Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month 2009
NATT+ and GRTHM
Building upon the successful template that was piloted last year NATT+ representatives discussed proposals with members of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) communities and schools in their areas which were involved in last year's programme and sought to further develop the events of last year.
The communities benefited from consultation with NATT+ in the evaluation of last year and were fully involved in the preliminary discussions, planning of events and the roll out of the programme in their local areas for 2009.
Following assessment following feedback and reviews this model will be repeated in 2010.
Throughout the month of June many people from all walks of life came together for the second annual Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month (GRTHM) to celebrate the history, culture and rich heritage of all Travellers.
Events took place throughout England and Wales, in public and in schools. For more details see the official GRTHM website. Further reviews and reports will be posted on that site in due course. Just a few of the successful events that happened in June 2009 are highlighted below.
In the West Midlands
Gypsies: Who are ya!
A major day of celebration of of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller arts and culture was held at the Worcestershire County Museum at Hartlebury Castle at the end of June. As well as stalls with traditional activities like basket weaving and hair braiding, a number of performers were on hand to entertain the crowds.
The museum has one of the largest collections of traditional Gypsy wagons in the UK.
After successful events two years in a row this event is set to become an annual event during Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month.
Norfolk Traveller Education Service – NCC Children’s Service
Creating a garden to bloom in June at "The Splashes" Traveller Site in Swaffham
GRTHM provides an opportunity for the Service to promote learning and community cohesion by supporting the community to share and discover history and heritage through educational activities.
Below are just some of the activities that have taken place this June in Norfolk.
Traveller Education staff, parents and the Site Warden worked together to support the School children living on The Splashes Traveller Site in Swaffham to create a garden on their site to bloom in June!
Granny Draper brought her vintage Buccaneer trailer to St Peter’s Primary School, Easton for the children to learn about travelling in the past. GRT History Month medals were awarded to children for excellent work.
A local Traveller leant her cooking pot and kettle to the children and staff at Emneth Children’s Centre who built a fire outside to try out some cooking.
The Mobile Library Service visits Gapton Traveller site fortnightly so children from the site visited Gorleston Library to look around and have a storytelling session.
Cultural Day in Essex
The Essex Traveller Education Service working in partnership with Essex Record Office and Essex Cultural Diversity Project held an event at the Record Office on 29th June.
Aiming to raise awareness of GRT communities and celebrate their culture and history, the event included; displays arts/crafts, poetry, step dancing, accordion music and a viewing of the film Gypsy Caravan. The lecture theatre and adjoining room were generously made available for the day and there were many displays showing aspects of culture and history on show. The glass cabinets housed a range of model vardos and documents from the archive.
A morning session for Key Stage 2 pupils from four local schools included designing plates based on traditional designs, making a model wagon and a quiz.
The afternoon had a drop in session for local Travellers and Gypsies. It was an opportunity to share and record their own stories, with examples of impromptu step dancing and singing. The Children’s Trust were also interviewed pupils and parents for the Children and Young People’s Plan.
In the evening Bernadette Riley read her poem expressing her feelings following a public hearing and Leo and Eagle gave a performance of step dancing and unaccompanied singing. This was followed by a showing of the film ‘Gypsy Caravan: When the Road Bends’.
Read more on the GRTHM website