Worcester plays host to Celebration of Gypsy Roma and Traveller History Month
Published by Barry for Rooftop Housing Group in Communities and also in Education, Housing
Ced Lewis with his handcarved two-third scale caravan
The Hive in Worcester is set to host this year’s celebration of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month. The free event, which takes places on Sunday 22 June, features static and audio displays along with ‘wander round’ spaces that include banners, children’s art activities, other visual presentation and an array of printed material.
The event celebrates the culture and history of Gypsies and Travellers in the county with the aim of promoting inclusion and education. It will also challenge negative stereotypes and misconceptions about the Gypsy and Traveller community, one of the largest ethnic minorities within Worcestershire. Among the exhibits will be Bita Rawni (which means 'Little Lady' in Romani). Bita Rawni is a two-third scale Gypsy caravan, built, carved and painted by a Hartlebury Museum volunteers Ced Lewis and Aaron "AJ" Bannister.
There will also be engaging storytellers and historians on hand to talk about their experiences of the way the Traveller communities have lived in the past, and also the way they live today. Visitors will also be able view ‘Grand Design’ model sites built by Rooftop Housing Group, and displays by the National Federation of Gypsy Liaison Groups.
The event is organised by the Worcestershire Gypsy Roma and Traveller Partnership (WGRTP) which aims to improve services and opportunities for the county’s Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities whether they live in permanent homes, mobile home or caravans. Representatives from the partner organisations will be present to chat to and provide context to the displays, exhibits and activities.
Tony Henderson, Gypsy and Traveller Project Manager at Rooftop Housing Group and chair of the partnership said: “Bringing together such a diverse mixture of ‘service providers’ and members of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community provides an environment that promotes greater understanding between communities It’s sure to be a interesting and fun day for everyone and with The Hive being in the city centre we're hoping for a great turnout.”
The current members of the WGRTP include:
- The Community Housing Group
- The Diocese of Worcester
- Rooftop Housing Group
- Vestia Community Trust
- West Mercia Police
- Wychavon District Council
- Worcestershire County Council