Do you need professional advice?

Do you need quality, professional advice? Although the drop-in advice sessions at STAG have now stopped, Blackfriars Advice Centre is still providing a service for Travellers in the area and STAG are More »

Driving Theory Test

Passing your driving theory can be tough. If you are a Southwark resident, there is free driving theory test practice available. All you need is to have a library number. Follow the More »

Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month

Should all schools celebrate GRTHM in June? Yes, all schools should. No, but schools which have Traveller, Gypsy and Roma students should. No, no schools should. If you would like to find More »

Applying for Schools in Southwark

For the most accurate up-to-date information on applying to school in Southwark it is best to use Southwark Council’s website or call 0207 525 5337. All school applications have to be done More »

CSCS Cards

What is a CSCS Card? The CSCS Card is used by the construction industry to make sure that all workers have enough Health and Safety knowledge to work on a construction site. More »

Make Money From Your Creative Skills!

Do you make greetings cards, jewellery, prints, badges, headband, soft furnishings or anything else? Would you like to sell it in a shop? Spark is a ‘pop-up’ shop about to open in More »

Monthly Archives: January 2013

Unhappy with your GP?

Bad treatment at your G.P.?

If you have had a bad experience at your G.P., it is important to report it so that changes can be made and services improved.

PALS is a service which will take complaints to find out problems people have with health services, so that improvements can be made.

If you would like to make a complaint- call free from a landline 0800 587 7170 or call STAG who can make a complaint on your behalf.

You can change your G.P.

If you are not happy with your GP you can change.

Here are the GP practices available for you if you live on:

Spring Tide Close or Burnhill

Commercial Way Surgery, 109 Commercial Way, SE15 6DB Tel: 0844 375 6375

The Surgery, 12 Queens Road, Peckham, SE15 2PT
Tel: 020 7639 1133

Brideale

Commercial Way Surgery (see above) OR

Trafalgar Surgery, 10 Trafalgar Avenue, SE15 6NR
Tel: 020 7703 9271

Ilderton Road

Silverlock Medical Centre,3 Warndon Street, SE16 3SB
Tel: 020 7237 4091

Park Medical Centre, 57 Hawkstone Road, SE16 2PE
Tel: 020 7232 2243

Avicenna Health Centre, 2 Verney Way, SE16 3HA
Tel: 020 7237 1685

Pavee Widden- Travellers Talking Booklet

In the Pavee Widden booklet pictures and stories are by:

  • 8 Irish Travellers.
  • 1 New Age Family.
  • Quotes from the Roma Community on why they did not want to take part.

To find out more information or to request a booklet (subject to availablity) please contact STAG.

 

 

Has the My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding team been to your site?

STAG and other Traveller organisations are advising Travellers to stay well clear of any C4 production companies such as Firecracker Films. A lot of Travellers who took part in the MBFGW are now regretting it. It totally mocks Travellers.

Early in Jan people from the Firecrakcer team visited the four sites in Southwark trying to recruit Travellers to feature in a new MBFGW series. STAG was contacted by local residents as they felt they were been harassed as the Firecracker team wanted to take pictures of individual’s plots and sites when it was snowing, however they were asked to leave the sites by one of the older men. STAG contacted the Firecracker team to inform them that they were upsetting people and invading Travellers privacy and that Travellers from Southwark don’t want to take part in any series and their feelings were that the past MBFGW series caused their children to be bullied in schools and that it gave a negative image of Traveller culture.

If you have been approached by the Firecracker team, or seen them around the site, you may ask them to leave- if they don’t leave and you feel they are harassing you- inform them that you will report them for harassment.

Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month- June

Gypsies, Roma and Travellers are the largest Ethnic Minority community in the European Union with over 12 million people. In the UK, they are recognised ethnic minority communities and number at least 300,000. They are also the most marginalised and continue to suffer extreme levels of prejudice and discrimination.

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month  celebrates the communities culture and history by tackling the negative stereotyping and prejudices.

The aim of having GRTHM

To raise awareness of these communities and their valuable contributions to our society and to offset the negative stereotyping and prejudices.

STAG is fundraising to put on GRT History Month events. If you would like to get involved, please get in touch.

Report repairs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

We all know how inconvenient it is when things go wrong at home, that’s why Southwark Council repairs service is always open. You don’t have to wait until normal office hours to report a repair, you can call 0800 952 4444 free from any landline or 0207 525 5000 which is a cheaper number to use when using a mobile phone.
 
HOW TO REPORT A REPAIR

1. Before ringing, have a pen and paper to hand write down your telephone number as the repairs adviser will ask you for this you will also need to write down the repairs job reference number which you will need if you have to call them back.

2. The adviser will ask you for your name, address and  telephone number and what the repair is – please give as much info on the repaiR as you can.

3. The adviser will ask you to hold while they  raise your repair and you will be given a date, time and a ref number when the repair has been logged and  rasied. PLEASE NOTE:  it is important you ask the adviser to give your contact number to the contractor and a note on the system to ask contractor to contact you when on site, as in the past contractors has said they turned up and no one was in or they couldnt gain acess.

4. If the contractor doesnt turn up in the time you was given call the repairs line back to inform them, this is where your job ref number will come in handy as the adviser will be able to get all the details up, the adviser will ask you to stay on hold while they contact the contractors.

5. If your repair still hasnt been done and you are having trouble with the repairs service then please contact STAG and/or Paul (southwark Traveller officer).

Having relationship problems? Wanna talk to someone outside the community?

The Southwark Advocacy and Support Service (SASS) provides independent advocates to support men and women aged 16 or over, affected by domestic abuse. They also provide support on safety, housing, going to court, benefits, health and immigration issues and can refer you to any relevant specialist services.

STAG knows that it can be difficult to know who to turn to in difficult times. SASS is an independent service which has no links to STAG.

Fire Safety visits on Traveller sites

In January smoke alarms will be fitted to all utility huts and mobile homes as part of Southwark Council’s fire safety initiatives.

Residents are very pleased this is happening as mobile homes are very close to each other. If a fire starts in one mobile home it can spread very quickly to others.

London Fire Brigade have already visited the local Traveller site to provide generic Fire Safety advice, the fire safety officer spoke to individual residents and provided them with specific fire safety advice and information regarding their plot. London Fire brigade will be supplying and installing smoke alarms to all mobile homes and utility buildings on 29th January.

Dog Mircochipping on Southwark Travellers sites

Paul Jeffereys (Southwark Travellers officer) worked in partnership with Southwark Council’s Community Warden Team to ensure all dogs on the Traveller sites were chipped, this is to ensure that if a dog is stolen it will be easy for the owner to prove ownership.

Overall, from a known total of 40 dogs across all four Traveller sites, the community wardens managed to chip 19 dogs. Many of the dogs had previously been chipped.

STAG welcomes the micro-chipping. The majority of Travellers are responsible dog-owners and unfortunately Traveller sites have been used in the past as dumping grounds for stray dogs by other people. As a result of this, there have been some incidents where dogs around the sites have attacked passers-by and Travellers themselves. Travellers are now able to prove that these attacks are not their responsibility.

STAG First Aid Session

A group of young Traveller women have taken a First Aid training session as part of STAG’s Driving Towards Community Cohesion project.

The first Aid training session took place on the 25th January 2013 at Bells Garden Community Centre; there were 9 young Traveller women who took part. The first Aid training was run by St. John’s Ambulance service.

Many of the young women have expressed interest in working in nurseries and in other settings where First Aid is a vital skill. The aim of the project is to give young Travellers new experiences to help them improve prospects of finding work and also to live safer lives.

The first aiders’ ice breaker- was a fun way to get the group to build relationships and communicate with their team and to work in partnership to practise bandaging. The first aid brought our some interesting conversations amongst the girls and also gave them a confidence boost to assist someone if they see them hurt. The women who took part expressed an interest on learning about choking and how to deal with fits; Catherine will arrange a date to come back and run a session on this for the women.

The session received good responses from participants:

I didn’t think that I knew that much about First Aid!
I found it very useful, especially about if an object is stuck in someone’s arm what to do
I feel more confident now to help someone
It’s about using common sense and not panicking

Topics that were covered were:
• Bandaging wounds
• Stopping bleeding
• Signs and symptoms of concussion and/or if someone is going to faint
• What to do if someone is hurt. i.e. shout for help, ring 999 check the casualty
• Danger to be aware of when helping someone who is hurt
• Head injuries- could be delayed concussions, and symptoms of what danger stage people are in for the different type of head injury.

STAG would like to thank all the participants, Catherine from St. John’s Ambulance and Safer Southwark Partnership who are funding the project.

STAG Service User Meeting – Monday 4th February

Meeting for Southwark Travellers- Have Your Say

When: 4th February (1st Monday of February at 12-1pm)
Where: STAG offices, 48 Willowbrook Road.

This is your chance to tell STAG your needs and the problems you are facing. At the meeting there will be Southwark Council workers who will be talking about the new tenancy agreements for Traveller sites. It is important to let the council know what changes you would like to see.

The advice worker from Blackfriars Advice- Louise Constantino- will also be there to get to know Southwark Travellers.

Please think about what you would like to talk about before coming to the meeting. Do you have any ideas for STAG to run any future projects? We will be discuss the funding sources which are available to us.

STAG is going to try to develop into a stand-alone charitable organisation this year- come to the meeting to find out why STAG needs to change and how a new STAG will better represent Travellers in Southwark.

You may want to think about these questions before coming to the meeting:

Housing:

• Are there any repairs or urgent work which needs doing?
• How do you find the new contractors- Mears? Are they doing a good job?
• Are there any locations for a new site which you would like to be explored?
• How is the company which rents out mobile homes? Do you have any problems with the company you use?

Welfare

• Are there any problems with benefit payments?
• Is your housing benefit in arrears?
• Are you worried about Universal Credit (changes to benefits in 2013)?
• Do you have debt worries?
• Are you having any problems receiving Job Seekers Allowance?
• Are you unemployed but not receiving benefits?

Education:

• How are your children fitting in at school? Is there any bullying?
• Are there any problems with teachers?
• Have you had any problems since STESS (Dave Cannon) stopped?
• Outside school are your children bored? Would you be interested in youth projects? STAG has applied for some youth work funding, what should we do with it?
• Would you like to improve any of your skills in your free time?

Training and Employment:

• Are you looking for a job but not getting any support?
• Would you like to find a job but don’t know where to start?

• Would you like to find a job but don’t know where to start?
• There is funding available to run a project to help Travellers to improve their skills and qualifications OR help Travellers to read and write. What would be the best project STAG could run?

Health:

• Do you have any problems with your GP or GP’s receptionist?
• Do you find the best way to get seen by a doctor is going to A&E?
• Are you pregnant and not sure which services are available to you?
• Would you like help to give up smoking?
• The council is investigating if health care is worse for Travellers than other people. What do you think? How can things be improved?

Cultural activities:

• What would you like STAG to do for Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month?
• Are there any trips you would like to go on?

Representation:

• Have you been asked to go on My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding?
• What do you think of the representation of Travellers on TV and in newspapers?
• Do you feel that your views are listened to?
• Would you like to meet with council workers to discuss issues that are important to you?

Please come along, STAG is here to represent and work for the Traveller community, so please let us know your ideas.