Wellbeing project with the Gypsy and Travellers Community in the East Midlands

East Midlands
Published Date: 12 Dec 2018

The Centre for BME Health, which is funded by NIHR CLAHRC East Midlands and the University of Leicester, has been working to reduce health inequalities Gypsy and Travellers Community in the East Midlands.

There is a growing evidence of research that Gypsies and Travellers (G&T) have significantly poorer health status, greater gap in life expectancy and significantly more self-reported symptoms of ill-health than other ethnic minorities. They are very marginalised and suffer extreme levels of prejudice and discrimination. In Leicestershire there are at least 2,000 Gypsy and Travellers living in Leicestershire across approximately 70 sites.

Whilst there is some local information about G&T community needs, the evidence on health and wellbeing needs, as with many socially excluded groups, remains very limited.

The project aims to enhance the understanding of those needs, identify gaps in primary research, and seek community feedback on the specific interventions that lead to reduction of health inequalities. It also helped us to establish some positive actions that can be taken by the Centre and the wider research teams to address some of these concerns.

The Centre for BME Health was delighted to be awarded a small funding from the Wellcome Trust to undertake this work and support community led interventions.

The sessions were held to address some of the concerns members of the traveller community highlighted at a community engagement event in January. Information was provided about oral health, holistic therapies, stop smoking services, and the diabetes risk score. Other activities included a healthy walk and yoga sessions as well as community-based health and wellbeing activities.

For more information about the project, contact Barbara Czyznikowska on bmc15@leicester.ac.uk.