A History of Leeds GATE
Leeds Gypsy and Traveller Exchange (Leeds GATE) was started by Gypsy and Irish Traveller people working with colleagues and friends from other communities who want to improve quality of life for our families and communities. To this day, in line with our governing document, the majority of the members of our Executive Board are from the Gypsy and Irish Traveller communities.
From 2004 up to 2008, Leeds GATE was a simple registered charity providing our services via funded support, including Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, The Irish Government's Emigrant Support Programme and Comic Relief. As we have developed further and in response to a changing operating environment for voluntary and community sector organisations we decided to change the legal status of Leeds GATE. On 23rd July 2008 we became a Company Limited by Guarantee with Charitable status (and a new Charity Commission number) The timeline below highlights some of the significant events in our development.
- First committee formed and applications made to fund the project
- First part- time employee recruited in January
- New constitution signed by the management committee in April
- First drafts of GATE participation framework and business plan.
- Leeds GATE play a key role in the establishment of the Northern Network of Travelling People. The Network holds a major event in Bradford as part of the Capacity Builders programme.
- Leeds GATE is registered with the Charity Commission
- Work undertaken to facilitate the gathering of data for the Leeds Baseline Census of Gypsies and Travellers
- A Connexions personal adviser recruited to work with young people
- Leeds GATE members attend conferences in London and Birmingham
- Do Mang Mandi – a Report and DVD produced about young people and education
- Leeds Baseline Census of Gypsies and Travellers published
- ‘The Road Ahead’ conference held in Leeds
- Advocacy Development worker recruited
- Leeds GATE provided input to Leeds City Council Scrutiny Enquiry about the need for Gypsy and Traveller sites
- Leeds GATE members visit the European Parliament
- Leeds GATE moves into a larger premises on Cross Green Lane
- A Youth Inclusion worker is recruited
- Gypsy Fair (Krush on the Drom) DVD produced in partnership with Noise Film Festival
- Strategic Health Advocacy work funded via a service level agreement with NHS Leeds
- Leeds GATE conduct a pilot Accommodation Needs Assessment in Bradford published by COI
- Leeds GATE help to plan and stage ‘Pride not Prejudice’ Police conference in Cheshire
- Leeds GATE hosts its first Social Work student placement from Leeds Metropolitan University
- Leeds GATE facilitates work on the Yorkshire and Humber Gypsy Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessment
- Domestic Violence project undertaken by Kathleen Lowther Morrison and report ‘One Punch Kills’ published
- Evaluation of youth activities at GATE undertaken
- Leeds GATE becomes a Charitable Company Limited by Guarantee
- Leeds GATE facilitates work to begin the West Yorkshire Accommodation Needs Assessment
- Leeds GATE begins 'Good Neighbours' project to focus on needs of roadside families
- Leeds GATE begins to work with Dept of Health on the Pacesetters national flagship programme
- Community members participate in Yorkshire and Humber Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessment
- Successful tender to facilitate the DoH Pacesetter's programme Gypsy and Traveller Quality Assurance Group
- Leeds GATE staff and members work with consultants on the West Yorkshire Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessment.
- EHRC funded 'Good Neighbours' project work leads to new LCC N&E Scrutiny Enquiry into Gypsy and Traveller Site needs.
- Leeds GATE make submissions to Scrutiny Enquiry and support roadside families to speak out including written statements and attendance at Panel Sessions.
- Leeds GATE input to LCC Scrutiny Enquiry
- Extended encampment on 'copperfields' site
- Leeds GATE join the National Federation of Gypsy Liaison Groups.
- The Northern Network 'de-formalises', continuing as an informal alliance of groups without constitution.
- Arson attack at Leeds GATE office
- Leeds GATE is externally assessed by the Charities Evaluation Service and achieves the PQASSO quality mark at Level 2 (www.ces-vol.org.uk/index.cfm?pg=328)
- Launch of 'How to Engage with Gypsies and Travellers as part of your Work' at DH flagship building Skipton House.
- GATE holds a national conference around engagement with Gypsy/ Traveller communities at Leeds Town Hall
- New logo and Branding
- New website and facebook page
- Kathleen Lowther Morrison, Leeds GATE Youth Inclusion Officer, sadly passed away on March 6th.
- Leeds GATE take over the whole of the Crown Point House building.
- Use of new training room begins.
- Leeds GATE take to twitter!
- National Gypsy and Traveller Health Inclusion project begins (jointly led by Leeds GATE and Friends Families and Travellers)
- First pilots of Negotiated Stopping take place in Leeds
- Leeds GATE celebrates tenth anniversary with a big party at the Cross Green office.