The Hive in Worcester is set to host this year’s celebration of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month. The event, which takes places on Sunday 22 June, features static and audio displays along with ‘wander round’ spaces that include banners, children’s art activities, other visual presentation and an array of printed material.

The event celebrates the culture and history of Gypsies and Travellers in the county with the aim of promoting inclusion and education. It will also challenge negative stereotypes and misconceptions about the Gypsy and Traveller community, one of the largest ethnic minorities within Worcestershire. Among the exhibits will be Bita Rawni (which means 'Little Lady' in Romani). Bita Rawni is a two-third scale Gypsy caravan, built, carved and painted by a Hartlebury museum volunteers Ced Lewis and Aaron "AJ" Bannister.

There will also be engaging storytellers and historians on hand to talk about their experiences of the way the Traveller communities have lived in the past, and also the way they live today. Visitors will also be able view ‘Grand Design’ model sites built by Rooftop Housing Group, and displays by the National Federation of Gypsy Liaison Groups.

The event is organised by the Worcestershire Gypsy Roma and Traveller Partnership (WGRTP) which aims to improve services and opportunities for the county’s Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities whether they live in permanent homes, mobile home or caravans. Representatives from the partner organisations will be present to chat to and provide context to the displays, exhibits and activities.

Tony Henderson, Gypsy and Traveller Project Manager at Rooftop Housing Group and chair of the partnership said: “Bringing together such a diverse mixture of ‘service providers’ and members of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community provides an environment that promotes greater understanding between communities It’s sure to be a great day for everyone.”

Celebrating Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month

The Worcestershire ,Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Partnership (WGRTP) was created in 2007 with the aim helping to improve housing related services and opportunities for the GRT community. The Partnership also works hard to challenge stereotypes and promoting better understanding and closer relationships between the GRT community and the rest of society.

The current members of the WGRTP include:

  • The Community Housing Group
  • The Diocese of Worcester
  • Rooftop Housing Group
  • Vestia Community Trust
  • West Mercia Police
  • Wychavon District Council
  • Worcestershire County Council