0131 651 6444/ 07399786445 step@ed.ac.uk

Gypsy Traveller community members share views on health and wellbeing

What the community have said:

As far as being gay is concerned. We dont discuss this in our culture. We dont bother other people and we get on with our own ways.

Scottish Gypsy/Traveller father

I couldn’t understand why she (daughter) was coming home so upset.  She started having a sore tummy on PE days and asked to stay off.  When I got to the bottom of it, it was because she was having to get changed in front of the boys.  We just dont do that, not at any age.

Scottish Gypsy/Traveller mother

We see it as the mothers’ job to tell the girls about their bodies and their periods. This is all kept within the family and it will never be discussed in front of the men.

Gypsy/Traveller mother and grandmother

I don’t want my wee boy using grown-up words.  They grow up too quickly anyway – I see him as just a wean.  I know other families think it’s ok but it’s just not for me.  I would rather take him out of the school.

Scottish Gypsy/Traveller mother

They don’t need to think about their safety.  We don’t let them get involved in drink or drugs. We want to keep them seperate so that they don’t hear about all that is going on with the older kids.  That’s one of the reasons we don’t want them going to  secondary…to keep them away from all that.

Scottish Gypsy/Traveller mum

The women talk to the women and the men talk to the men about private things.  This is the way it has been for generations.

Scottish Gypsy/Traveller father

Reflective questions

What range of data and information do we use to understand the social and cultural context of our local Gypsy/Traveller community?

How do we know that staff are confident in their knowledge of Gypsy/Traveller beliefs and values?

To what extent have we established processes for reaching out and building trusting relationships with the Gypsy/Traveller community?