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Housing and Resource Needs for Gypsy/Roma/Traveller Young People and their Families

The lack of official sites, the blocking off of traditional stopping places and the discrimination many face when they try to camp on public campsites, result in Gypsy/Travellers often being forced into camping on unsuitable plots of land. Others, having been subjected to continuing harassment from the media, local authorities and members of the settled community, choose to camp very remotely so as to avoid further victimisation. It can be difficult to access the services most of us take for granted such as fresh water, electricity and basic health care – leading to the community becoming increasingly cut-off and cast-out.

“if they [the authorities] would be civil, we would move – but they have no respect for us.”

“There is a lack of permanent Traveller sites. When you are moved on, you’re told there are plenty of Traveller sites but people don’t realise you have to put your name on a waiting list, it can take months!”

“Our sites are very far away from everything: swimming pools, school [we don’t get transport provided anymore], cinemas, shops and places to eat.”

“Our rubbish doesn’t get lifted often enough and we can get rat problems on site.”

“There isn’t enough parking spaces on our site, we need the site to be upgraded.”

“The chalets are terrible and get damp.”

“There needs to be better public transport.”

“We would like a better park to play in on site, the one we have is rusty and dangerous because you slip.”

“A lack of choice, safe space and facilities.”

“The location – the site is close to a graveyard, it can feel uncomfortable.”

“Children lack places to play such as a park and older young people lack places to go.”

“The shed gets used for nothing [on our site].”

“The nearby road is busy and dangerous which is especially concerning for younger children and access to local amenities.”

“You have to walk along the road to get to shops.”

“Don’t have peace and quiet.”

“It’s hard to get plots, which makes it difficult for Travellers to get a place on a site and also for families to visit and be close together.”

“The police are always there.”

“No transport” [provided by schools]

“Why have the family been shifted in the first place if they haven’t harmed you [the settled community], or anything around you?”

“Where are Travellers meant to go.”

“How can Travellers Mams and Dads get water and make food?”

“How will we wash?”

“All children have the right to education – how will they go to school or get a job?”

“Sites should be cleaned up, the council should take away rubbish, or Gypsy/Travellers should be able to go to the council with rubbish – we must also not forget that the settled community contribute to fly tipping.”

“Consider the needs of the community in general for all sites – disability needs are often not considered.”

“[More and better] toilet blocks and access to water and facilities to wash.”

“The council could make a transit site or help Gypsy/Travellers secure land and help with planning.”

“The council could talk to the settled community and make them see sense – that we’ve got nowhere to go”

[The council can arrange] “more meetings between the council, Gypsy/Travellers and the settled community.”