We deliver a unique youth work programme through group work and training initiatives for young Gypsies and Travellers. We aim to help them develop a strong sense of self and cultural identity, while participating in a wide range of activities which provide them with skills, choice and direction for their lives ahead. Our aim is to provide a safe environment where young people can be inspired to fulfil their potential.
We run regular group work with boys and girls, providing a planned programme of activities that will widen their horizons in a friendly environment. The activities might include sports, outdoor education, creative arts, citizenship and environmental issues.
Our youth workers are there to listen, support, offer guidance and help with access to other services.
The work helps young people develop new skills and speak out about things that affect their lives. We encourage the young people to become involved in local youth parliament and participate in decision-making.
We also run a two week summer programme during the school holidays to give continuity to our term-time work and ensure that the young Gypsies and Travellers keep benefiting from our activities.
Many young Gypsies and Travellers reach adulthood with very few choices or opportunities to achieve their potential. Low levels of education are a major block, and we support all efforts to keep young Gypsies and Travellers at school or college.
But young men and women from these communities also need:
- skills they can use within their own community;
- engaging courses that don’t focus on their lower levels of literacy;
- training providers who understand something about their specific needs and cultural constraints.
So we provide age-appropriate training programmes of life and vocational skills to provide direction during the transition to adulthood.
Recent vocational work with young men and women aged 15-19 includes:
- six week vocational taster courses in fashion design
- supporting young people through City and Guilds examinations
- vocational courses in using metalworking machinery
- training programmes in landscape gardening
I have got more confident about hairdressing and would like to continue doing it. I surprised myself that I was able to be accepted into a college and fit in with everyone. I would like to go back to college and do another course.