Thursday, June 29, 2017

Traveller Support

The Community Development Programme has been actively engaged with the development of sustainable strategies and implementing actions to improve prospects for Travellers in all key areas of their lives. This includes support to the Sligo Traveller Support Group, through which several programmes have been made available to Traveller women, including a series of Back to Education Initiatives and a Primary Health Care Programme and the Peer Education and Well Being Programme.

For more information please contact Bernadette: email: stsg@eircom.net

The Company is also actively involved in the development and implementation of the Co. Sligo Interagency Traveller Strategy; this five year plan is part of a national drive to improve the quality of lives for Travellers through the enhanced co-operation of services and state agencies. The five themes of the Co. Sligo Strategic Plan are Accommodation, Health, Education/ Training/ Employment, Youth, and Childcare.

Through the Co. Sligo Interagency Traveller Strategy Group, the Company has been involved in piloting projects such as initiating the set-up and running of St. Enda’s Afterschool Service 2007-2008 in conjunction with Home Youth Liaison Service; this service has now been mainstreamed and is currently being run by Sligo Traveller Support Group. We also commissioned research into Early School Leaving amongst the Traveller population in Co. Sligo.

As a community development organisation we have set up projects that have enabled young Travellers to engage in a variety of activities, such as horse-riding, woodwork, dance classes, blacksmithing, and have encouraged many to become more health aware through assisting with membership at the local Regional Sports Complex. We have also facilitated many in passing their driver theory test.

Currently the company are co-ordinating the Special Initiative for Traveller Employment – a FAS sponsored interagency project to increase employment prospects for Travellers in Co. Sligo. This initiative will attempt to address the difficulties faced by Travellers wishing to engage in some form of employment.

With the assistance of Peace III funding the Sligo Leader Partnership Co. and Home Youth Liaison Service have co-ordinated an oral history project: RECALL (Reflecting Each Community At Local Level), documenting stories and recollections of interactions between Travellers and Settled people in Ballymote and the surrounding area. The aim of the project was to find a means where two traditionally hostile groups can find a common ground from which to start a process of building more positive relations, but also to recognise the fact that Travellers do not feature in local or national histories. This project is a means of trying to redress this cultural imbalance and hopefully will provide the impetus for further work in this regard.