Gypsies, Roma and Travellers have been a part of British life for many centuries and make up a small minority of the UK population. Although Gypsies, Roma and Travellers share many of the same cultural practices and have similarities in their language and belief systems, they are culturally quite different. They are recognised as separate ethnic minority groups under equality legislation.

Gypsy and Traveller people in West Yorkshire

At least 7000 Gypsy and Traveller people live in West Yorkshire. Many live in houses, or caravans on private or public sites and on short-term camps.

Public services, including councils and the Police, have a duty to:

  • prevent unlawful discrimination against the community
  • encourage equality of opportunity and good race relations.

Recognition of Gypsies, Roma and Travellers

Gypsies, Roma and Travellers are recognised ethnic minority groups under the Race Relations Act, as amended in 2000. They have 'protected characteristics' according to the 2010 Equality Act.

Gypsy and Traveller recognition does not depend on 'travelling status'. Those that live in bricks-and-mortar accommodation are still considered Gypsies, Roma or Travellers. This is because ethnicity relates to much broader characteristics around language, customs and belief systems.

Gypsies, Roma and Travellers can access information and support from these services

  • Kirklees Wellness Service - For mental health help, to stop smoking, carer's support, health professionals and healthy eating.
  • Mental health support - If you are experiencing mental health problems or need urgent help, there are many resources available and there is plenty of support within your reach.
  • Community Plus - Helps people to live healthier, happier lives and feel more able to look after themselves.
  • Council housing - Search for a home, pay your rent, report a repair and much more.
  • Auntie Pam's - Are you trying to get pregnant? Are you already pregnant? Have you just had a baby? You can go and talk about anything that's on your mind about pregnancy and becoming a parent. Auntie Pam's is also a place where you can simply relax and chat with parents and parents-to-be. The service is offered by local women who are trained as peer volunteers, understand what it's like to be a parent and what you are going through.
  • Kirklees Libraries - Did you know you can return a Kirklees library book to any library in Kirklees? For example, if you borrowed a book from Holmfirth Library you could return it to Dewsbury Library.
  • Hate incident reporting - A hate crime is any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person's disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity or perceived disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Leeds GATE - Leeds Gypsy and Traveller Exchange, known more commonly as Leeds GATE, is a vibrant and brave grassroots organisation led by Gypsy and Traveller people in partnership with others in and across West Yorkshire.
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