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Bridging the Gap Project – Awards for All

Over the last year, A Living Tradition has been able to do a lot to support the very marginalised Roma community in Gateshead, through the Bridging the Gap project, which has been funded by the Big Lottery through the Awards for All Community Fund.

What we have done:

We started this project just as the Covid-19 pandemic struck and so had to improvise quickly and in March we moved from a physical drop-in to online and telephone-based work.    A face-book page was established by and for the Roma community and this helped us to pass on much needed information.

Despite this we have managed to do a lot to help the Roma community in Gateshead. In this project we have helped the Roma community in Gateshead with many issues, including the following:   avoiding debt and dealing with various government agencies, getting information to people about the EU Settled Status process and perhaps most importantly helping people to understand what was happening regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. 

There has been a lot of stress in the Roma community due to Covid-19 and we have been able to help alleviate it.  We have also helped members of the community with the issue of EU Settled Status and the various other problems they face.  With the support of Awards for All, we have been able to help bridge the gap between this very marginalised community and the support they need and which is their right.

We have liaised with a number of local organisations during this project, including Citizens Advice Gateshead, Northumbria Police, the Children's Society, Kelvingrove Primary School and the Spirit of Christmas Fund, Feeding Families, the Salvation Army and Cash for Kids, who helped members of the Roma community to have a better Christmas in 2020. We have held discussions with Tyneside Mind about future work together.

Our thanks also to Fareshare, who have helped the Roma community with food donations, during this difficult time and to all other groups mentioned in the reports from A Living Tradition elsewhere on this site.

Peter Sagar, A Living Tradition CIC, March 2021

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