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Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Social Work Association

BASW Cymru leads on a new initiative to improve relations between social work and Travelling communities

BASW Cymru with partners has launched a new initiative to improve communication, understanding and break down barriers between social workers and the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) communities.

The plan includes setting up a Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Social Work Association to provide a network for all GRT social workers. It is a space where they can share experiences, be visible, support good social work practice within GRT communities and promote social work as a positive career choice for anyone from a GRT background.

The venture is jointly led by Jackie Bolton, Doreen Dove and BASW Cymru National Director, Allison Hulmes, who are all social workers from Gypsy and Traveller families.

“There have been many times when each of us has wanted a shared space for support and to influence a shift in the narrative around the negative way social workers are viewed by Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) communities,” said Allison.

“We know that is often due to the social workers’ lack of understanding about GRT communities and poor practice.

“We have a hunch that there are more GRT social workers out there who we would like to link up with, including some who may be reluctant to talk about their ethnicity for fear of discrimination in their workplace.”

Membership is open to all GRT social workers (or student social workers) in the UK and Republic of Ireland plus allied professionals in social care.

More information is available on the Facebook group ‘GRT Social Workers’ or can be obtained by emailing Allison Hulmes at cymru@basw.co.uk.

Look and Don't Forget Roma Genocide remembrance event.  #lookanddontforget

Sunday 2nd August 2020 marks European Holocaust Memorial Day for Sinti and Roma people. 

Europe’s Roma and Sinti people (often labelled as ‘Gypsies’ historically) were targeted by the Nazis for total destruction. The Porrajmos, or Porajmos, which translates to 'the Devouring', is the term used to describe the Nazi genocide of Europe’s Roma and Sinti population.

This year many commemoration activities will be taking place online.  Join Look and Don't Forget's online event to take part in interactive discussions, watch short films, and listen to art readings and tributes to commemorate and learn more about the significance of August 2nd not only to Roma and Sinti but to European society as a whole.