Improving the lives of the traveller community

Gwalia Care and Support’s Gwent Gypsy and Traveller Service was a winner at the Welsh Housing Awards – here I explain a bit more about our award-winning approach.

Gwent Gypsy and Traveller Service, Gwalia

We are ecstatic to win the Increasing equality and diversity in housing award; it is a fantastic achievement for the Gypsy and Traveller communities and the service.

It is exciting for the community to be recognised in a mainstream housing context and we hope that we can raise the profile of Gypsies and Travellers.

With the ongoing support from Supporting People and Pobl, we work tirelessly to ensure that the needs of what is arguably one of the most marginalised communities in society are identified and met in Gwent.

We feel that this is the perfect opportunity to encourage other Local Authorities and organisations across Wales to engage with their Gypsy and Traveller communities to ensure they have access to a similar service.

The Gwent Gypsy and Traveller Service is an innovative project and the only dedicated Gypsy and Traveller service to be funded by Supporting People and delivered by a housing association in Wales.

The service has been well received by the Gypsy and Traveller communities and over 75% of the identified population have accessed the service.

In addition, through word of mouth, Gypsies and Travellers from other local authorities in Wales have travelled to Gwent to access the service.

The Gwent Gypsy and Traveller Service employs two support workers who provide direct support and advice to Gypsy and Traveller communities, Local Authorities and key stakeholder groups in Newport, Torfaen and Blaenau Gwent.

The service was established in April 2016 following a research study titled “The Housing Related Support Needs of Gypsies and Travellers in Gwent”.

The study was conducted in conjunction with the Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessments conducted by the Local Authorities.

Support and advice is available to Local Authorities, key stakeholders and other organisations to ensure that they are meeting the needs of Gypsies and Travellers in line with legislation and guidance including Housing (Wales) Act 2014, Travelling to a Better Future, Travelling to Better Health and Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.

Ongoing research is conducted to explore the impact of legislation and policy on Gypsy and Traveller communities which is used as an evidence base within the policy arena.

The Gwent Gypsy and Traveller Service has been established and continues to evolve based on the needs of the community evidenced through research, consultation and ongoing outcome monitoring.

Coproduction with the community is a key element of the service provision with the aim of building on the skills and knowledge within the community to create sustainable and culturally appropriate communities.

 

This project, along with every shortlisted application in the Welsh Housing Awards, was published in CIH Cymru’s annual Good Practice Compendium, sponsored by Lovell.

The 2017 edition is a compilation of practice from across the breadth of the sector, divided into chapters that reflect areas of focus in housing right now.

You can download the Good Practice Compendium 2017 in English or Welsh on the CIH Cymru website.

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