Luton Council staff and councillors get Gypsy, Roma and Traveller cultural awareness training

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Luton Irish Forum also worked with HMP residents at Bedford on a mural project to develop Traveller pride in their heritage

Events organised by Luton Council for the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) community in June saw people come together to celebrate different cultures in the town.

Luton Roma Trust and Luton Irish Forum ran a cultural awareness session for Luton Council staff and councillors to increase learning and insight into the GRT community.The session held during Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month looked at similarities and differences between the groups, their culture, and the challenges they face.

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The event discussed opportunities for working together on specific issues faces by these communities like access to services and site shortages leading to unauthorised encampments.Cllr Javed Hussain, portfolio holder for highways and sustainability, called the event ‘really insightful and interesting’.

Children and young adults at the family fun dayChildren and young adults at the family fun day
Children and young adults at the family fun day

Cllr Hussain said: “I look forward to continuing to work with Luton Irish Forum and Luton Roma Trust to work towards better understanding of how we can resolve some of these challenges and enable more mutual cooperation as part of a more inclusive and equitable Luton for all of our residents.”

To address health inequalities in the community, the Forum, Luton Public Health, the University of Bedfordshire and Dr Tahir Mehmood - Luton clinical lead for children, young people and families, teamed up to hold the town’s third Traveller Family Fun Day. This event had doubled in size - offering Irish snacks and refreshments, a children’s entertainer and makeup demonstrations. There was also health advice, physical wellbeing checks, welfare and passport information.

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