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 »

Category Archives: Projects

Gypsy Roma Traveller Month Event Sat 7th June – What did you think?

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Last Saturday we held an event in Leyton Square in partnership with PEmPeople (People Empowering People) called the Big Lunch. The weather was fantastic, with face painting; a climbing wall; a children’s entertainer; bouncy castle and even a petting zoo!
If you came along let us know what you thought? If you had a great time or if there was something we could have done better, we’d love to hear!

Gypsies & Travellers in Social Care

As a Traveller I didn’t think that Traveller / Gypsy children get put into care and that families would support each other which I know does happen but after seeing these figures I was very shocked. In 2012 there are 170 Traveller/Gypsy children in a care home.

NUMBERS OF CHILDREN IN CARE BY ETHNICITY
Ethnicity ———————- Numbers in care in 2012
Ethnic Origin White ———– 67,050
White British ———————- 52,050
White Irish ———————— 49,910
Any other White background — 1390
Traveller of Irish Heritage —- 50
Gypsy/Roma ———————- 120

Above figures are taken from the Department for Education. (2012). Children looked
after in England (including adoption and care leavers) year ending 31st March 2012.

Now in Ireland there is a Traveller unit that ensures Traveller children are placed with Traveller foster parents. This means that a child who is taking into care will be placed with a family which understands the Traveller way of life.

In England there are 50 Irish Traveller children in care. It would be great if these children could be placed with Traveller foster carers or be adopted in the same community, as what happens in Ireland. Would you like to be a foster parent? Please contact us or visit Southwark council foster carer page on www.southwark.gov.uk/info/159/fostering/698/how_to_become_a_foster_carer .

To read a report and interviews on Travellers/ Gypsys in Social care please click on link to research by Dan Allen from Edge Hill University. The interviews show how hard it is for Traveller children when they are put in care homes with people looking after them who don’t understand or respect their culture. This could change if there were more Travellers applying to become and being accepted as foster parents.

Xmas in Southwark 2013

1) Through the Peckham Glass

Meet at Peckham Space for a guided tour of the commissions created for the exhibition led by artist-curator Adam Walker. The tour will give an opportunity to put your questions about the work directly to the artists themselves, and discover more about the challenges and opportunities arising from creating work to show outside the usual gallery environment. The tour will last around an hour and will be followed by drinks at The Bun House where the discussion can continue. This is a free event and all are welcome.

Next tour: Saturday 17 December, 2pm. The tour will start at Peckham Space, 89 Peckham High Street, CCA, SE15 5RS

The through the Peckham Glass windows started on 10 December and are there until 6 January. The aim of this activity is to get people to come down and see the art in the windows and do some shopping whilst they are there.

2) SE17 – All Wrapped Up

Creation will staff and provide three ‘wrapping stations’, positioned along the Walworth Road, for Christmas shoppers who have chosen to support the Walworth Road and buy their Christmas presents locally. People can either wrap their presents themselves using the rolls of wrapping paper, tape and labels, provided, or one of Creation Trust’s team of wrappers will wrap your gift for you and really take the hassle out of Christmas. One gift wrapped per customer will be free of charge, all others will be wrapped for £1 donation to Mayor’s charities. Wrapping stations will be at Cooltan Arts, M&S and TD Sports.

3) Walworth Road Bags for life

Over the December shopping period, independent local shops along the Walworth Road will be giving their local customers a little extra Christmas present. Anyone spending over £20 in one of the participating businesses will get a beautifully designed bag, featuring a vintage themed picture. Incorporated in the design are the words ‘I shopped Walworth’. While stocks last.

4) Shop Showtime SE17 – Local Acts in Local Shops

Over the course of 17th, a local poet, a local rapper and musician, a local comedian and a local magician will perform along the Walworth Road, in shops and outside on the pavement, in impromptu concerts.

The initiative is designed to provide shoppers with a little light relief as they buy their Christmas presents and to make Walworth Road a more pleasant place to shop, while at the same time showcasing some of the fantastic local talent.

Performing in Showtime SE17 are:
•Natty Bo – musician and dancer, and Walworth resident from the amazing SKA and reggae bands Ska Cubano, and the Top Cats
•Nigel of Bermondsey – singer songwriter of London verses
•Viv The Spiv – Walkabout comedy act, the 1940’s wheeler and dealer
•Adam Keisner – Close up magician

5) Christmas fun at Cooltan Arts, including making Christmas Bunting, enjoying a Christmas themed wine tasting and workshops in how to create herbal gifts

6) Nunhead and Peckham bags

These are while stocks last and they are free.

Christmas Markets

Saturday 17 December – East Street Market

Meet Santa and get a present, do some Christmas shopping and enjoy plenty of festive family activities including face painting and bouncy castle.

From 11am to 3pm. Santa will be visiting between 12noon and 1pm.

Saturday 17 December – North Cross Road Market

For great gifts and stocking fillers come along to North Cross Road’s Christmas markets for handcrafted and vintage clothes and jewellery; delicious meats and cheeses, and unique art. Plus meet Santa in his grotto from 12.30pm to 1.30pm.

Saturday 17 December -The Blue Market

Location: The Blue, Southwark Park Road, SE16

Come along to our special Christmas market, join in the festive fun and activities for all the family and pick up some great gifts for your loved ones.

Saturday 17 December – Camberwell Green Market

Don’t miss Camberwell Green’s Christmas and craft market with hand crafted gifts, food and stocking fillers including Christmas toys, food, clothes and jewellery.

Saturday 24 December – East Street Market

Christmas themed market.

(Above information is from Southwarks website)

New Traveller Youth Project 2013/2014

STAG has been successful in a bid for funding from Southwark’s Youth community Restoration Fund.

we will be running a programme of youth activities and trips for Traveller young people who are aged from 13-19 yrs old. All planning will be done by young people with the guidance of the youth worker and STAG team. All participants will create a personal development plan.

The youth worker is a student from Goldsmith college.

we are hoping to use this funding as a way of rewarding and incentivising engagement with school and /or creating positive future plans for young Travellers.

Please note: More information, dates and plans will be updated as soon as there finalised.

Want a Career in Driving? Great Opportunity for Southwark Travellers!

Great news for Southwark Travellers who are interested in starting a career in lorry driving! We know there are many Southwark Travellers who would like to earn a living in lorry driving, but the cost of the test (over £1000) is too high for most. That’s why we’ve applied for funding to help 5 Southwark Travellers take the test. Lorry driving is a great way of earning a living; drivers earn above the national average and can take home £400-500 per week after tax.

STAG is looking to support 5 Travellers by funding their practical lessons and test. STAG is able to cover the costs of 5 days of training and the practical test. We are only looking to fund people who are serious. Here are some things to bear in mind:

  • Only people who are aged 21-35, have a clean licence, can pass a driver’s medical (a blood test for diabetes and levels of alcohol/drugs, eyesight test, blood pressure test and questions about your medical history) and have no pending court hearings can apply. These are not STAG’s rules but the rules for taking the test.

  • We want people who are 100% committed. To prove this commitment, you will have to study to pass the theory test and demonstrate this (taking a test in STAG’s office). You will also have to pay for your own medical (cost vary from £50-150- STAG can help you arrange your medical). Finally, you will have to complete a D2 form from the DVLA- again STAG can support you with this.

  • The theory test is difficult. Much more difficult than the theory test for a normal car. If you are a member of a Southwark library, you can practice online for free. You can practice for the test in STAG’s office if you need to. You need to pass the theory to be accepted to take the practical test. As well as this test, you will need to take a test for the Drivers’ Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) which involves more study.

  • We can only fund 5 people. We want to support a variety of people from different sites and families. However, the final decision on whether you can take the test will be down to the National Driving Centre. Even if you pass your theory and medical, you could still be turned down by the National Driving Centre’s assessor.

  • The practical test (LGV category C) is difficult, very difficult. Only 44% pass the test 1st time. We can’t pay for retakes.

  • Even if you pass, finding a job is difficult. We will support you in trying to find job interviews and help with CVs, however many people with the licence struggle to find a job as employers often want people with experience. You are not guaranteed a job even if you pass the test.

Still interested? Please let us know by calling 02073586818 or emailing archie@staglondon.org. STAG has all necessary paperwork in the office.

If you would like to start practising for the theory test:

  1. Become a member at a Southwark library. You will need to take a proof of address to a library to do this. If you are a member of the library, you can use the Internet for free 1 hour per day.
  2. Go to southwark.theorytestpro.co.uk/login and make an account using your new library card account number.
  3. Under the heading ‘Select your test type:’ choose ‘LVG’.
  4. Start practising!

Fun Had By All at Our Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month Celebration

Over 200 people came out to enjoy STAG’s and East Peckham Children’s Centre’s Farm Fun Day in celebration of Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month last weekend at Leyton Square Gardens, Peckham. We were delighted to see so many people from different communities join us to celebrate GRTHM; from the looks on the children’s faces they were delighted to be there too. We were blessed with perfect weather for our outdoor event which saw Surrey Docks City Farm come down to Leyton Square gardens in Southwark.

There was non-stop fun for Southwark Travellers and other locals who attended. The farm was a big attraction for many and it seemed as though the sheeps, goats, chickens, turkeys, rabbits, ferrets and Shetland pony enjoyed themselves too. The children loved being able to pet and feed the animals, though some wanted to get in the pens with them! We wanted to bring the farm animals down to our event not only because for many people in Peckham it is a rarity to see any animals other than dogs, cats and pigeons (though Surrey Docks City Farm is free to visit), but also because agriculture is an important part of Travellers’ history. Before industrial farming was developed, Gypsies and Travellers traditionally travelled around the country finding farm-work during busy periods of harvesting. Of course back then the best way to travel was by horse and cart. Many Travellers maintain these traditions to this day by breeding horses and attending fairs such as Appleby .

The next stop for many after the animals was the bouncy castle to enjoy the music. Rabbie the clown, by now a STAG regular, was on top form as usual. We were paid a surprise visit by Mickey Mouse and Spiderman, who couldn’t resist a go on the bouncy castle. Inside the children’s centre was an opportunity for children to show off their arty skills, while outside fun was to be had with baloons and bubbles. Healthy snacks were available so that everybody could get their 5-a-day. The event finished with a magic show by Rabbie the clown and everybody feeling exhausted.

Along with all the fun, we had stalls from Princess Dresses (a Traveller run business which sells customised clothes for children), Southwark Works (an organisation which helps people find jobs), Blackfriars Advice Centre (which gives free advice), Well London and money was being raised for Evelina Children’s Hospital which is Southwark Travellers’ chosen charity. Please click on this link to make a donation. We would like to thank all the stall holders for attending.

Special thanks goes to the volunteers from HOurBank at Pecan, Peckham Park Road Baptist Church and People Empowering People for lending equipment, the staff at Nell Gywnn and East Peckham Children’s Centre, all stall holders, Surrey Docks City Farm, Rabbie the Clown and Southwark Council for allowing us to use Leyton Square and part-funding the event. We would also like to thank Cllr. Situ for coming to get to know the Travellers he represents in Livesy Ward. If your children enjoyed the event and you are not registered with your local children’s centre, what are you waiting for? Contact Nell Gywnn Children’s Centre to register for free and your child can enjoy themselves and learn in a fun, friendly pre-school environment. Come down to Leyton Square on Tuesday for the Travellers’ Stay and Play session 1:30-3pm.

Finally we want to thank everybody who came and made the day special. It was lovely to see so many different people getting together to have fun. We received 100% positive feedback from the event so we hope to be able to put on something similar next year. Guests said of the event: ‘interesting and educative’, ‘a great event for the whole family’ and simply ‘lovely’.

We have taken care not to include photographs of anybody who did not give express consent. If you would like any photograph removed, please contact archie@staglondon.org.

Farm Family Fun Day – Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month 2013

STAG invites you to our Farm Family Fun-Day on Saturday 29th June- 12-4pm at Leyton Square Gardens

Come down and play with the City Farm’s animals- a Shetland pony, goats and kids, sheep and lambs, rabbits, ferrets, ducks and chicks. We’ll also have a great children’s entertainer to model balloons, do magic and clown around from 1:30-3:30- make sure you don’t miss out. We’ll have a bouncy castle and healthy snacks all afternoon. Everything at the event will be free- Travellers and non-Travellers welcome. We look forward to seeing you all. Happy Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month.

Leyton Square Gardens, Maismore Street off Peckham Park Road, London SE15 6TP. Saturday 29th June- 12-4pm. Free entry

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.

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.

Young Travellers Making a Difference in South London

Young Travellers Redecorate Peckham Community Centre

Through the recent snowy weather a group of young Traveller men have been putting their skills to good use by doing community work at Pecan, a Peckham based charity which helps to change the lives of the long-term unemployed, ex-offenders and disadvantaged people.

 

The training room at Pecan, which also hosts Peckham’s FoodBank and HOurBank, was in need of a fresh coat of paint.

Members of the local Traveller community stepped up to offer their services, producing high quality work, to transform the room. The boys are all interested in working in construction in the near future, and demonstrated a hard-working attitude and commitment to quality needed to succeed in that industry. Pecan’s trust in these young men really paid off. Pecan’s Director, Chris Price, wanted to say ‘a very big thank you’ to the volunteers.

              

STAG would like to thank the boys who worked hard over 2-3 days to get this work done.

The work was part of STAG’s ‘Driving Towards Community Cohesion’ project which is funded by the Safer Southwark Partnership .