Working with Gypsy and Traveller families Cultural Awareness Day


1 November

Conference Aston, Birmingham


November 1, 2017 - 10:00 am


November 1, 2017 - 3:45 pm


Conference Aston Meeting Suites, Aston Triangle, Birmingham, B4 7ET   View map

Leeds gate gypsy and traveller exchange

Purpose of the day

To enable practitioners and service managers to work more effectively with English Gypsies and Irish Travellers by gaining a better understanding of their cultures, and developing better ways of communicating and working.

Please note: this training does not relate to East European Roma.

Gypsies and Travellers are generally classified as ‘hard to reach.’ Many service providers do not feel adequately prepared to work with Gypsy and Traveller families, although their services are often desperately needed.

Among Gypsies and Travellers, there is considerable distrust of statutory services which is one reason why they may be reluctant to engage. Difficulties are heightened by factors such as poor literacy and the need of some families to move around.

On a personal level, an understanding of Gypsy and Traveller culture can transform the relationship between a service provider and service user. More than that, it can assist the service provider to find better ways of reaching into those communities, and to maintain relationships once begun.

Cultural awareness can be shared with other team members and across other services.

Participants will receive an information pack and  a copy of Leeds GATE’s Toolkit.


What will the Cultural Awareness Day cover?

The sessions will allow for plenty of participant input, and the Leeds GATE trainers, one of whom will be from a local Gypsy or Traveller community, will be happy to chat with delegates informally during breaks. They will also offer an opportunity to address cases and problems from participants’ workplaces.

The trainers will set out:

  • a brief history of English Gypsies and Irish Travellers, and explain various cultural practices (for example, relating to cleanliness, birth and death)
  • Gypsy and Traveller families in the modern world – how do families go about their daily life? What is expected of men and women?
  • What are the key issues facing Gypsies and Travellers? How can practitioners’ concerns be addressed (for example, good practice when working away from the workplace)? How can community concerns be addressed?
  • Options for building and keeping contacts in Gypsy and Traveller communities, including practice examples and the Leeds GATE Toolkit.

Finally, the trainers will focus on questions from participants relating to issues in their own workplaces, which can be submitted anonymously in writing during the morning, or in the session.

Detailed Programme (subject to change)


9.30 – 10.00 Registration, coffee and question cards

10.00 – 10.05 Welcome and introductions

10.05 – 11.05 History and culture

  • Different travelling communities
  • History…and modern day
  • Cultural practices, traditions, myths and truths, and religious beliefs

11.05 – 11.30 Coffee

11.30 – 12.45 Gypsy and Traveller families in the modern world

  • My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding…or not?
  • Attitudes to marriage, gender roles and equality issues
  • Expectations of young people: behaviour, education and relationships
  • Tackling stereotypes (from settled and travelling communities)
  • Gypsy & Traveller policy on the national stage

12.45 – 1.35 Lunch

1.35 – 2.45 Working with Gypsies and Travellers

  • Key issues affecting Gypsies and Travellers
  • Addressing the concerns of front line workers
  • Addressing the concerns of Gypsies and Travellers
  • Routes into communities – with examples of Leeds GATE toolkit

2.45 – 3.00 Quick break (with refreshments)

3.00 – 3.45 Practice issues and dilemmas

  • Round table discussions based on practice issues submitted by delegates

3.45 Close of day

About Leeds Gypsy and Traveller Exchange

  • a community members’ association for Gypsies and Travellers who live in, or resort to, Leeds. Its management committee, the majority of which are Leeds based Gypsies and Travellers, work in partnership with professional staff


  • Leeds GATE works with statutory services to offer health and social services, advocacy and housing advice, youth inclusion opportunities and capacity building to Gypsies and Travellers in the area


  • Leeds GATE is a leading national Gypsy and Traveller agency, active in national as well as local policy initiatives:
    • In partnership with Friends and Families of Travellers, Leeds GATE has recently completed a three year National Gypsy and Traveller Health Inclusion Project funded by the Department of Health.
    • In 2011 Leeds GATE published a Toolkit for practitioners funded by the Department of Health.
    • Leeds GATE has also been one of the few organisations to tackle domestic abuse in Gypsy and Traveller communities, and published One Punch Kills in 2006, a report on research and support for victims undertaken by Kathleen Lowther Morrison

Professionals working in all services including social services, health, education, criminal justice, housing, youth and employment

The delegate fee is £130 + VAT

The *Team 5 Deal offers 5 places for £495 + VAT

The delegate fee includes an information pack, copy of Leeds GATE’s Toolkit, lunch and refreshments.

Booking Terms and Conditions

Cancellations received up to and including 18th October 2017 will be refunded in full less an administration fee of 25%. Cancellations received after this date will be liable for payment in full.  Team deals are non-cancellable, but substitute delegates will be accepted.

The full invoice amount will remain payable if you fail to attend the event, however, substitute delegates will be accepted up until, and including, the day of the event.



Confirmation of booking:

Your booking will be confirmed by email where possible (and by fax or post otherwise), and you will be provided with directions to the venue and details on nearby hotel accommodation. If you do not receive such acknowledgement, please contact Central Conference Consultants Ltd on 0115 916 3104.

The training will take place in Birmingham City Centre:

Conference Aston Meeting Suites

Aston University,

The Aston Triangle,


B4 7ET

Venue telephone – 0121 204 4300

New Street, Snow Hill and Moor Street train stations are all within 20 minutes walk of the venue or a 5 minute taxi journey.

Car parking and direction information

Follow this link for a downloadable map, directions and car park information:

There are pay and display car parks on-site but spaces must be booked in advance – follow the link above to do this.


 There is a hotel on-site in the Aston Business School

Follow this link for costs, details of rooms and booking information: