The Gypsy and Traveller population in Worcestershire accounts for the largest single minority ethnic group within the county. Rooftop Housing Group is an active member of the Worcestershire Gypsy and Roma Traveller Partnership, which aims to improve the lives and life chances of the county's Gypsy and Traveller community.
Tony Henderson, our Gypsy and Traveller Project Manager was appointed chair of this group in 2013 and every June the partnership delivers the 'Travellers Tales' event at Hartlebury museum, celebrating Gypsy and Traveller history month.
Part of this role is to promote a better understanding of the culture and needs of the Gypsy and Traveller population amongst partners and the wider community.
Did you know
There are two types of Gypsies – Roma Gypsies and Irish Travellers. Both have a nomadic lifestyle but are separate ethnic groups.
Many famous celebrities have Gypsy roots, including the actors Sir Charles Chaplin, Sir Michael Caine and Bob Hoskins
Roma people are thought to originate from India in the middle ages?
that a married Romany man is called a 'Rom' and his wife a 'Romni'?
While there are no official statistics for Travellers in the UK, there are an estimated 300,000 based on local government caravan counts.
The annual Appleby Horse Fair in Cumbria attracts around 40,000 visitors every year?
Read our booklet 'Pride, not Prejudice' for an insight into Gypsy and Traveller life.
How Rooftop gets involved
We are involved in a number of projects, such as undertaking the refurbishment of and extension to the caravan site at Houndsfield Lane in Wythall, delivering a new 11 pitch site at Gables Close in Solihull, and are currently negotiating (subject to approval) to undertake the management of a second site (7 pitches) also in Solihull.
We also provide advice and guidance for other organisations that wish to deliver their own affordable housing for Gypsies and Travellers.
We have our own dedicated Gypsy and Traveller Project Manager, whose job it is to manage and develop new and existing Gypsy and Traveller sites and liaise and communicate with residents, both on site and in the local area.
Our sites at Houndsfield Lane and Gables Close provide 33 plots for Gypsy and Traveller families.
For more information on these sites please contact us by emailing the neighbourhood officer, or if you are interested in applying for a pitch please fill out our pitch application form.
In 2010, Rooftop took over the management of a site in Wythall which has been home to Gypsy and Traveller families over the past 45 years and, having secured a grant from the Homes and Communities Agency, started a project to refurbish the existing 18 units and provide 5 new units.
Situated on Gables Close, off Old Damson Lane in Solihull, this site benefits from 10 standard plots and one fully DDA compliant pitch. It also includes a large communal open space with a play area.