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Hello and Welcome!

Welcome to the January edition of the Friends, Families and Travellers Newsletter.

The past month has been a whirlwind of activity in our offices and our newsletter will give you insights into some of the work we have been involved in this last month. We couldn't do what we do without your support and want to say thank you!

Warmest wishes,

Friends, Families and Travellers
Highlights from our work this month
In addition to our core advice and health improvement work, this month we:
  • wrote to the United Nations to highlight the devastating impacts that the chronic shortage of sites has on Gypsy and Traveller families. Find out more.
  • launched an Advice for Advisors portal for organisations and advocates supporting members of Gypsy and Traveller communities. Find out more.
  • shared Gypsy and Traveller experiences of care with senior figures across the health and social care system at the Equality and Diversity Council at NHS England.
Update from the Secretariat to the APPG for Gypsies, Travellers and Roma
It's been a busy month so far! Since our last newsletter the APPG have asked a number of parliamentary questions on:
  • how the Department of Health and Social Care intends to tackle health inequalities experienced by members of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.
  • what actions will be taken to ensure that schools improve the educational outcomes of Gypsies, Roma and Travellers.
  • the number of new Traveller sites being built using available government funding.
  • why the Department of Education has not met its deadline to release the review report on school exclusions.
If you would like to find out more about the APPG's members, activities and how to get involved, visit the APPG minisite.

Friends Families and Travellers are Secretariat to the APPG for Gypsies, Travellers and Roma.
European Parliament: James Carver MEP speaks about the Government's failure to produce a U.K. National Roma Integration Strategy. Watch here.

Roma Support Group: Hear the real life stories of hurdles members of Roma communities are facing registering for settled status post-Brexit. Read Stan's story.

Women and Equalities Committee: Watch video of final evidence session where government Ministers were asked 'Is the government doing enough for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people?'. Find the video here.

Crystal's Vardo: Suzanna and Shannon were on BBC Radio Sussex yesterday talking about racism faced by Gypsies and Travellers and how theatre can change minds. Tune in from 39 minutes here.

Left Foot Forward: 'An open letter to Davos: Inequality is a matter of choice' - a letter co-signed by Sarah Mann, Director of Friends, Families and Travellers. View the letter.

BBC: 'Roma choir sings for Belfast schools to 'bridge the divide'. Find out more.

On the Road: Two new episodes up! Hear stories about Gypsy and Traveller experiences of the education and criminal justice systems. Listen here.

The Huffington Post: 'Scrapping The Settled Status Fee For EU Citizens Is Positive, But Not Enough'. Read the article.

Scotland's Census 2021, Question Testing Survey: To feedback the importance of including 'Roma' as a question in the 2021 Census, complete this survey. Find survey here.

Upscaling Roma Platform, Finland: Contribute to an incredible film making project bringing together Roma youth in Europe by sending a video from your youth project to Finland. Email Katja for more details.

Roma Nation Mandate: For your chance to register as a voter for the electronic elections connected to the Jubilee Roma Congress [2021] contact Georgia
Friends, Families and Travellers: 'Will the NHS Long Term Plan improve the lives of Gypsy, Roma and Travellers?' Read our response to the Long Term Plan.

Avril Fuller and Sarah Sweeney (FFT): 'Care Committed To Me'. Listen to Sarah and Avril's contribution in an NHS England webinar looking at improved end of life care for Gypsy and Traveller communities. Watch the webinar.

Victoria Stallwood (FFT): Submission to the Convention on the
Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women. Read here.

Michelle Gavin (FFT): National Maternity Review Engagement and Outreach work with Gypsies and Travellers: Focus Group for NHS England. (Recorded in 2015 but released this week). Find out more.
As members of the VCSE HWAlliance, amongst lots of other things, this month we have been:
  • working with partners to identify how we can most usefully support commitments within the Long Term Plan to tackle health inequalities.
  • drafting guidance for the Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health and local guidance for Suicide Prevention within Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.
Get involved:
  • Sign up to the DHSC Voluntary and Community Sector Newsletter. Use this link.
  • Join the conversation on Twitter using the #HWAlliance hashtag.
We want to work with you! If you want to hear more about the HWAlliance or to get involved, please contact
APPG recruiting youth members
The All Party Parliamentary Group for Gypsies Travellers and Roma are looking for young Gypsies, Roma and Travellers who want to speak to politicians about their future!

If you know a 14-18 year old who would like the chance to go to London and speak to an MP about the change that they want to see, the APPG want to hear from them!

Please ask them to complete this survey.
Work, Education and Training
Kings College London: Year 12 students from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities are able to apply for the KCL Sutton Trust Summer School and receive support preparing for University. Find out more.

South East Integration Network: The Roma Empowerment Welfare and Legal Advice Project are looking for 2 Welfare Rights Officers. Deadline for applications is Tuesday 5th February 2019. Find out more.

British Veterinary Ethnicity & Diversity Society (BVEDS): BVEDS are looking for Gypsies or Travellers in veterinary professions, to challenge racism and educate the next generation of students. Contact them via Twitter.
VCSE Health and Wellbeing Alliance: 'Mental Health and Prevention, Liverpool' event on 4th February. Discuss the voluntary sector's role in mental health prevention to reduce health inequalities. Book your place.

Rhodes Healthcare Forum: On 9th Feb in Oxford, Sarah Sweeney (FFT) and Nathalie Bennett will talk about how to improve health outcomes for Gypsy and Traveller communities. Book your place.

CHANGE: Grassroots Health Inclusion Day in London on 11th February. Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community members are invited to discuss ways that the NHS could be more accessible. Email CHANGE for more info.
Clockwise from Top Left: Lord Bourne visits the FFT office to discuss our Royal Society of Public Health training and the stubborn health and educational inequalities faced by Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities; FFT staff join to watch the Women and Equalities Committee session; Sarah Sweeney speaks at the Equality and Diversity Council sharing initial findings of our research on Gypsy and Traveller experiences of primary care; Crystal's Vardo performs at the Ovalhouse Theatre, London.

Thank you for your continued support!
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