Trust commended on innovative work with Traveller and Roma communities

03/11/2014

Belfast Trust has been commended for its on-going work with the Traveller and Roma Community from the British and Irish Parliamentary Assembly.

The Parliamentary Assembly, which looked at evidence from a range of organisations earlier this year commended the Trust on its innovation and best practice in working with Travellers and Roma and recommend that the Trusts model be shared across the UK and Ireland as a model of best practice.

Picture: Sorina Toma Bryson Intercultural, Barbara Purcell Bryson An Munia Tober, Stephen Long BHSCT

“Belfast Health Trust had dedicated Traveller Liaison Officers who built relationships with Travellers and helped them access health services. Belfast Health Trust also encouraged discussion of mental health issues among Travellers and Gypsies using a DVD resource. This was one example of an innovative approach to engaging with health needs of Travellers, Gypsies and Roma that we commend. Likewise, using community choirs and other creative arts to build confidence, tackle stigma and address mental health issues among Travellers and Gypsies were great examples of innovation” British and Irish Parliamentary Assembly)

Brian Barry chair of the Trust Strategic Group on Traveller Health welcomed the commendation and added “Belfast Trust has been working closely with these communities for many years and this commendation demonstrates the dedication and hard work by our liaison officers to develop partnerships and engagement”.

The Trusts Traveller and Roma Health Projects received further recognition from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Gypsy Roma and Traveller issues, in the Houses of Parliament last week. The Trust, represented by Stephen long, attended the launch of a briefing paper reviewing the UK progress on the European Union framework for national Roma integration strategies.

“Again the Work of Belfast Trust was praised as innovative and ground breaking with these vulnerable communities" said Stephen Long, Community Development Officer, Belfast Trust

“Inclusive health projects within the National Health Service have more often than not been achieved where there has been a longstanding history of engagement with local Gypsy, Traveller and Roma communities, often with staff playing a role in targeted delivery and or liaison. The Belfast Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland is a much celebrated and praised example of such work.” (All Party Parliamentary Group).