Gypsies, Roma and Travellers

Gypsies, Roma and Travellers

The UK s 300,000 Gypsies and Travellers have lived, worked and travelled throughout the UK for over 500 years. Gypsies and Travellers form rich, varied and diverse communities and include:

• Romany Gypsies;

• Roma;

• Scottish Travellers;

• Welsh Travellers (Kale);

• Irish Travellers;

• New Travellers;

• Bargees or Boat Dwellers;

• Showpeople;

• Circus People.


As with any ethnic group, needs will differ between individuals and between communities. The literature specific to the Gypsy and Traveller population indicates that, as a group, their health overall is poorer than that of the general population and also poorer than that of non-Travellers living in socially deprived areas (Parry et al., 2004; Parry et al., 2007). They have poor health expectations and make limited use of health care provision (Van Cleemput et al., 2007; Parry et al., 2007).


(From: ‘The Health of Gypsies and Travellers in the UK’,  Zoe Matthews, A Race Equality Foundation

Briefing Paper, November 2008)

Settled Travellers can experience high levels of depression linked to loss of their traditional lifestyle.

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