The Founder – Adrian Murrell


11169779_10205406735121273_3199331222057594751_oI was born in Preston, my mother and father having moved here from Montserrat and Barbados respectively. My first 11 years of life were spent in the UK and I then had the privilege of living in Montserrat from 19 75 until 1977.Whilst the island was a beautiful place to live, the schooling came as quite a culture shock; teachers, and parents being much stricter in the Caribbean! On my return to Preston I attended William Temple high school and later W.R.Tuson College where I developed a passion for sport, in particularly cricket. I played cricket for all three Preston based West Indian cricket teams Jalgos, Caribbean Club and Caricom. I also developed a love of boxing and view Muhammad Ali an inspirational sportsman.

I started working in the African/ Caribbean community in 1983 and quickly identified a need for a community centre; hence ‘The Unity Centre’ was born. A large part of my work consisted of looking at issues that directly affected black people and their families, unemployment, further education, police relations, racial discrimination, and sex education to name but a few. After moving to work with the Lancashire Youth Service, my passion for sport led me to create a football team and a cricket team. Also with the help of Paul Burke, former Commonwealth boxing champion, I developed ‘Boxercise’, a combined boxing and exercise group. This work was carried out with the aim of helping and developing young, black people in poorer areas of Preston.

I’ve also benefitted from working closely with Barnados and The Salvation Army. The skills and knowledge I earned enabled me to start the Big Brother Project, mentoring black and mixed race young men with no father figure. My knowledge, experience and talents are now used in delivering race awareness courses to organisations, such as the police and voluntary services, but of course my main focus is now to develop Windrush Initiates to become the heart of our diverse, multi-heritage community.