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Gypsy, Roma and Travellers in Bristol

Gypsy, Roma and Travellers in Bristol

Who Bristol’s Gypsy, Roma and Travellers are, where they live and how we support the community

Bristol’s Gypsy, Roma and Travellers

The term Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) describes a number of ethnic and cultural groups.

Ethnic Gypsy, Roma and Travellers include:

  • Romany English Gypsies
  • Eastern European Roma and Irish Travellers
  • Scottish and Welsh Gypsies and Travellers
  • Showpeople

These Gypsy, Roma and Travellers are minority ethnic groups, often with their own traditions, customs and languages.

Cultural Travellers include:

  • Circus and Travelling Showpeople 
  • New Travellers 
  • Boat dwellers
  • And in some cases vehicle dwellers

Cultural Travellers may travel or chose to live in a caravan, boat or vehicle because it is a family tradition or because they’ve known no other life. Others travel in search of a better life, for economic or environmental reasons.

All of these groups are represented in Bristol. Each group has its own culture. They often share the same problems related to accessing public services and discrimination.

Where Bristol’s Gypsy, Roma and Travellers live

It is a misconception that all GRT families live in caravans on Traveller sites. In Bristol, about 95% of the community live in houses  or flats.

Many of the families live in Bristol for the autumn and winter months, but are often elsewhere during the spring and summer season.

Bristol’s Travellers’ sites

Bristol has two Travellers’ sites.

Ashton Vale 

Our permanent site in Ashton Vale has 12 pitches where a mixture of English Gypsies, Welsh and Irish Travellers live. Bristol City Council owns the site and it’s managed by Elim Housing. 

Some of the residents move away to find work in spring and summer but come back for the autumn and winter months.  They may also travel to Traveller fairs, to visit family or  for pilgrimages.

Lawrence Weston

Our transit site has 20 pitches. It's used for Gypsies and Travellers moving to and from Bristol for work.
Residents are allowed to stay here for up to three months at a time.

Showpeople sites

Bristol also has one ethnic Showpeople site with 12 plots in Bedminster 

Education

We have a legal duty to give pupils from the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller access to education.
We work with families, communities and schools to make sure:

•    schools understand the GRT culture
•    GRT children can access distance learning if necessary 
•    parents are engaged in their child’s education
•    bullying, discrimination, literacy issues and cultural issues are dealt with properly

Gypsies and Travellers: information for education professionals or schools 

Healthcare   

 The Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community often find it difficult to access health services.
Our Gypsy and Traveller Health Visitor Stephanie Lovell visits families who are based in or travelling to Bristol to help them with any healthcare needs.

Awareness training

We provide free training to schools and other organisations interested in:
•    gaining a better understanding of the GRT culture 
•    improve their services for the GRT community

Gypsy Roma Traveller Team school project video 

Myth buster booklet

Drop in centres on our sites

We have two weekly drop in centres for the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community where families can get help and advice with issues such as:

  • school placements and home education 
  • benefits and work
  • health and well-being 
  • domestic violence and abuse
  • filling in forms

Contact us

If you’re working with or are concerned about a GRT child, young person or family encourage them to contact us.

General

Healthcare

  • Email: stephanie.lovell@cchp.nhs.uk
  • Phone: 0117 950 0844 or 0779 564 6541

Gypsy, Romany and Traveller website

We have an easy English website for the GRT community with useful telephone numbers and information about how to access services and get  support.

Report an unauthorised encampment

How to report an unauthorised encampment and what we'll do

Related links