Facebook icon Twitter icon Forward icon

Travelling Ahead: Advice and Advocacy Bulletin

Welcome to the first Travelling Ahead Advice and Advocacy Bulletin.

This is the first biannual update aimed at organisations providing advice, support and advocacy to children, young people and their families around Wales

In 2015 we carried out a short mapping excercise asking advocacy services about their provision for young Gypsies, Roma and Travellers. This was followed up by a meeting with the All Wales Advocacy Providers Network hosted by Children in Wales. In their feedback to us:

  • some organisations had some contact and experience of advocating for Gypsy, Roma or Traveller children
  • most felt that they would welcome more awareness raising and knowledge about specific issues and how to develop positive links
  • most wanted to increase their support to Gypsy, Roma and Traveller young people and their communities
  • almost everyone said they would welcome training

So! This bulletin intends to provide you and your organisation with information and links that you can use to improve and strengthen your advice and advocacy services to Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children and their families around Wales

We'll be keeping you informed on news, events  and what the project is up to as well as opportunities for you to work with us AND we'll aim to keep you updated on some key documents, policy and legislation that you might need to know about if you are supporting the voices and rights of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children in Wales.

About Travelling Ahead............

Travelling Ahead works to support the rights and participation of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children and young people  - we run regional forums and projects which provide opportunites to learn  about rights and to have a say about decisions and plans that affect young people as individuals and their families and communities.

Travelling Ahead works across Wales, working in partnership with a number of organisations that enable us to link with young people in their local communities -  whilst we will undertake advocacy work where there is no local suppport our longer term aim is to make sure that existing services are building postive relationships with the young people we work with so that they can access exisiting advocacy and advice services where they live

Travelling Ahead has a Youth Advisory Group who help plan the project's activities and act as advocates and role models, they have begun helping run training and awarenss raising sessions and speaking out about issues that matter to them. You can see the film they made with Travellers Times by clicking here

Regional Forums... a good place to build links

Travelling Ahead runs a regional forum in three areas across Wales - these events are planned by young people and are opportunities for young people to meet each other, have some fun and work on issues that matter to them - they are open to young people aged 11+ from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller families. We aim to invite decision makers along so that they can talk to young people about up and coming consultations and get views on the work they do eg the police, equality bodies, health and education services..........

If you would like to come along and hold a stall to publicise your advocacy service to young people then get in touch and we'll check with our young people's planning groups.

Our next events are:

  • North Wales 6 May
  • South West Wales 11th May
  • South East Wales 13th May

and we'll be holding more in the autumn

FREE Training - SIGN UP!

Young people running PEER training

During 2016 we will be offering some FREE training sessions to Advocacy and Advice Services who want to improve their services to Gypsy, Roma and Traveller young people  - these will run in the north, south and west of Wales and will be designed and co-delivered by young people. If you would like to put your name or organisation on the list or would like to know more please get in touch with us by clicking here

Policy and issues update

Ricky price one of the Youth Advisory Group with Sally Holland Children's Commissioner

On the side colums of this bulletin you will see links to a variety of documents that set out some of the main policy guidance for working with Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children and their families in schools, in health and the Welsh Government's over-arching strategy Travelling to a Better Future and its updates that all professionals should be aware of.

Young people at Travelling Ahead worked with the Children's Comissioner for Wales' team to produce the Guide to Tackling Negative Media  - you can see the short film by clicking here and download the media guide from the Childrens Commissioner's site here

Did you know that the Housing Act ( Wales) 2014 has re-instated the duty on councils to assess AND provide for the culturally apropriate housing needs of Gypsies and Travellers - all councils have had to submit their assesments to the Welsh Government by the end of February and make plans to address this need - we'll be working this year to make sure that young people's views are fed into planning for new sites and for improving existing ones - focussing on Article 31 the Right to Play - see the side panel for our Guide produced with Play Wales

Councils also have new guidance ( see left) on how they manage 'unauthorised encampments' - thats when Gypsies or Travellers park up in a place where they dont have permission - the new guidance sets out a checklist to make sure that elderly or vulnerable family members and children's welfare, health and education needs are taken into account and wherever possible a negotiated stay should be looked at. Do you know who your local Gypsy and Traveller Council Liason Officer is who would deal with this? If not give us a call and we will tell you - you never know when a child or young person may need an ADVOCATE!!!

News from other organisations

The Traveller Movement have released a report looking at the high level of exclusions of Gypsy and Traveller pupils from schools in England  - you can read it by clicking here. Travelling Ahead are working with the Traveller Movement to ensure that any young Gypsy, Roma or Traveller in England or Wales who is experiencing a problem with their education will have advocacy support to make sure they acess their entitlements  - for more info get in touch with us

Dr Dan Allen, lecturer in Social Work at has written widely and campaigns about the  experience of Gypsy and Traveller children in the care system - you can have a look at his research by clicking here   and here for a more recent article.  We'd like to see some similar research done in Wales - if you have any thoughts on this - get in touch with us here