York Law School are celebrating their 15th Anniversary. As part of this celebration, we would appreciate any support for our project with York Unlimited supporting young people from York’s Gypsy Traveller Communities (GTC), both to succeed at further education and to widen their opportunities by providing them with entrepreneurial skills and knowledge.
Professor Caroline Hunter has been at York Law School since it was opened in 2008 and was head of the school from 2013 – 2021. She also has been a trustee of the York Travellers Trust for some time and the Chair since 2021. Having been negligently knocked off her bike on the roundabout on University Road, she used some of the damages to create a project with York Unlimited supporting young people from York’s Gypsy Traveller Communities (GTC), both to succeed at further education and to widen their opportunities by providing them with entrepreneurial skills and knowledge. The project is running from 2023-2025. YLS is now looking to support this project beyond its first 2 years.
The project partners are the University’s Widening Access team and York Traveller Trust. Your generous donation will support the project that allows us to work towards our mission of supporting young people from York’s GTC, both to succeed at further education and to widen their opportunities by providing them with entrepreneurial skills and knowledge. The project covers three main areas:
- Support wellbeing and unpick behaviours and attitudes using a qualified youth worker
- Support educational attainment with functional skills qualifications
- Support entrepreneurial ideas and aspirations using modules created by the University of York/Entrepreneurial SPARK Partnership
The programme will also financially support these young people to take functional skills exams when/if they are ready and to fund the entrepreneurial modules twice each year.
By taking part in this programme, each young person will gain/experience:
- Time each week with a qualified youth worker
- Understanding of why education is important and how it can help them in their individual futures
- Knowledge on their future options
- Support to complete functional skills exams by a qualified tutor
- Functional skills exams paid for
- Knowledge and practice in demonstrating entrepreneurial skills
- Understanding of how they can use these entrepreneurial skills in their individual futures
Project costs about £1500 a month to run and it would be great to achieve a total of £6000 to continue the project for another 4 months. Please consider joining our alumni, friends and professors, past and present, in helping us to reach our goal to grow Caroline’s original donation. Giving generously today will expand our ability to make a huge difference to this community.
Supporting a very marginalised community
The Law School has always sought to give our students a real awareness of the many social roles law plays, particularly how it impacts marginalised communities. There is a significant community of Gypsy and Traveller people living in York. There are three permanent Gypsy and Traveller sites at Water Lane, Clifton and two very close to campus on Outgang Lane, Osbaldwick and James Street, York.
A recent survey by the Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity, reported in the Guardian, demonstrated the barriers which Gypsy and Traveller people face in modern Britain. It reveals extremely high levels of racial assault, poor health, precarious employment and socioeconomic deprivation.
The survey found that people from the GTC experienced the highest levels of socioeconomic deprivation. About 51% of Gypsy and Travellers had no educational qualifications. They were also less likely to be in the highest occupational positions, and also had high rates of financial difficulties and benefit receipts.
Other data shows that Gypsy and Traveller people have the lowest levels of progression to higher education at 3-4%. 184 students who identified as Gypsy or Traveller were registered in higher education in 2018/19 (OfS). The number of Gypsy and Traveller people at the University of York isn’t currently available but it is likely in single figures. In our 2020-21 to 2024-25 Access and Participation plan, we committed to exploring, and engaging in activity to widen participation with people from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.
There is long-established evidence that Gypsy and Traveller communities are under-represented in higher education and underserved by access and outreach initiatives. Our ultimate aim is this project is to deliver a bespoke programme of sustained, multi-intervention activities to that has been have been designed to support those cultural aspirations and expectations of young people in the Gypsy and Traveller community, but to do so with education and future skills in mind.
Help Us succeed
We understand that it is not always possible for people to donate, and we would be incredibly grateful for any support. This includes taking the time to share this with anyone and everyone who might be interested, including colleagues, friends and family.
And we know we said you don't need to give money to help us, but we'd love it if you could. Please sponsor us and help continue this important project.