Local media company receives over £ 1million from National Lottery

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A HEREFORDSHIRE company has received £ 1.3million from the national lottery to invest in practical media skills for traveling communities.

Hereford media company and the national rural media charity received money from the National Lottery Community Fund for ‘The Travelers’ Times’, the only national media platform for Gypsies, Roma and Travelers (GRT) .

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Elly De Decker, Director for England of the National Lottery Community Fund, said: “We are delighted to fund this project, which aims to ensure that people from Gypsy, Roma and Traveler (GRT) communities have access to information and opportunities relevant.

“Most importantly, what attracted us to this work is that it ensures that the voices of this community are heard.

“We are able to fund this vital program thanks to National Lottery players, who raise £ 36million each week for good causes across the UK.”

For 30 years, rural media have been working with GRT communities.

‘The Travelers’ Times’ is a cultural publication within the travel community.

It celebrates and connects people with their history, culture and – especially during the pandemic – with each other.

Nic Millington, CEO of Rural Media and Co-Founder of The Travelers’ Times, has consulted with GRT organizations, families and individuals over the past two years, asking what would be most helpful for their long-term well-being. .

“Gypsy and Traveler communities urgently need to be able to represent themselves at local and national levels, but need the skills and support to do so,” said Mr Millington.

“We are also aware that some people may need financial assistance for training, hence the inclusion of a living wage component in the TT Vision project.

“Thanks to the National Lottery players, we have put in place a solid strategy that will facilitate the independence of Travelers Times.

“Investing in life skills, education and leadership has always been at the heart of our goals. TT Vision will enable Gypsies, Roma and Travelers to take full advantage of the new digital age and have a powerful independent voice. ”

The National Lottery Community Fund is the largest funder of community activity in the UK. Rural Media will invest the money in the launch of ‘TT Vision’.

This will be a more video-centric version of the Travelers’ Times Project; it will aim to improve skills, train and offer media and professional opportunities to Gypsies and Travelers.

They hope to develop full ownership and operation of the community in the not-so-distant future.

Julie Colman, Travelers Time (TT) project manager and rural media operations manager, said the charity hopes this will help many “break the glass ceiling” that communities often face.

She added, “We are delighted to have the support of the National Lottery Community Fund.

I am extremely proud of the work of Travelers’ Times; our contributors and supporters have done over the past 20 years – but there is still a lot of work to be done. TT Vision is our most ambitious project to date.

TT Vision will invest in practical skills that will support community development, social mobility and place GRT representation tools in the hands of Gypsies and Travelers themselves.

Lisa Smith, Editor-in-Chief of Travelers’ Times Youth, said: “With a strong emphasis on community leadership and empowerment, this project will advance our commitment to create space for media counter-narratives. dominants, a place where gypsies and travelers have a platform to tell their side of the story.

Those involved will be a team of local media professionals, educators and business leaders who will provide training in media and communications, video production, management and finance, marketing and distribution, public relations, leadership and life skills.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Travelers’ Times was unable to function face to face, and group activities saw an increase in demand for support as a result.

The funding will support the delivery of this training and professional development.

The four-year transition will include a regular review to ensure accessibility of the project, which will be grounded in on-the-job research, professional knowledge and practical skills.


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