Welcome to Southwark Travellers Action Group.
STAG is a charitable project whose aim is to address inequalities experienced by Irish Travellers in Southwark and the surrounding area. STAG is grateful to be funded by the Irish Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Southwark Council’s Community Capacity Fund. STAG started as a campaigning group for more Traveller sites in 1989 and has always been a Traveller led project.
Since successfully campaigning for official Traveller sites in Southwark (the number increasing from 1 to 4), STAG’s activities have developed into the following areas:
SUPPORT, ADVICE, ADVOCACY
STAG supports and advocates for Travellers at times of need- assisting Travellers though everyday problems. Through partnership with Blackfriars Advice Centre, STAG is able to ensure that Travellers are well supported to navigate through complicated bureaucracy, ensuring that basic welfare needs are met.
EDUCATION, TRAINING & EMPLOYMENT
STAG works to address the massive inequalities which exist between education and employment outcomes in the general population and within Traveller communities. To this end, STAG assists Travellers with school, college and job applications and assists with CVs.
STAG is proud to have run successful projects encouraging training and employment including a Child-Care project which saw 13 Traveller women work towards qualifications in Child Care at Nell Gywnn nursery, 5 of whom completed NVQ level 1 at a time when further education was rare in the community and many disapproved of women working. The long-term effect of this project has been Travellers working in nurseries and completing higher qualifications (including NVQ level 3), 1 Traveller reaching a management position in a nursery 5 years later and post-16 education becoming a norm for Travellers in Southwark.
STAG has also been involved in projects aimed at making older people’s homes in Southwark safer and warmer, employing members of the Traveller community as handymen to make improvements to older people’s homes.
STAG is proud to have played its part in creating a situation where Traveller educational outcomes in Southwark far exceed national averages, post-16 education is a norm rather and Travellers are competing in the job market. A special mention is also due to Dave Cannon, one of STAG’s founders, who for over 30 years worked tirelessly on (amongst other things) improving educational outcomes for Travellers in Southwark.
HOUSING & ACCOMMODATION
STAG began as a campaign group to build official council-run sites, and has continued to work to ensure that living conditions are good on Traveller sites. STAG liaises with the Council’s Traveller Housing Officer to ensure good communication between Council and residents, and has overseen the refurbishments of Southwark’s sites. STAG is also here to support Travellers threatened with eviction and has supported residents of Dale Farm. STAG is also available to give advice on repairs.
STAG employed a health care worker in the past to ensure that all Southwark residents are registered with a GP and that children were getting all the appropriate vaccinations. STAG is able to offer advice on how to access health care services.
CULTURE & REPRESENTATION
STAG celebrates Traveller culture and has always put on events during Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month (June).
Travellers have never received a very good press. In 1990, Pope John Paul II urged;
‘Let Travellers be known as they really are, not as they are so ungenerously imagined to be.
Study their history, their psychology, their language, share their joy and their suffering and it is at this price that you can help them achieve their calling in the Church and the world‘
STAG aims to present a truer representation of Travellers than that which is given by the media.
We invite non-Travellers to discover more about Irish Travellers by watching the documentary Peckham Travellers.
STAG- It’s your service and it’s your site
The most important thing about this site is, like STAG, it is made for Travellers by Travellers. If you want to write an article, share a video, suggest new material or make a comment please get in touch. Contact us