A poster campaign celebrating immigrants’ contribution to British society has been launched after a crowd-funding campaign raised the £44,000 needed to fund it in the run-up to May’s General Election.
Posters showing UK immigrants from firefighters to health workers, bus drivers and lawyers were taken by Vogue photographer Philip Volkers for the Movement Against Xenophobia initiative. The 15 different models in the pictures are people who have moved to the UK from overseas and have made a positive contribution, from saving lives to getting people to work on time.
The posters are being displayed at 550 railway stations around the UK and at 400 London Underground stations by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) – which the Movement Against Xenophobia is part of.
It said they aimed to promote the message that immigrants play a vital role in the UK’s economy and culture, and help to improve the standard of public services. The body says that Britain has accepted immigrants and refugees for generations but this is not being recognised or discussed by politicians ahead of the election.
The JCWI turned to the public to help to raise the money needed for the poster campaign.
The JCWI’s Habib Rahman said: "The extraordinary support we have received from ordinary people shows how fed up many are with the hostility and scape-goating experienced by immigrants.
"Thousands are saying they reject intolerance and want to celebrate our diverse and inclusive society."
The campaign and the demonstration of public support comes at a time when immigration to the UK is a key pre-election issue. The main political parties have pledged to look at further limiting the number of overseas migrants permitted into the UK if they are successful in the polls.