Investing in heritage of diverse ethnic communities

Investing in heritage of diverse ethnic communities

a group of people pose for a photo in Wales with hills and historic mining equipment in the background
The Roma of Newport, South Wales project.
Heritage belongs to us all – which is why we want to help tell everyone's stories.

At The National Lottery Heritage Fund, we support all sorts of projects which explore and celebrate the heritage of diverse ethnic communities.

During Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month, we’re highlighting projects that showcase the diverse histories and heritage of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities. Discover the stories of these projects below. 

We want everyone to have opportunities to learn, develop new skills and explore heritage, regardless of background or personal circumstances. That's why under our Heritage 2033 investment principles inclusion, access and participation must be part of every project we fund.

The terms we use

Some of the terms we use include:

  • diverse ethnic communities, or ethnically diverse communities. In Scotland we use MECC (minority ethnic and cultural community). We have revised our usage of the term BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic).
  • LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and other identities)
  • Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities. This describes a range of ethnic groups or people with nomadic ways of life who are not from a specific ethnicity.

We use these terms because we believe they are widely understood. Identities can be complex and intersectional, and we are also aware that for many these terms may feel inadequate or limiting. We keep the language we use constantly under review.

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month

Each June Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month celebrates the histories, cultures and traditions of a diverse range of Gypsy, Roma, Traveller and nomadic communities. This year’s theme ‘what does family mean to you’ focusses on the importance of families, whatever form they take.

By sharing the stories and amplifying the voices of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people we can help to tackle prejudice and raise awareness about the past and present of the communities.

Our collection below showcases the diverse range of projects across the UK that we’ve supported to uncover, explore, and celebrate Gypsy, Roma and Traveller heritage.

Get inspiration for your project

We want to support projects that make the stories of the UK’s four nations more inclusive of everyone’s heritage. Get inspired by the projects below and find out more about applying for our funding.

The left side of the image shows a traditional Traveller wagon, painted with decorative designs, and the right side of the image shows a man leading a pony and trap which a girl is riding
The project held an outdoor fair-style event in June 2023.


Roma and Irish Travellers: A Shared Story

People from different cultures and backgrounds came together for workshops and celebration events about Roma and Irish Traveller cultural heritage organised by Armagh Roma Traveller Support.

Three musicians with guitars and an accordion and four women dancers wearing traditional Eastern European dress.
Romane Cierhenia are a family group of Roma musicians and dancers from Poland.


Roma Empowerment Through Heritage

This pilot project trained volunteers including young Roma people to record heritage and ran a Roma cultural heritage festival.

Group of people standing outdoors in front of industrial heritage
Roma community visiting industrial heritage in the South Wales valleys.


Bringing to life Roma stories in Newport, South Wales

The Roma of Newport, South Wales project is recording and sharing the personal stories, culture and heritage of the area’s Roma community.

Gypsy, Romany and Traveller site
Volunteers have collected photographs that document GRT sites and their way of life


Family Lines, Family Trails

Using National Lottery money, The Romani Cultural and Arts Company have been able to record, celebrate and preserve the cultural heritage of Gypsy and Traveller communities in South Wales.

Life-sized statue of a woman in a small, landscaped garden
More than a cell – statue of Henrietta Lacks (1920-1951) by Helen Wilson-Roe in Royal Fort Garden, Bristol. Photo: Bhagesh Sachania Photography.


Bringing Henrietta Lacks’ story to life in Bristol

Explore how the University of Bristol is spotlighting Henrietta’s controversial contribution to medicine and inspiring future scientists.
Forest Lane Park showing pond with wildlife, trees and historic building
Forest Lane Park in Newham.


Restoring Forest Lane Park for people and nature

Newham Council has received initial support for a proposed £1million project to transform Forest Lane Park, a green space in the heart of Newham.

A visitor listens through an exhibition headset in front of a display of information about faith
The Faith Museum, Bishop Auckland.


Restoring and reinterpreting Auckland Castle

This bold heritage-led regeneration project aims to create inspiring experiences and learnings on faith for visitors to County Durham.

A group of children posing for a photograph, some holding family objects
Children at a workshop held during the project.


Cocorico! Exploring the heritage in our homes

A Congolese community organisation in Swansea brought people together to learn about and share their heritage through personal items.
An event at Newham Chinese Association
An event at Newham Chinese Association. Photo: Newham Chinese Association.


Malaysian Angels of the NHS

Newham Chinese Association are gathering oral histories of 20 Malaysian nurses who arrived to the UK to work for the NHS from the 1950s onwards.

If you query is regarding our application portal, please contact our support team.