Leeds GATE

Working to improve the quality of life for Gypsies and Travellers

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Crown Point House,
167-169 Cross Green Lane,
Leeds LS9 0BD

Leeds GATE news

Dementia in Gypsy and Traveller communities

Helen Jones's picture
By Helen Jones |  September 7, 2015 |

Dr. Mary Tilki working with Leeds GATE
Dr. Mary Tilki is working with Leeds GATE raising awareness and understanding of dementia

By Dr Mary Tilki

Although dementia is generally understood as an older age-related condition, and, Gypsies and Travellers generally have a very low life expectancy, there is growing evidence of dementia in these communities.  Gypsies and Travellers (referred to here as Travellers for brevity) are known to experience extremely poor health. The nature of these illnesses such as cardio-vascular disease, depression and anxiety has the potential to increase the risk of dementia.  Social factors related to the living conditions and experience of travelling people add to these risks and make it more difficult for people with memory loss to cope with the condition.  Similarly these matters impact on the ability of family and community to cope, although their willingness to do so is strong.

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Next article: "Minister Brandon Lewis to force Gypsy/Traveller families to ‘travel permanently’"

Volunteering at Leeds GATE

Helen Jones's picture
By Helen Jones |  August 26, 2015 |

Ben and EltonIf you would like to know more about volunteering at Leeds GATE?  You can get in touch here.

We want to say a really big thank you to our outgoing volunteer Elton Muchemwa.  Elton has been with us since the start of the year supporting our front-line advocacy service a couple of days a week.  Not only did he provide a very useful extra pair of hands and some great knowledge, particularly about housing, but his approach to everything was fantastic.  Staff and members alike commented on how approachable and considerate Elton was throughout his time here.  We will miss the contribution he made each week and wish him all the best in his new role.

Previous article: "Minister Brandon Lewis to force Gypsy/Traveller families to ‘travel permanently’"

Next article: "Winners and losers in the English Planning system"

Getting things done – Self-advocacy and Gypsies & Travellers

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By Ben Chastney |  July 6, 2015 |

Self-advocacy and Gypsies and TravellersGATE helps people to help themselves.  That has always been one of our key values, though often easier to support in theory than apply in practice, particularly in relation to advocacy.  The temptation, or perhaps pressure, is to simply complete the task at hand.  Too often that means both advocate and member alike focus on completion of a single task, at the expense of building up longer term self-advocacy skills.  It is therefore so positive to see many examples recently that this is not always the case.

We have at GATE been seeing a number of instances of members doing things for themselves, with or without our prior support.

Previous article: "Negotiated Stopping wins accolade!"

Next article: "Cottingley Springs residents raise funds and get Muddy!"

What choice? Elected home education and Gypsy/Travellers

Helen Jones's picture
By Helen Jones |  June 11, 2015 |

Primary School children, including Traveller children, learning about Gypsy and Traveller cultures
Primary School children, including Traveller children, learning about Gypsy and Traveller cultures [Photo GRTAS].

Of the four objectives of Leeds GATE (homes, health, education/economic inclusion & citizenship/social inclusion) education is perhaps the hardest to feel that we are ‘getting a purchase’ on.  There are real concerns about whether Gypsy and Traveller young people are getting an education which will serve them well enough in their futures, and further related concerns about whether our safeguarding net is fit to catch them should they need it.

Previous article: "Tooth Hurty – time for the dentist"

Next article: "Keeping the Human Rights Act – We are all in this together"

Keeping the Human Rights Act – We are all in this together

Ben Chastney's picture
By Ben Chastney |  June 5, 2015 |

Human Rights imageAs promised during the recent election, the new Government are pushing ahead with proposals to replace the Human Rights Act.  In the Queen’s Speech last week this intention was formalised, so we can expect to see some concrete proposals over the coming year.  The concern for so many is not only that any proposed replacement ‘British bill of Rights’ unavoidably provides fewer safeguards in practice but the general attitude displayed towards vulnerable people and the likely tone of debate.

For Gypsies and Travellers, the Human Rights Act has in some cases been of clear and specific use.  Indeed some of our members have directly benefitted from it, appealing to key articles regarding a right to privacy of family life to prevent the Local Authority from evicting them unjustly.  The concern is not simply that such rights would long longer be available in future but that it is precisely such cases, misleadingly retold, will be used as a reason why the Act needs to go.

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Next article: "Best City must be strategic about inclusion"

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