Leeds GATE (Gypsy and Traveller Exchange)

Gypsies and Irish Travellers are acknowledged as amongst the most excluded ethnic minorities in the UK with significantly poor life chances, health and educational outcomes. Leeds Gypsy and Traveller Exchange was set up to highlight and tackle these inequalities particularly in Leeds and West Yorkshire.

In line with our social aim Leeds GATE has 4 key objectives that guide our work

Leeds GATE Key Objectives

– Improving accommodation provision

– Improving health and well-being

– Improving education, employment and financial inclusion

– Increasing citizenship and social inclusion

We also have an ‘inward facing’ object innovation and excellence.

We have identified the values which characterise our organisation and which underpin all the work we do. These values were developed through consultation with the staff team and Executive Board.

Leeds GATE Values

– Leeds GATE belongs to Gypsies and Travellers

– Leeds GATE is welcoming

– Leeds GATE respects people’s privacy

– Leeds GATE believes that people should be safe

– Leeds GATE helps people to help themselves

– Leeds GATE is honest and open

– Leeds GATE doesn’t make promises that can’t be kept

– Leeds GATE is brave and creative

– Leeds GATE believes that everyone is equal and can be included

How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?

Leeds GATE has recognised the higher level of suicide rate in the Gypsy and Traveller community. After consultation with our members we recognised suicide is something that many people in the community are affected by, but do not feel equipped with the tools to make any changes in regards to it.

The suicide rate in the Gypsy and Traveller community is 6% higher in females and 7% higher in males (under 45).

Leeds GATE offers advocacy support around any issues regarding suicide and is working to build up partnerships with other organisations that our members would otherwise struggle to access.

Staff in Leeds GATE also aim to run Safe TALK training to members to start challenging suicide as a ‘taboo’ subject.

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What are your current priorities?

Our current priorities are:

– Building positive working relationships with other organisations that offer support and guidance around suicide

– Challenging suicide as a taboo subject within the Gypsy and Traveller community

– Developing and delivering a Safe TALK training programme that our members find accessible.

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What challenges are you currently facing?

Challenges we are currently facing include under representation of the Gypsy and Traveller community in basic health care. That our members struggle to gain access to basic health care provisions. As a result of this many of our members ‘struggle in silence’ with their mental and emotional health concerns.

Another would be taboo subjects within the community, mental health being one of them. Our members are starting the discussion round mental health, however we are struggling to engage male members, due to pressures put on men within the community.

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