Gypsies, Travellers and Roma

Our work with the Travelling community is very important for us. They are the largest ethnic minority in Cambridgeshire and much discriminated against. As part of our Theory of Change model, we believe that we have a remit to include and support this protected cultural group in order to move toward a fairer society for all.

Read more about our different projects:

Traveller Advocacy
Engage – Creative Literacy and Art
Oral Histories Roma and Traveller Communities in Cambridgeshire

Traveller Advocacy

We offer an advocacy help support service with follow up case work. Main areas of work include welfare advice, family support, education, homes and healthcare. We facilitate engagement between the Traveller community and statutory providers of services to address barriers to education and other basic human rights. We liaise with FFT (Friends Families and Travellers, CIB (Citizens Advice Bureau), legal teams, NGTC (National Gypsy, Roma, Traveller Council) and others to support families with a wide range of issues and to address barriers to inclusion such as discrimination. The project was funded by Lush.

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Engage – Creative Literacy and Art

We offer Creative Literacy workshops for adults and teenagers. We also deliver mobile Art workshops in the winter months for teenagers and have provided culturally appropriate literature for Travellers in the local library where we work. We have enabled Traveller teenagers to provide exhibitions the local library as part of our work to educate the settled community. As part of our education work we are registered with ‘Education Otherwise’ and can provide some support for Traveller children whilst not in school. We liaise with local education providers to call for an end to bullying and discrimination and to offer advice about culturally appropriate  approaches to working effectively with Traveller families. This project is funded by Cambridge Community Foundation.

Oral Histories Roma and Traveller Communities in Cambridgeshire

The project Oral Histories: Roma & Traveller Communities in Cambridgeshire currently involves collecting, recording and sharing this aspect of English Gypsy, Traveller and Roma heritage. Focusing on Traveller fairs, which have existed for centuries, we are collecting stories about families, trading at the fairs, travelling between fairs and the nature of changing experiences. We are collecting oral histories, artefacts, photographs and video material. With our Heritage Lottery Fund partners, the Museum of Cambridge, we are especially interested in the Midsummer Fair in Cambridge. We are training some young Travellers to collect oral histories from family members.

The stories will be shared on the Capturing Cambridge website at the Museum of Cambridge and online at http://www.archive.org. This will allow the material to be accessible and interpreted by a wide audience, with a view to informing and educating as many people as possible about the rich cultural heritage of English Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities in changing times. We have an ongoing collection of video and other material gathered over several years and this is being catalogued and archived as part of the project. The project is funded by the Heritage Lottery and the project leader is Elmira Zadissa, elmira(at)obliquearts(dot)co(dot)uk.