A charity that represents Gypsies and Travellers in Leeds has been awarded £100,000 from Lloyds Bank Foundation to support homeless people in the Traveller community.
Leeds Gate, which has 700 members across the region, will use the three-year grant to help with core costs of the charity team, enabling them to continue helping homeless people within the Traveller community to access basic services and to support anyone fleeing domestic violence or needing mental health support.
The new fund builds on previous Foundation grants worth £72,800 in total awarded to the charity over the last 10 years.
Ellie Rogers, deputy CEO at Leeds GATE, said: ‘We are one of a handful of specialist organisations across the UK and the only one in West Yorkshire which is supporting the Traveller community. Without our help, many of our members would be left without safe support and would be placed at great risk.
‘As a trusted, community organisation, we are uniquely placed to offer tailored interventions that reduce homelessness and promote secure and safe homes.
‘Every penny we receive counts and will help to make a life-changing impact. Because of this grant from Lloyds Bank Foundation, we will be able to support a much-marginalised community access basic rights that so many others take for granted.’
Leeds GATE is one of six charities in Yorkshire and the Humber supported in Lloyds Bank Foundation’s latest funding round, which awarded £598,025 across the region, tackling issues such as discrimination, mental health, sexual and domestic abuse.
Last year, NewStart visited Leeds Gate to learn more about ‘negotiated stopping’ which they have helped to pioneer in Leeds.
It’s an innovative policy which has seen Leeds City Council negotiate with Gypsies and Travellers to allow them to stay on a piece of land for a period of time if they agree to certain conditions around behaviour, health and safety and waste.
If they come to an agreement, the council will ask for no financial charge and even provide toilets and waste disposable facilities.
The council also directs Gypsies and Travellers away from contentious public spaces such as parks onto more appropriate council land in return for a longer stay.
In January, Leeds’ first permanent Gypsy and Traveller housing site in 20 years opened just outside of the city centre.
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