By Christian Johnson, Traveller Movement Criminal Justice Policy Officer
Following a successful launch in Salford last year, The Traveller Movement have recently delivered the second ‘Connected Communities’ event in its Reaching Out series, this time focusing on the London and Essex areas. With support from the Mayor of London’s office, we were fortunate to be able to host the event at London City Hall.
Stakeholders and practitioners working across the broader youth sector joined politicians and employers for fruitful and productive discussions around improving the future of economic inclusion for young Gypsy, Roma and Travellers. Over the course of the day, we heard from a fantastic range of speakers, including Ollie Malik, Sian Berry, David Beaney and Joe Clement; saw artworks from Robert Czibi, Dan Lecatt, as well a host of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller film makers; before inviting delegates to attend workshops exploring practical and tangible ways to implement the recommendations of our Roads to Success report within their own organisations.
These workshops were hosted by a fantastic group of young people themselves and culminated with attendees writing pledges committing to changing their practice to better support Gypsy, Roma and Traveller young people. Over the course of the next few months, we’ll be checking in with attendees to see how these commitments have been realised and supporting organisations on the implementation of the pledges; and we look forward to hearing how the event has prompted positive change in a wide range of sectors – from Local authorities all the way to the creative industries.
We were continually impressed by the candid and honest contributions from the speakers on stage and in the workshops and were grateful to the willingness of attendees to meaningfully engage on the day and are confident that such discussions are an important step towards creating more sustainable and meaningful life pathways for young people. Please do keep an eye on our social media channels and website for updates on delegate pledges and further information on how you can attend the next event in Kent.
We’d like to give special thanks to all the young people who attended the event, but particularly Charlie and Jimmy Doherty, Mikey Lawrence and Joe Boy Ward who did a truly incredible job hosting the day.