Salford Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service (EMTAS) and Salford Youth Service are services which offer support and opportunities to a wide number of children and young people across the city of Salford.
Some of these children and young people are particularly vulnerable including those that come from a Gypsy Roma Traveller heritage.
It is well documented that children, young people and adults that are of Gypsy Roma or Traveller heritage can face some of the worst prejudicial hostility from the wider community, including stereotypical views, bullying and racism.
Unfortunately, bad news stories often hit the headlines whilst little is known about the rich cultural heritage of these communities including lifestyle, culture and traditions of life and survival on the open road!
The idea for the project came from an everyday conversation with a local Irish Traveller master craftsman who was keen to teach young people, both Traveller and non-Traveller about the traditional skills of wagon making which have been passed down over many decades.
The project enabled over 20 young Travellers and non-Travellers to work together and learn from each other, exploring a unique minority heritage. After three years we finally had built a traditional Bill Wright-style Bow Top Gypsy wagon!
The accompanying educational exhibition and activity programme explores themes such as traditions, culture, heritage and identity and why these things are so important in all our lives.
Salford Young Roots Heritage Lottery Irish Traveller Wagon Project: Bringing Heritage Alive!
The project took third place at the Council of Europe 7th Dosta! Congress Prize 2020. The prize is awarded every two years to three municipalities from Council of Europe member states that have implemented innovative and creative initiatives to effectively ensure the long-term integration of the Roma and Traveller communities within their borders, while respecting the diversity of these communities and ensuring their active participation in democratic life.
Salford Pride Award
David Eccleston won Salford Pride Award in 2019 for his dedication to the project and supporting vulnerable young people.
Special thanks to the following people, communities, companies and organisations who helped us complete this project.
Project lead: Natalie Stables, Salford Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service
Technical lead: Dave Eccleston, Salford Youth Service