“Stories of Health and Wellness: Gypsy, Roma, Traveller Communities in Wales”

The Romani Cultural & Arts Company proudly invites you to the launch of our report for our “Stories of Health and Wellness: Gypsy, Roma, Traveller Communities in Wales” project. The event is taking place on 27th April 2017 at 10:00am at the Pierhead Seminar Room, Pierhead Building, National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff Bay, CF99 1NA. This prestigious launch is sponsored by Julie Morgan, AM and Vaughan Gething, AM and Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-Being and Sport.

The project is a partnership between the Romani Cultural and Arts Company and the NHS Centre for Equality and Human Rights, Public Health Wales. A team of trained Community Champions from the communities (Romani and Travellers) carried out over 100 interviews with young parents and older carers about their experiences of accessing health and wellness provision in Wales. Further details of the project can be found at http://www.equalityhumanrights.wales.nhs.uk/news/43626

Overall, we have gathered the experiences of many families and can testify to the difficulties they have had in accessing quality health and wellness services, as Romani and Traveller people. Some of these are related to the traditional lifestyle and culture that many Romani and Traveller people still follow in Wales. Some of the challenges that Romani and Traveller families face stem from prejudice and discrimination, when accessing health and wellness services and provision. We are aiming to change this with promoting better communication and knowledge, training and anti-bias work, in partnership with the NHS Centre for Equalities and Human Rights, the Welsh government and service providers.

From this project, we have produced a series of digital stories to share with the wider communities in Wales, through internet-based learning, and St Fagan’s Museum of Welsh Life, where these stories will join the “Tales From the Trailers” heritage exhibition and the Romani Waggon (vardo) that is part of the permanent exhibition that the museum has. The majority of stories will remain as a protected data set held by the RCAC, to respect the participants of the project.

During 2017, the NHS CEHR will use a number of the stories from the project, to produce an e-learning resource, aimed at improving delivery of services for health professionals and practitioners within NHS Wales.

This has been a ground-breaking, Romani and Traveller led and managed project, and we kindly invite you to join us for the launch of the final report.

Dr Adrian Marsh, Researcher in Romani Studies & Romani Early Years, said “We have been surprised by some of our findings in this project; the very high incidence of illiteracy amongst Welsh Gypsies and Travellers points to a failure by the Welsh education system to include children from these communities, to raise attainment and to deliver quality education outcomes at pre-school and primary levels for the past forty years… Romani and Traveller people need to read their prescriptions, health advice and registration forms for surgeries.”

Dr Thomas Acton, OBE, Professor Emeritus in Romani Studies, University of Greenwich, said “Adrian Marsh and the team of Community Champions and reporters who put together the data for this report, are to be commended for bringing the lived experience of Gypsies, Roma and Travellers to the printed page. We can all learn from it…”

Tracey Good and Voirrey Manson, Joint Interim Directors, NHS Wales Centre for Equality and Human Rights, said “We would like to thank the Romani and Traveller communities for sharing their personal stories, and the project team and Community Champions for their energy and time in making a success of this project and giving an authentic voice to the work.”

Please download the pdf here: (Stories of Health and Wellness Report)

Please click here to visit Romani Arts Flickr Album: www.flickr.com

Press coverage notably from (BBC, BBC NEWS, ISSA Conference 2016)