On 5th July 2016 we launched our Planning for the accommodation needs of Gypsies and Travellers in London report which highlights our experiences in working on planning policy issues over the last 4 years. The report presents the challenges facing Gypsy and Traveller site provision in London and gives examples of best practice as well as recommendations for policy makers at local, London-wide and national level.
The launch of the report was part of a seminar hosted at Resource for London, attended by local authority planning officers and councillors, members of the Gypsy and Traveller community and support organisations, academics and other professionals. The seminar was chaired by Stephen Cottle, barrister at Garden Court Chambers and LGTU trustee. Our invited speakers were Richard Lee – Just Space, Rosemary Lloyd and Mike Young – Equality and Human Rights Commission and Ben Chastney – Leeds GATE.
The second part of the event focused on discussing the impacts of new planning policy and legislation changes on the Gypsy and Traveller community and a call for leadership from the Mayor of London on taking forward a number of inclusive policy recommendations. A full report of the conference will be published soon.
Based in Hackney, we are a vibrant, effective and efficient charity with a mission to support, empower and represent Gypsies and Travellers on all levels. We address the social exclusion of London's Gypsy and Traveller communities and challenge the discrimination they routinely experience by supporting Gypsies and Travellers living on sites and in houses, to have greater control over their lives, to increase their capacity to influence decisions that affect them and widen their opportunities. In partnership with the Traveller community, and in working with a range of trusted partners, we use our grass-roots knowledge and experience to contribute to the development of local, regional and national policy. Originally a project with Save the Children from 1981, we became a charity in our own right in 1998.
Our activities cover four broad themes
- Homes - We deliver a twice weekly accommodation advice service and campaign for culturally suitable homes through our community development and planning and policy work.
- Work - We create pathways into training, employment and support traditional trades through the delivery of our training programmes. This includes IT, literacy and practical skills for adults and vocational training for young people.
- Young Voices - Through our well established youth programme for young Travellers in north east London, we strive to create a safe place where young people believe in themselves and make informed choices
- Equality - We strengthen the voice of London's Gypsies and Travellers through our activist training and leadership programme in order to equip community representatives with the skills and confidence to represent their community, increase their understanding of policies and legislation, challenge discrimination and gain recognition. Learning to engage with mainstream media is key to challenging the negative stereotyping.
Our latest Annual Report 2015 describes another successful year for the London Gypsy and Traveller Unit where we continued to support, empower and represent Gypsies and Travellers at all levels.
Previous Annual Reports
Many thanks to our Current Funders
BBC Children in Need
Hackney Learning Trust (LB Hackney)
Irish Government Emigrant Support Programme
LB Tower Hamlets
Cabinet Office's Local Sustainability Fund
The Henry Smith Charity
Trust for London
Wakefield Tetley Trust