Travellers’ Times Project Awarded £.5M to Expand Work with Gypsies, Roma and Travellers

14 December 2016

Herefordshire-based charity, Rural Media, has been awarded a grant of £499,469 from the Big Lottery Fund to expand its communications and training work with Gypsy, Roma and Traveller families throughout the UK.  

Rural Media founded The Travellers’ Times (TT) magazine 20 years ago and its website a few years later, with the aim of promoting understanding of Traveller culture; building bridges between Traveller and non-Traveller communities; and challenging prejudice and discrimination. 

The TT website now gets over 35,000 views per month and is the first port of call, not just for Travellers but service providers, academics, civic leaders and the media.    The project also offers media and journalism training, which enables Gypsy, Roma and Travellers to write and publish their own news articles and features.

The Big Lottery Fund grant will specifically enable Travellers’ Times to address two of the most persistent issues that hold Gypsies, Roma and Travellers back from playing a full part in contemporary society: negative representation and stereotyping in the media; and a lack of a voice for young Gypsies and Travellers.

Romany Gypsy, Lisa Smith, who works for Rural Media said, “Stereotypes portrayed in the media helps fuel widespread prejudice and hate crime against Gypsies and Travellers.”

Lisa went on to say, “It is clear from research that young Gypsies and Travellers are not faring at well in education or wider society, yet we hear so little from them directly.  It is time that their voices were heard.”

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Mike Doherty, Editor of The Travellers’ Times, said that the award was “great news”.

“The Travellers’ Times team is looking forward to developing The TT project over the next few years as well as continuing to deliver a professional and informative news and information product to our readers and stakeholders,” he said.

Rural Media’s CEO, Nic Millington said, “We are delighted that the Big Lottery Fund recognized the national significance of The Travellers’ Times.  We look forward to working with advocacy groups, local authorities, the media and of course Gypsy, Roma and Travellers themselves to help improve the lives and wellbeing of an estimated 500,000 people in the UK.”

To find out more about The Travellers’ Times visit