the offer due to ill health at the time. We spoke on a number of occasions and although he never saw my film, A Charmed Life, he received positive feedback which he kindly shared. I can even remember him sending a signed autographed copy of memoirs as a thank you in recording the life of an ex service man Eddie Martin Noble.

This makes me feel more determined to continue this oral history work and to encourage others to do the same. There are not many Cy Grants left and we need take action now to capture their stories before it’s too late.

Also, I am still pushing the idea of a Windrush Day so please sign the petition so we acknowledge the lives of people like Grant who are still unsung heroes: Windrush Petition


Generation to Generation – Free Seminar

Patrick Vernon, Director of Afiya Trust will host a free seminar on Generation to Generation: family history, cultural identity and mental well being.

Patrick will look at how heritage affects personal identity among Britain’s many diverse communities. Is the UK’s health and social care system equipped to deal with the issues surrounding cultural identity? How should heritage shape the delivery of services? On the cusp of a new decade, he asks, is it time for Britain to take radical new approach to health and well being, improving the delivery of services for everyone?

The seminar will take place on Wednesday 3rd March, 3.00pm- 5.00pm in Room B202, the Brunei Gallery, School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG. (Nearest tube: Russell Square/ Goodge Street).

For further information and to book a place:

Please email to reserve your place at one of CEMVO’s Anniversary Seminars.

Haiti Relief Fundraiser

The Haiti Relief Fundraiser raised £300 towards the relief effort. The money raised will be shared with the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) and United Haitians in the UK (UHUK).

Guests at the fundraiser included Diane Abbott MP, Judith Craig (UHUK), Patrick Vernon (Cllr), Sen. Allyson Maynard-Gibson, Ngoma (BEMA) and Eileen Busby Keith.