We wanted to provide a space that young Gypsies and Travellers and would enjoy and that would also provide lots of interesting and useful information. We wanted young Gypsies to know they had platform to talk about things that were important to them, that they would be listened to, and that they could trust the information that was on there.
What did you find out?
We found out that lots of young Gypsies Roma and Traveller people knew about Travellers’ Times and some read it to their parents and older relatives but they didn’t feel like it was for ‘them’.
What do you recommend?
So, we created YTT which is the part of Travellers’ Times made BY young Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people FOR young Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people. We challenge stereotypes, celebrate the talents and publish the opinions of young people from these communities. We cover arts, culture, health, well-being, social issues, politics, music, film, and life experiences through articles, features, videos, blogs, photos and competitions. We always put young people at the heart of our work so to make sure we keep on track, we have a Youth Advisory Group who helped us design the website, develop projects and content, reach out to others and share opportunities.
You can find out about YTT and our Youth Advisory group here:
What advice would you give?We wanted people from all the UK to have the chance to get involved so we made sure that people could get involved individually or through schools or other groups. We also made sure that people could also use lots of different ways to talk about things that were important to them. Might be through photo stories, written stories, videos, audio or art. We also made sure that all the content we produce was checked over by young people and also our team – just to make sure that everything was published in a way that was fun and safe for everyone.
How did you include people?We made sure people could also join in in loads of different ways too. People can get involved by talking to us face to face and events and workshops or on the phone; by writing in by letter email or through our social media channels or by sending us photos or videos. Not everyone wants to see themselves in print or on the internet and some people do at first but might change their mind as they get older so, we spend lots of time making sure that young people (and their parents and carers) are happy with what’s being published, explaining what some of the outcomes might be if they do, and giving people the chance to think about changing their mind later on. Also not everyone is kind on social media or the internet so we also offer lots of support about what to do if you experience racism and / or bullying online, how to keep yourself safe, build your own ways to deal with it and effectively challenge negative stuff in a positive way. For our Youth Advisory group we asked people to apply and asked them to stay on the group for 12 months (with the option to leave after 6 months if they wanted to). The group meets 4 times a year but had contact in between via Whats App or a Facebook Group. After 12 months we ask a new group to join us. We make sure we can cover food and travel costs so everyone can take part.
What did you enjoy?“I loved seeing my poem in YYT, I felt so proud of myself and my community and I knew loads and loads of other people would read it and may be think more carefully about being mean in the future” Chloe, 9 “I loved meeting other young Gypsies and Travellers and make our film for YTT, they made us work quite hard and we didn’t get it right straight away but by the end we had made the best thing we could. I liked that they listened when we said ‘ we need to see more Gypsies and Travellers on You Tube doing good stuff because what you see is always bad” Ben, 14 “When I wanted to write about being bullied in school for being a Traveller and how it effected my mental health, YTT helped me write it so it made sense but used my own words. They also were really good at explaining what might happen once it was published, made sure I’d got support round me when it went out and gave me advice about what I could do. In the end when it went out all I got were really good nice comments and it made me feel amazing. I’ve gone and got a job now doing some youth work with an organisation in Wales helping other people, Ricky 19
Any other advice?We also made sure that people got travel expenses for them and a parent or guardian if they need to do face to face and offered finical support with data for people wanted to make videos and things with limited data.
What has changed?We keep in touch with our young people who are telling us that their mental health and wellbeing has improved since they are regularly contributing to YTT. The young people also like to see and hear what other Gypsies and Travellers have been doing and feel less isolated because of it. The young people also felt they had been able to share YTT with the parents and carers which had helped some of our young people start to talk about things they were finding difficult. Lots of young people also said they had taken up different opportunities or started to improve their fitness or diet because if things they had read or watched on YTT and liked seeing the advice come from other young people because it felt less like being told what to do.