33 Gypsy and Traveller young people gathered in Llandrindod Wells on the 27th March to take part in the 6th annual Travelling Ahead National Forum.
The day was jam-packed with activities, with the young people beginning the session with a circus skills workshop and ice breakers. Once everyone was suitably warmed up and had introduced themselves to each other, each group broke off to create their very own poster for the Wall of Achievement.
Each group were asked to bring along an object they could place onto their poster boards to represent the successes they’d had over the previous year. The posters were fantastic, and everyone got stuck in, creating very colourful displays which really showed off all the hard work that the groups had put in over the past year.
There were plenty of other activities on offer; with a 'Tell Your Own Stories' digital media workshop aimed at empowering the young people to film and photography the day for themselves, Positive Images of Young Peopel in the Media' workshop run by the team from the Children’s Commissioner’s Office for Wales, as well as further circus skills workshops.
Regional Forums Planning
The groups also came together to begin planning the possibility of regional groups meeting on a more regular basis. Some of the feedback included the idea of holding meetings 3 times a year, inviting guests such as the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, learning more about children’s rights and discrimination, as well as inviting council members and decision makers from their local areas. The groups also came up with fun things to do like swimming, going to the cinema, spa days and outdoor activities.
From the planning notes created by the groups, further developments will be made to set up the regional forums.
The feedback from the young people has been really positive. Some of the things they young people said were;
“ circus was the best” “meeting new people” enjoyed making memories” “fun” and “interesting” “enjoyable” and “happy”
The day was certainly busy, and everyone went away feeling they had learnt and achieved something. Filming of the day was undertaken by both the young people and staff members from Traveller’s Times, so stay subscribed to see the full film of the day soon!
A massive thank you to everyone who came along; to the workers, the staff from Swansea YMCA, staff of The Pavilion, Tom Tom Hendry from SEWREC and most of all, thank you to all of the young people who made the day so incredible!
A film has been made of the 2013 National Forum meeting. You can view it HERE.
To find out more about the National Forum, or the Travelling Ahead project, please contact Trudy Aspinwall, Programme Officer, on T.Aspinwall@savethechildren.org.uk or phone 02920 803 267