Online event celebrates our history

July 7, 2020

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month celebrations took a new format this year, with London Gypsies and Travellers, the Greater London Authority and other organisations staging a spectacular online event showcasing the community’s contribution and culture, but suited to COVID times.

Debbie Weekes-Bernard, London’s Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, attended the event and spoke about the importance of celebrating the month and working with the community on inclusive plans for post-COVID recovery. In a special message on Twitter, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the week was a good opportunity to highlight the huge contribution of the Gypsy, Romany and Traveller communities to London and the UK, especially during the pandemic.

“To the key workers, volunteers and teachers from these communities who work tirelessly to support Londoners, thank you,” he said.

This is the third year that London Gypsies and Travellers has helped organise Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month activities. There were contributions from performers, community organisations and academics, including music collective Ando Glaso, the Roma Support Group, Traveller Pride, Chelsea McDonagh, The Traveller Movement, Dr Dea Birkett, Circus 250, the National Fairground and Circus Archive, Faith i Branko and the Newham Bridging Sounds Orchestra.

The compere of the event Tyler Hatwell, a Showman who runs Traveller Pride, said that Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month was an important event because it shone a light on a community whose contribution to society and culture is rarely talked about.

To mark the month, London Gypsies and Travellers has also posted a series of videos on their YouTube Channel collecting stories, memories and photos from Gypsy and Traveller families.

Pictured: Newham’s Bridging Sounds Orchestra Virtual perform Romany music online at the conclusion of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month event

More news

Police Act violates Gypsy Traveller rights, court rules

May 15, 2024

The High Court of Justice has ruled that sections of the Police Act 2022 – which allowed police to seize caravans and ban Gypsies and Travellers from an area for 12 months – are discriminatory and a violation of human rights. The landmark ruling has been hailed as “hugely significant” by the lawyers bringing the …

LGT’s impact marked in report and new film

February 12, 2024

LGT’s achievements over 25 years as an independent charity are marked in its 2023 Annual Report and a new film charting the organisation’s history and impact. “Throughout this time, LGT has consistently fought for equality and against discrimination, and been dedicated to keeping Gypsies and Travellers included in the decisions that affect them,” writes Helena …

Should we have a day to celebrate Irish Travellers?

November 30, 2023

Travellers and their organisations in Ireland and the UK have met to discuss plans to create an international day to celebrate the rich heritage and culture of Irish Travellers. “We are proposing an annual opportunity to raise awareness of the rich cultural traditions and heritage of our people,” said Mena Mongan of London Gypsies and …