New website for young Gypsies and travellers in Wales

Picture grab of Travelling Ahead website The website gives visitors a chance to have a say on topics that matter to them

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A new website showcasing the work of young Gypsies and travellers in Wales and giving them the chance to voice their opinions has been launched.

Travelling Ahead will feature the stories of young members of those communities and aims to give them a voice on decisions that affect them.

The site has been designed by Save the Children in Wales.

The site, www.travellingahead.org.uk, is part of Save the Children's Travelling Ahead project.

Sam Janes, 14, a traveller from Pontypool, Torfaen, said he believed the website was a good idea because most gypsies and travellers did not know their rights.

"It would be good for people to know what our rights are and to learn more about us," he said.

'Schools more aware'

"Even if we mix with them (non-travellers) they discriminate against us and call us poor and dirty.

Start Quote

They need to learn about us and then maybe they will stop discriminating against us and realise that we are not that different to them, apart from our language and culture”

End Quote Sam Janes, 14 Traveller

"They need to learn about us and then maybe they will stop discriminating against us and realise that we are not that different to them, apart from our language and culture."

But he said attitudes were starting to change, particularly at school.

"I think it's getting better. The schools are becoming more aware and are controlling it a lot better," he said.

He added: "We will never lose our difference - we will never forget our own culture.

"It's important to all the travellers - that's one of the main things they keep through generations, their culture."

The site was launched at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay by Social Justice Minister Carl Sargeant.

'Give your opinion'

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It provides information, support, advice on children's rights, particularly some of the legal situation connected to their lifestyle, history, culture”

End Quote Mark Chapple Save the Children

Mark Chapple, programme manager for Save the Children, said: "There's two parts to the website. There's the part set up for children and young people across Wales.

"It provides information, support, advice on children's rights, particularly some of the legal situation connected to their lifestyle, history, culture.

"But crucially for us, our project is around increasing participation of young gypsies and travellers in decision making across Wales. This website forms part of that project.

"With the website, local forums in each local authority will have their own section where they can upload the work they have been doing engaging with decision makers, getting their voices heard and demonstrating good practice for other forums across Wales."

The site says it was "created to give your friends and other young people and workers across Wales a chance to see what projects you've taken part in and what you've been up to.

"Now's your chance to give your opinion and have a say on things that matter to you, or that you would like to see changed."

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