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Equalities, third sector research centre, 8 nov 2012, andrew ryder
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Equalities, third sector research centre, 8 nov 2012, andrew ryder


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  • 1. HEARING THE VOICE OF GYPSIES AND TRAVELLERS Gypsy and Traveller Community Organisation TSRC Conference – University of Birmingham 8th November Dr Andrew Ryder (Research Fellow, University of Bristol and TSRC Associate Fellow - Sean Risdale – Advisory Council on the Education of Roma and Travellers Email - Funded by:Hosted by:
  • 2. Big Society? • The Gypsy and community spokesperson Gloria Buckley MBE, reflecting on the Coalition Government flagship policy entitled the ’Big Society’, commented: • ‘I don’t know what ‘Big Society’ is. If, as has been suggested, it is local communities, neighbourhoods and families looking after each other, then Gypsies and Travellers have always been members of a Big Society; it has been the only one we could rely on’ (Ryder, et al., 2011, 39). Funded by:Hosted by:
  • 3. Who Are the Gypsies and Travellers?• 300,000 Gypsies, Irish Travellers in Britain• One of the most excluded groups in society (CRE, 2006, Cemlyn et al, 2009).• Life-expectancy is 10 – 12 years less than for members of the settled community (Van Cleemput, 2008)• Profound educational exclusion in school.In 2007 15.6% of Irish Travellers and 14 % of Gypsy/ Roma achieved 5+ A*-C GSCEs or GNVQs compared to 59.3% of all pupils (DCSF 2008).• One fifth of caravan dwelling population has no authorised sites
  • 4. Exclusion and Community Development• Bonding forms of social capital – boundaries• The Traveller Economy• PaternalismArnstein’s Ladder of Participation• Ethnogenesis – 1966 The Gypsy Council• Charismatic leadership• 20 Gypsy and Traveller groups on the charities register
  • 5. Inclusive Forms of Community Development• The GRT third sector – moving away from NGOisation• Positive action – employment – role models – gender• Asset based community development – search conferences – forums – panels – support – social enterprise• Tenants and Residents’Associations• Links with service providers ‘personalisation’• Roma groups
  • 6. Looking to the Future• Cutbacks and funding• Localism• UK inter-ministerial report – non consultation• The European Framework for Roma Integration Strategies
  • 7. Empowerment and Community Organisation at Dale Farm• The original families at Dale Farm allowed to settle ‘lawfully’ The other 30 families become ‘unlawful’ after 2006 ruling by Sec. Of State supporting Basildon BC• Although collectively designated ‘Green Belt,’ most of Dale Farm land strips previously scrap yards• Solidarity since 2006 between ‘lawful’ and ‘unlawful’ Dale Farm residents – mutual care and support between all the extended families• Grattan Puxon - Dale Farm Residents Association
  • 8. The Voice of Dale Farm Residents• Dale Farm Residents Association sets up its Website• Local activists and local RC Church support Dale Farm families in run up to eviction deadline• July 2011 – national activists move into Dale Farm and create Camp Constant with support of residents• October 2011 – £7m spent on violent eviction• 30 evicted families now living on roadside leading up to Dale Farm – eviction site declared a health hazard• Traveller Solidarity Network formed November 2011
  • 9. Further Reading – See TSRC Papers• Paper 63: UK Gypsies and Travellers and the third sector, Dr Andrew Ryder (July 2011)• Paper 84: Hearing the voice of Gypsies and Travellers: the history, development and challenges of Gypsy and Traveller tenants and residents’ associations (2012)• Discussion Paper: THE REAL BIG SOCIETY: Gypsy Traveller Tenants and Residents’ Associations and the Role Of Social Capital and Empowerment in Reversing Exclusion• Visit to Dale Farm Travellers Site : A year on from the eviction, Report by members of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Gypsies, Roma and Travellers (Sept. 2012)• Traveller Solidarity Network : A guide to showing solidarity with travellers in your area ( 2012 )