The Roma of Newport, South Wales

National Lottery Heritage Fund supports a ground-breaking oral history project with the Roma of Newport, South Wales

The Romani Cultural & Arts Company is pleased to announce that it has received a grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund of £99,986 for a two-year project to capture the vibrant and dynamic stories and heritage of the Roma community in Newport, South Wales.

Isaac Blake; Director of The Romani Cultural & Arts Company explained how the project had come about and why the organisation was best placed to help:

“As a Romani Gypsy who has lived on local authority sites, I know how isolated and marginalised the Roma community will be feeling. This project will help bring the Roma community out into the open for the world to see and hear and I am proud of it. This is an exciting project which will make a huge difference to the Roma and will benefit the wider community.” 

“100% of our staff and volunteers are Gypsy, Irish Traveller or Roma. The organisation is at the heart of the community – we understand and share the issues and concerns.  We have a strong understanding of the culture and traditions, rather than from theoretical learning. We are trusted by the community!”

The grant will support a Project Officer and a team of community champion volunteers to mobilise Roma participants who will share their rich histories and personal stories, charting the vibrant culture, traditions and heritage of this fascinating and hidden community.

This is a ground-breaking initiative that will enable the Roma of Newport to be heard and to grow in confidence so that they can better engage with the wider world.

Dr Aleksandar G. Marinov, says: “I am really pleased to learn of the awarding of this grant by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. In the current climate of uncertainty and crisis, we must be aware that marginalised communities are at risk of becoming even more marginalised and getting the short end of the stick. This is an important study that gives voice to the Roma community in Wales. It will be a welcomed addition to the body of research that the Romani Cultural and Arts Company has been developing on and for the community.”

Press coverage notably from: (AMAM Cymru)