Telling & Sharing Our Histories: A Gypsy Roma & Traveller community project

Telling & Sharing Our Histories: A Gypsy Roma & Traveller community project has secured funding of £48,922 from the Skills Funding Agency as part of the new Community Learning Innovation Fund, to bring together the Gypsy Roma and Traveller families of Kensington and Chelsea and West  London to create, produce and maintain a living archive of Traveller history through film, audio, exhibition, website and book. It will be central to the borough’s Gypsy Roma and Traveller History Month, annually held in June.
A residential programme of creativity, digital literacy and authentic history will bring the community together to actively shape the project from the start.

The Community Learning Innovation Fund, from the Skills Funding Agency and managed by NIACE, will contribute to the Government’s objectives for community learning. The Fund will deliver new and creative learning opportunities, particularly for disadvantaged people to support social and economic well-being, digital inclusion and stronger families and communities.

 This initiative seeks to strengthen the active citizenship and community participation of Gypsies Roma and Travellers in Kensington and Chelsea and enable the skills to create a Traveller archive documenting an authentic history stretching back to the 1800s in the Borough.  The archive will be hosted by the Library Service and form the cornerstone of Gypsy Roma and Traveller History Month activity and celebration, held in June each year.  

The primary aims are:
• Adult members of the Gypsy Roma and Traveller community learning together with their children/young people to have improved digital literacy skills gained through a residential programme of creative learning and through training in the Borough.
• Participants develop a Traveller archive through film, audio, exhibition and book
• Parents/Carers and young people to deliver a programme of activity for GRTHM 2013.

 The project is designed to widen participation of one of the most disadvantaged and least likely communities to participate in learning – Gypsies, Travellers and Roma.  Bringing the community together around a programme of training, creativity and authentic history; to draw out and celebrate personal and community experience and stories.  In so doing, affirm self-respect and identities, grow participants’ confidence and self-expression and strengthen the Gypsy Roma and Traveller community voice and action in their history month. 

 Verity Hancock, Skills Funding Agency Executive Director, Capacity and Infrastructure, said, “The response to the new Community Learning Innovation Fund has been phenomenal and the Skills Funding Agency is pleased to be able to support these innovative projects that meet the needs of local people.  By making it easier for disadvantaged people to learn new skills and access training and support, they gain new opportunities to improve their lives, building stronger families and communities in the process.”

 Carol Taylor, Deputy Chief Executive of NIACE, added:

 “NIACE is proud to have the role of supporting the Skills Funding Agency in managing the Community Learning Innovation Fund. The response has been staggering – we received over 2200 bids. Deciding which of the projects should receive funding has been incredibly tough, however this means that the very best projects will be starting work soon and transforming the lives of local people and local communities.”

The project is launching with an Introductory Evening on Thursday, 4th October 5-8pm at the Harrow Club (For Directions see link Harrow Club)
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  • Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month

    GRTHM started in Brent in 2001. With endorsement from Parliament in 2007 GRTHM went national in 2008 and is now celebrated throughout the UK each June.

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