Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children awarded for their achievements

28June 2011

Children from the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities will be awarded at special ceremony for their achievements tomorrow.

The awards ceremony, organised by Leeds City Council’s Gypsy Roma Traveller achievement service celebrates the children from these communities in Leeds who have achieved a variety of educational success.

The awards have been arranged as part of the national Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month which was pioneered by Leeds City Council four years ago. This annual event raises awareness of and celebrates the communities’ achievements, culture and history, and aims to overcome the prejudice surrounding these often misunderstood communities. It also focuses on ways to improve the achievement of Gypsy Roma Traveller children, which is currently the lowest of any minority group in the UK.

The ceremony at Leeds Civic Hall on Wednesday 29 June, will also award the winners in a city-wide calendar competition which invited all children in Leeds to create designs which focus on aspects of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller life.

Presenting the prizes will be Nigel Richardson, Leeds City Council’s director of children’s services, achievers from within the Gypsy Roma and Traveller communities and special guests Jamie Peacock and Brett Delaney from Leeds Rhinos.

Around 50 achievement awards will be handed out for successes in all aspects of life, including: good school attendance; a commitment to school work; successes in dance and music; good behaviour; being a good role model and achieving qualifications.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said:
"It is crucial that we engage with the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community to ensure that these children reach their full potential and to help foster a commitment to education. This is a great celebration of what can be achieved by working together and creating an environment of mutual understanding.

“Our Gypsy, Roma, Traveller achievement service has been opening up a new world of learning and cultural understanding for over 25 years as well as working directly with members of these communities to help them engage and succeed. “

The winners and runners-up in the calendar competition and those receiving achievement awards will each get a certificate, a small gift and merchandise from Leeds Rhinos.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713
Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk