Traveller mothers keen on children’s schooling

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A film, book and exhibition documenting the real lives of gypsies and travellers living in Lincolnshire today – in contrast to those controversially portrayed on TV – will be unveiled at the Romany Museum in Spalding next week.

Our Big Real Gypsy Lives: Bigger. Truer.Happier is the result of months of work since last June with young people from the two communities by the Lincolnshire Traveller Initiative (LTI), funded by £48,000 from the Heritage Lottery.

Artists and film-makers joined in to empower around ten youngsters aged from tento 24 to interview their elders and produce prose, poetry and pictures, aiming to give the county’s “settled” community a true picture of their culture and how it’s changing in the 21st century.

Paul Boucher, of LTI, said: “This project has been a wonderful extension of the work we do with gypsy and traveller children and young people in Lincolnshire on a regular basis.

“It was inspirational watching the young people’s confidence grow as they carried out this important work capturing details of their lives so that they can be shared with the wider community and particularly with children in Lincolnshire schools.

“Hopefully what we have done will improve understanding of one of Britain’s most misunderstood cultures and have an impact on the number of racially-motivated incidents against them that are reported each year.”

The project was deliberately named to refer to the Channel Four Big Fat Gypsy Weddings series screened in 2011 and 12 which have been widely criticised for misrepresenting the already marginalised communities.

The event at the Romany Museum on Feburary 27 from 11am to 1.30pm is open to visitors who must reserve a place by emailing in advance to