Leeds GATE

Working to improve the quality of life for Gypsies and Travellers

0113 240 2444

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

E-learning helps explain Gypsy and Traveller culture to public services

Helen Jones's picture
By Helen Jones |  October 21, 2012 |

There are a number of  community led groups, including Leeds GATE, who provide tailored or ‘off the peg’ training sessions to service providers wanting to round out skills and knowledge.  Experienced trainers from the Gypsy and Traveller communities can help with understanding history and culture, with talking through real life issues and scenarios, and describing the lived experience of our families. We know that professionals get a lot of benefit from interacting directly with our community trainers.

Kim, Kizzy and Eileen: Leeds GATEHowever money is tight in public services.  Professional teams wanting to update their skills or knowledge are finding budgets for training, conferences and networking have been slashed. Despite this, the introduction of the Equality Act 2010 reminds us of the need to ensure that we are working appropriately with all members of the public who want or need our services. E-learning is rapidly becoming established as a simple, inexpensive and effective method of providing staff with base-line knowledge and understanding. Leeds GATE have worked with the Housing e-Academy group at Virtual College to produce a useful package for housing and other frontline service providers. 

“The housing sector prides itself on being professional and so it is important we are not using out-dated stereotypes which fail to grasp the big picture and to ensure we are fully aware of the issues facing these communities.”said Chloe Weatherhead, Head of The Housing e-Academy, part of Virtual College with over 600,000 learners.

It is with this in mind that The Housing e-Academy has worked in conjunction with Leeds GATE to develop a new e-learning course to objectively outline the past, current and present issues faced by Gypsies and Irish Travellers in the UK. It examines how negative situations for this community can be challenged and looks to the future to reduce prejudice and discrimination.

“Prejudice against Gypsy and Traveller communities continues to run deep,” said Chloe. “Housing professionals should ensure they are leaders in breaking down barriers and helping to erase this prejudice.”

Understanding Gypsy & Irish Traveller Identity in Society was published in October 2011, (download here). For more information contact a member of the team on 01943 885085 or email info@housingea.co.uk.

Previous article: "Irish Traveller Movement in Britain Mental Health DVD ‘Tell Someone’"

Next article: "Goodbye to Aunt Ada - An obituary from Peter Saunders"