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Following a steep rise in cases across the region, the whole of the North East has been named as an area that will receive additional support. You can read the latest statement from LA7 leaders. There are no additional restrictions on the area or residents but with cases of Covid higher than ever before everyone is asked to continue to act carefully and responsibly. Further information will be provided as it becomes available. See Covid-19 advice and information for advice on how to stay safe. Thank you for playing your part in helping to keep the North East open and protect others.

Working with Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities


Gypsies, Roma and Travellers have a long established history as part of our community in County Durham. We have a duty to encourage race equality, eliminate discrimination and foster good relations.

The date for Appleby Fair 2021 has been confirmed as 12 August 2021.

In line with the easing of Covid-19 restrictions we plan to open our Temporary Stop Over Areas (TSOA) on Friday 30 July 2021 to support the migration of Gypsies and Travellers to and from Appleby Fair. With the exception of Gurney Valley TSOA, the other nine TSOAs will close no later than 23 August 2021.

We would ask that people do not encamp on the TSOAs before the agreed opening date of Friday 30 July 2021, and we would encourage anyone who is visiting Appleby Fair and our TSOAs to get their vaccine before travelling. We will also be providing information about vaccinations and providing hand sanitisers to those using our TSOAs when reopened.

The GRT Service is making visits to unauthorised encampments and Temporary Stop Over Areas and the service can be contacted for advice by phone on 03000 26 00 00 or email grtservice@durham.gov.uk

We aim to meet the needs of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) communities who pass through the county, as well as working with local settled communities, councillors and key partners, to offer support and advice. Our key areas of work include the management of unauthorised encampments and awareness raising.

We encourage race equality, eliminate discrimination and foster good relations.

Working together

We work together to ensure that:

  • We offer the right services.
  • We listen to and support Gypsies, Roma and Travellers, local residents and businesses.
  • We share best practice and work together efficiently.

Neighbourhood Wardens

Our neighbourhood wardens work in teams across 3 areas in Durham, (North, East and South). Visit our neighbourhood wardens page for more information, including contact details.

Education

Our GRT Education Service provides education support to all Traveller pupils in the county. See our Educational support for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children (GRT) information.

Health care

Our GRT Senior Nurse provides health services to all GRT communities across the county. The nurse links with us, Health Trainers and Humankind.

If you or your family need specialist care, the nurse will show you how to access that care or support. If you would like to contact the Senior Nurse, call 07971 895 298.

Sites (permanent)

We manage permanent sites across the county - see our Permanent Gypsy, Roma and Traveller sites information.

Police

We work with the police to protect you and your neighbourhoods.

Events/commemorations

Holocaust Memorial Day 

Find out how we commemorated this year's Holocaust Memorial Day.

Gypsy, Roma, Traveller History Month

Taking place every June, Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month celebrates 500 years of Gypsy and Traveller culture and history in the UK. The awareness month brings together local Gypsy and Traveller communities to ensure past traditions are remembered and continued for years to come.

Appleby Horse Fair

Appleby Horse Fair is an annual gathering of Gypsies and Travellers in the town of Appleby in Cumbria. This year's fair will take place from Thursday 12 August subject to any potential changes in government regulations and recommendations around large events.

 Appleby Fair is unique in Europe, attracting around 10,000 Gypsies and Travellers and over 30,000 visitors to the fair. County Durham is a key part of the route to Appleby with areas in Teesdale offering stop over points for people travelling to the fair. More information about the fair can be found on the official Appleby Horse Fair website.

Gypsy and Traveller Health Project

Gypsies and Travellers live shorter lives and live in poorer health than all communities across County Durham.

As a result, an action plan to improve the health and wellbeing outcomes for these communities was developed and implemented. It included the following actions:

  • to provide cultural awareness training for council, health service and voluntary sector staff
  • to appoint two health trainers for the Gypsy and Traveller communities
  • to create a specialist Health Visitor / Nurse post
  • to produce culturally relevant health promotion resources

An independent evaluation of these interventions was put in place and Icon for pdf Gypsy and Traveller Health Project Evaluation (PDF, 4.1mb) details the impact of the work undertaken to date.

Contact us
Gypsy Roma, Traveller Service
03000 26 0000
Our address is:
  • Durham County Council
  • Annand House
  • John Street North
  • Meadowfield
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH7 8RS
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