Frequently Asked Questions
Q. I am a journalist, researcher, film maker, student or photographer and I am interested in information about or contact with Gypsy and Travellers for a project I am working on. Can you provide me with information and or put me in contact with a Gypsy and Traveller family?
A.If you would like information on or contact with Gypsies and Travellers we would like a written description of your project and its purpose which you can email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Most agencies welcome positive interest but are very stretched in terms of time and resources to facilitate contact, which may lead to us being unable to adequately respond to requests of this nature. When requesting contact, please be clear about what the benefits might be for Gypsies and Travellers, in talking to you. You may also find the information you require on our news and media pages
A. We welcome volunteers. If you are interested please email email@example.com explaining your interest and be available for an interview. We cannot always use a potential volunteer because of lack of staff resources to manage a volunteer or because we do not have a need that matches your particular skills.
A. Many Gypsies and Travellers live on council sites where they pay rent and council taxes, however, because of the shortage of pitches - a recent needs assessment report states that London needs between 150 and 550 new pitches in the next 5 years - the majority live in houses, which is usually not by choice, or have to stop on road side camps because of the lack of official sites. A few also live on privately owned sites.
A. Various agencies in London use a rough estimate of 30,000 Gypsies and Travellers in London. However, accurate base data on population figures are in general hard to come by, because data is not routinely collected through local authority or PCT ethnic minority procedures nor is there a discreet category in the National Census. The only national source of statistics is the bi-annual caravan count which does not count people, and does not include the Gypsy and Traveller population in houses. The latter is a particularly significant gap in London figures. The failure to collect accurate data about Gypsies and Travellers both illustrates and increases the marginalisation experienced by these groups.
Accurate knowledge regarding numbers leads to further marginalisation of Gypsies and Travellers because knowing how many and what there needs are in the long term is difficult to assess.
A. It is difficult for Gypsies and Travellers to travel now because of the lack of sites and because of draconian eviction powers relating to traditional stopping places. Their cultures have developed through a nomadic way of life over centuries and some still travel in the summer and have travelled in the recent past. In addition, any current travelling continues to be for work, to visit family and having nowhere else to go. Many Gypsies and Travellers in the UK are either brought up on sites, whether official, private or unauthorised, and all have relatives living on such sites and continue to travel and live like this. Gypsies and Travellers are long established ethnic groups in Britain. Their histories and traditions stretch back many hundreds of years. Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers are recognised as ethnic groups under the Race Relations Act 1976.
A. Prejudice and discrimination affects Gypsies and Travellers access to services, jobs and accommodation. Overt expression of prejudice against Gypsies and Travellers is still widely accepted and continues to contribute towards their marginalisation and sense of alienation. The negative coverage of Gypsy and Traveller issues in some media both illustrates and compounds this prejudice.
- Contact Us
- To increase opportunities open to Gypsies and Travellers living on sites, on camps, or in housing in North and East London Boroughs, through community development, advice, advocacy, training and youth services.
- To ensure that Borough policies include Travellers and Gypsies in their policies and the Travellers and Gypsies have services appropriate to their needs.