How we’re helping to save the heritage of community traditions and ways of life

How we’re helping to save the heritage of community traditions and ways of life

A historic black and white photograph of a group of Traveller people with infants selling flowers
Traveller flower sellers in the New Forest in the late 1800s. Photo: New Forest Gypsy Traveller.
To mark Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month we’re celebrating how our funding has been used to ensure living heritage continues to thrive.

From music and dance to family, food and memories, the heritage of Roma and Traveller people needs to be recorded and passed on to be sustained. We fund projects that help preserve and share this cultural heritage because we believe that everyone’s heritage is important and that heritage is for everyone.

Read on to discover examples of projects that National Lottery players have made possible.

Communities celebrating their heritage

Ando Glaso ran their first Roma Cultural Festival in Glasgow with our funding, celebrating Roma and Traveller culture. Their project also trained volunteers, including young Roma people, to film people from the Roma community sharing what heritage means to them. Read more about Ando Glaso's project.

The Roma of Newport, South Wales project is collecting oral histories and photographs to share at a touring exhibition in Newport, Barry and Cardiff. This project, run by and for the local Roma community, is preserving and shining the spotlight on their rich culture and traditions.

three musicians with guitars and accordions and four women dancers wearing traditional eastern European dress
Ando Glaso's project recorded heritage that matters to Roma families in Glasgow including traditional music and dance.

Empowering young people

Holmewood in Bradford is home to the UK’s largest group of scrap metal collecting ‘Rag n Bone’ people, some of whom have Gypsy and Traveller roots. Any Old Rag n Bones empowered young people from this community to tell their own story, working with and learning from local artists, photographers and researchers to create an exhibition.

Preserving memories and traditions

First Steps New Forest collected photographs of Romany Gypsy Traveller life in the New Forest between the 1890s and 1950s into an online archive. They ran workshops to help people from these communities research their family history.

A historic black and white photograph of traveller children and an adult standing in front of tents
Traveller families camping in the New Forest. Photo: New Forest Gypsy Roma Traveller.

Building mutual respect between communities

Armagh Roma Traveller Support organised workshops and events for locals and newcomer families to help people from different cultures and backgrounds learn about Roma and Irish Traveller cultural heritage. Read more about the project.

We fund living heritage projects

Designing a project to maintain and pass on cultural traditions, knowledge and skills requires a special approach: the community’s participation is crucial and in-person events are an important way of collecting and passing on information, skills and memories. Read our guidance on how your project can help safeguard intangible cultural heritage.

We can fund heritage projects from £10,000 up to £10million. Find out what types of heritage we support, and what you can spend the money on.

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