Issues such as a lack of authorised sites [which makes long-term access difficult], and the unacceptable abuse and bullying of Gypsy/Travellers often face at school because of their ethnicity and way of life, means that Gypsy/Travellers often do not complete mainstream education.
“At college I was made to feel worthless. People would snigger and laugh at you and then you think, ‘well, what’s the point?’”
They expressed feeling…
“different from everybody else.”
“would not be welcomed.”
“Most Gypsy/Travellers feel very stereotyped when we’re not all the same.”
“It would be good if there was better training for teachers about our culture. Or even if we had Gypsy/Traveller teachers.”
Many young Gypsy/Travellers are self-employed; this is due in large to both their life-style and the fact that discrimination and prejudice still play a major part in the problems they face in gaining employment within the settled community. Indeed many often hide their ethnicity from employers and colleagues for fear of losing their job.
“I was employed in a clothes shop as a teen-ager. One day my cousin came in and we were told to watch them because they were ‘Gypsies’. I told them that was my cousin they were talking about, and a few weeks later I was accused of stealing clothes from the shop.”
“Employers change towards you when they know your ethnicity.”
“Making you feel like scum.”