Thanks to

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					Thanks to,

I would like to thank all those who participated in the research namely,

   The children of St. Kieran’s National School.

   The participants of Bray Travellers Youth Group.

   The women of the ‘Beoirs’ back to education and training programme.

   The staff of Bray Travellers Community Development Group.

   Little Bray Youth Project

   Bray Youth Service

   St Fergal’s Youth Project

I would also like to particularly thank,

   Caroline Kennedy, Principal, St. Kiernan’s National School, for all her


   Helen Moorehouse, who helped with some of the primary research by

   taking notes,

   Helen Kinsella, for her assistance with this project.

   Majella Breen, for her work in initiating and supporting the project on an

   ongoing basis.

   The Bray Area Partnership for funding towards the work.

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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
Sarah Connors

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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
About the researchers

Sarah Connors

Sarah lives in Bray, Co. Wicklow.           She has been employed by the Bray
Travellers Community Development Group (CDG) since 2008 as a resource
worker where she currently manages some of the youth groups within the
project. She also works with Little Bray Youth Project on a sessional basis
alongside additional voluntary work and the busy task of minding her own
young family. Sarah is a settled member of the Travelling Community.

Sarah is responsible for carrying out all primary research contained in this
report along with analysing findings, recommending future direction and
assisting with some of the writing.

Camilla Fitzsimons

Camilla Fitzsimons worked on this project as a freelance researcher.                     In
between caring for her own young family, she has worked within the
Community and Voluntary Sector for 15 years and has previously carried
out research on a number of topics.              Her primary focus is Adult and
Community Education and its potential to instigate transformative change.
Camilla is a member of the settled community.

Camilla is responsible for carrying out secondary research, assisting with
analysis and writing up much of this report.

Research was carried out between October 2010 – June 2011.

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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
   1. Why a needs analysis………………………………………………………..3
   1.1        Layout of the report………………………………………………….....4
   1.2        Research aims……………………………………………………….…..5
   1.3        The way the research was conducted………………………………6

   2. Setting the scene……………………………………………………………..8
   2.1        Traveller population in Bray and its surroundings……………..8

   3. Educational supports for young Travellers…………………………10
   3.1        Previous research on segregation………………………………….11

   4. About Bray Travellers Community Development Group ltd.......14
   4.1        Bray Travellers Community Development Group youth mission
   4.2        What is happening now………………………………………………17

   5. What the children have to say…………………………………………...24
   5.1        Barriers to participation……………………………………………...26
   5.1.1      Parental consent………..……………….………………………….…26
   5.1.2      Transport………………………………………………………………..27
   5.1.3      Fears of discrimination…………………………………………….…28
   5.2        Discussions on the integration of services………………………. 29
   5.2.1      Integration and funding………………………………………………31

   6. Summary of research findings…………………………………………….32

    Where to next? The implications of findings………………………..….34

   6.1        Key recommendations…………………………………………….…...37

   7. Bibliography……………………………………………………………….…...38
   8. Appendix - Sample of questions used………………………………….….39
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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
                              1. Why a needs analysis?

In 2009, a working group was established within Bray Travellers
Community Development Group (CDG).                   Its intention was to support
                                                  research that hoped to find out a
                                                  bit more about the recreational
           “It is important so that
           we are giving the young                needs of young Travellers in Bray
           people what they want
                                                  and surrounding areas.              Bray
            rather than what we
               think they want”                   Travellers CDG already run a
            Outreach worker, DAISH                range       of    youth      activities
           Project Bray Traveller CDG
                                                  including         youth        groups,
                                                  homework clubs and life-skill
                                                  supports, however there was a
                                                  sense from within the project
that it was time to touch base with current and potential service users to
ensure the needs from the ground continued to shape project activities.
There were also other influencing factors in undertaking the research and
these included a reduction in funding to the youth section of the project,
and a sense by the Resource Worker (and researcher in this instance) that
there has not been any significant review of the youth section for a number
of years. Funding was made available from Bray Partnership and led out by
the Centre’s resource worker with the assistance of an outside researcher,
work began in October 2010.

1.1    Layout of the report

This report begins by setting out the parameters within which the research
has been carried out and outlining the research methodology and methods.
It then sets the scene by detailing Traveller population both nationally and
in the local area. Chapter three focuses on secondary findings relating to
educational provision and educational experiences of young Travellers in
Bray, a requisite conversation when discussing youth service approaches in

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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
Traveller specific work. Chapter four discusses the existing work of the Bray
Travellers CDG and other chosen youth services and is the first chapter to
include primary findings. The reporting of primary findings is continued in
subsequent chapters before chapter seven analyses these findings and
proposes responses to them.

1.2    Research aims

   Part of the work was to initially agree what questions the research hoped
   to ask and it was agreed the needs analysis would attempt the following,

      Inquire into levels of engagement with current services on offer

      Consider if these are appropriate to the needs of young Travellers

      Investigate what else could be included that is currently not available

      Explore what other services are being accessed by young Travellers in
       Bray to ensure a collaborative approach is encouraged

      Inquire into any barriers to participation for those not linking in

      Recommend future direction based on research findings.

                                            Children enjoying the CDG summer camp 2010

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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
1.3     The way the research was conducted

The broad research paradigm adopted in this instance was action research.
What this means is that a core function of the needs analysis is to initiate
changes to existing services making sure these alterations are informed by
the voices of young Travellers in the area. Our research participants were
deliberately chosen from within the population relevant to this study, in
other words all of the young people who participated in this research identify
themselves as members of the Travelling community and are aged between 7
and 15 yrs old. They are therefore eligible to use any supports and services
established as part of this work. As well as talking to young people, we also
spoke to a group of parents, most of whom were Travellers, and to staff
working within the organisation. Conversations also took place with staff at
some of the other youth services in the area.

The way in which data was generated was to work within a broadly
qualitative framework. Primary methods used were focus group interviewing
and qualitative questionnaires which were filled out as part of the focus
group process.      Interviews were semi-structured meaning a broad set of
themes was decided by the researchers in advance but there was sufficient
freedom allowed to move away from these themes if other conversations
emerged (Robson, 2000, p. 231).

The youth groups we spoke to were pupils at St Kieran’s National School (a
Traveller specific school) and two existing youth groups within Bray
Travellers CDG. With these groups, we worked in a way that was creative
and energetic and encouraged the children to envision the type of youth
project they would most want to see.

Parents we spoke to were from the Beoirs programme, an Adult Education
programme for woman coordinated by the Bray Travellers CDG.                      In this
group the majority were members of the Travelling community with a

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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
smaller number from the settled community.               This integrated group gave
insight into a wider range of views on youth activities in general.

All core staff with Bray Travellers CDG took part in the research and their
wealth of experience brought additional knowledge to the work. Although
not all of them work directly with the youth service, they have good ideas on
how to improve our youth services for the better. These were complemented
by questionairre discussions with staff at Little Bray Youth Project, Bray
Youth Service and St Fergal’s Resource Centre.

It was also agreed that secondary research would be carried out alongside
the primary methods outlined above. This documentary analysis included a
review of work previously carried out by the Bray Travellers CDG but also
reseach and commentary from a range of other sources all of which have
been clearly documented.

Although it is sometimes suggested researchers should remain objective and
distant from their subject, this approach to social research is not supported
in this instance and we strongly believe the researcher’s membership of the
research population under examination is a particular strength when
carrying out action research.

Throughout the project, certain ethical principles were followed. We were
particularly aware the majority of participants were children and because of
this the issue of consent has been given careful consideration.                       Other
research participants were also made aware that notes were being taken
and, in the case of the staff group, consent was obtained to record the
session. Where qualitative questionnaires were used, again the respondents
were clear the information they were providing was contributing to this

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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
                                 2. Setting the Scene

2.1 Traveller population in Bray and its surroundings.

Bray is a seaside town in north County Wicklow, Ireland. It is a busy urban
centre and has a population of over 30,000 people. It is the largest seaside
town in Ireland and is situated about 20 km (12 miles) south of Dublin on
the east coast.


The last available census of Ireland (2006) report 22, 369 of the population
identify themselves as “Irish Travellers”.           It is difficult to estimate the
numbers living in Bray. The same census identified 533 Travellers living in
Co. Wicklow (Census 2006, p. 76) and it has been approximated 306 of
these reside in Bray (Brookle & Burtenshaw, 2007, p. 4).                   More recent
figures made available to us from Local Primary Health Workers estimate
there are circa 550 Travellers availing of their service that live in Bray and
its surrounding environments.          Figure 1 shows the reported geographical

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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
         Area                                            No. of Traveller Families
         Bray Urban                                      64
         Rocky Valley                                    3
         Enniskerry                                      6
         Silver bridge                                   4
         Newtown                                         2
         Kilcoole                                        8
         Delganey                                        2
         Greystones                                      3
         Total                                           92

Figure 1. Number of Traveller families in contact with Wicklow Primary Health Workers

Census figures from 2006 also identified 42% of the national Traveller
population as aged 15yrs or under. Applying these estimates to those living
in and around Bray, there are about 230 young Travellers in the area.

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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
                  3. Educational supports for young Travellers

Many of these young Travellers are schooled across the range of primary
schools in the area. Some are educated at St Kieran’s National School; a
Traveller specific primary school established in the late sixties/early
seventies to support Travellers who at the time were not attending
mainstream schools.        It began in the home of Miss Shiela Pim and then
moved to prefabricated buildings at Walcott and in later years a permanent
structure was provided. Although based in Bray it is actually in Co. Dublin
and right next door to St Kierans Training Centre.

There is no Traveller specific secondary school in Bray and children leaving
St Kierans have access to a range of ‘mainstream’ secondary schools.
Previous reserach carried out by Bray Travellers CDG (2001), found many
young Travellers do not make this transition easily and leave formal
education at post-primary level.         This finding is consistent with National
trends measured in the Census (2006). These showed over 60% of young
Travellers had left school under the age of 15yrs compared to just over 13%
of settled equivalents.       Recent local research carried out as part of the
Traveller Interagency Strategy indicates this pattern has not changed finding
that although 52 boys have been identified as attending primary school in
the area; this figure dropped to 13 at post primary level. For young girls
similar patterns persist. Fifty-five youngsters attending primary school fell
to 20 recorded as present at post-primary level. The current numbers of
known Travellers schooled in Bray is 125 with numbers in secondary school
dropping to 36.2

There is a Senior Traveller Training Centre (also called St Kierans) which
offers training and education for male and female Travellers who have left
school and are over the age of 15yrs.           It is funded and managed by the
South County Dublin Vocational Educational Committee (CDVEC) and is
one of four such       Senior Traveller Training Centres operated by CDVEC.
Current government proposals are towards the closure of this and all Senior
Traveller Training Centres by 2012.
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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
3.1 Previous research on segregation

The issue of educational segregation has been debated for some time now.
National research carried out in 2004 described difficulties with segregation
                                             as a ‘recurrent theme’ identifying
       “Our national school was              “segregation in provision leading to
       so different. Going to
       different classes was                 poorer outcomes for Travellers and
       hard. We were used to
       9/10 in our old school
                                             less    contact     with    settled     peers,
       and then we moved to                  thereby feeding into inter-community
       having 30 students in the
       classroom”                            tensions” (O’Riain, 2004, p. 2).            In

       Quote from the report “Being          2001,     the     Bray     Travellers    CDG
       heard…? (2006, p. 18)
                                             carried out extensive research on the
                                             needs of young Travellers in Bray
                                             aged    between      12-25yrs      (BTCDG,
                                             2001). The focus of its inquiry was to
examine employment, training and educational needs of this research
population. The research group were concerned about poor experiences of
both education and employment prospects at the time and set about
creating a space where the voices of young Travellers could be heard. In line
with national concerns, the report identified the segregation at both primary
and post-primary level (through the St Kieran’s Training Centre) as a
compounding factor in early school leaving.                  This concurs with other
research carried out on behalf of the Bray Partnership (2006) which also
raised conerns about segregated schooling.               The report, entitled ‘Being
Heard...?’ cited a number of young children they spoke to opposing
separation identifying the transition from Traveller specific schooling to
mixed schooling as problematic (2006, p. 18).                  Suggestions from these
young Travellers were for an integrated approach to primary school, or,
where segregation is practiced, they recommended a number of ways to
smooth the transfer, one way being more mixed summer camps.

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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
Worryingly, both pieces of research highlighted discrimination based on
ethnic identity as a recurring theme. In the research commissioned by Bray
Partnership (2006) respondents cited difficulties accessing employment as
influential in decisions to attend Traveller specific Training centres as it
offers a training allowance compensating for difficulties accessing paid work
(Duffy & Regan, 2006, p. 28).

In Bray Travellers CDG research (2001) this was experienced as difficulties
accessing employment and recreational facilities and the report offered a set
of recommendations namely,

        the establishment of an education co-ordinator to bring together key
         actors to better co-ordinate and streamline existing services
        the resourcing of an effective transfer programme
        the initiation of home-work/after-school clubs at both primary and
         secondary level
        Support for parents to become more actively involved in the education

Significantly, the report also identified a generational shift towards
increased use of existing services and greater involvement in local sports
clubs.     It reported higher levels of mixed socialising through both the
transition programme offered by Bray Youth Services and the Home Liaison
service. It also names a growing number of young travellers expressing an
interest in becoming youth and community workers themselves.

Whilst there may have been concrete reasons in favour of segregation at the
time of St Kieran’s inception, the current main argument against immediate
integration of Traveller schooling is particularly linked to its core raison
d’être. This is understood as part of wider funding cuts to young Travellers
in school rather than any concerted effort to ensure the provision of a
mainstream education system that will recognize and celebrate cultural
differences.       The Irish Traveller Movement (ITM) released a position paper
on cuts to Traveller education in which they state,

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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
     While consultation took place with regard to the phasing out of Traveller
     Specific Training Centers there was no specific consultation regarding an
     exit strategy? Concern remains as to replacement initiatives and the need
     for a coordinated response which will include an input from Travellers
     and Traveller organizations. The retention of Traveller educators from
     Training Centre’s, the need for positive affirmative action’s for trainees
     from other programmes to new programmes…and specific targeted
     measured to attract Travellers to engage with new initiatives remain a
     concern, most especially given the short time before their closure. (ITM,
     2011, p. 6)

The position paper recommends that the current changes are coupled with
an insurance that “the incoming environment should be culturally appropriate,
responsive to their needs and their culture safeguarded within the main VEC
structures” (ibid).

                                                                      Summer camp 2010

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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
          4. About Bray Travellers Community Development Group.

There are two primary Traveller specific Community and Voluntary Sector
organisations in Bray namely The LEAP - Local Education Adult Progression
Project, a male only adult learning initiative and the Bray Travellers
Community Development Group (CDG).

The Bray Travellers group has been in existence since 1993. Its formation
was initiated by research findings identifying both a shortfall in services for
Travellers at local level, and a concern that existing services were not being
accessed fully.     An outcome from this research was the formation of the
Bray Travellers Development Network (re-named the Bray Travellers
Community Development Group in 2002). The 2009 Annual Report details
the mission statement of the project as follows,

        Bray Travellers Community Development Group Ltd. Operates from
        the belief that Travellers are an indigenous ethnic minority group in
        Irish Society who have a value system, language, customs and
        traditions, which make them an identifiable group.         This distinctive
        lifestyle and culture, based on nomadic tradition, sets them apart from
        the settled population.     This culture and their way of life are little
        understood and often remain unacknowledged.                Bray Travellers
        Community Development Group Ltd regards this as the root of the
        exclusion they experience and strive to address these issues in an
        inclusive and open manner.

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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
The report goes on to detail a equality statement that sets out to “promote
basic human rights, equal participation, mutual respect for all regardless of
cultural background, gender, sexuality and religion” and a commitment to
“preventing discrimination and promoting equal opportunities for Travellers
and others who are experiencing social exclusion under the nine grounds in

Bray Traveller CDG activities and supports are generally Traveller specific in
nature and include supports in accommodation issues, welfare rights,
education and training and access to administration services. It currently
employs 7 staff and projects in operation are as follows,

      Beoirs Womens education programme
      Community development
      Daish drugs based initiative
      Youth activities
      Diversity training

Graduates in ‘diversity training in their own culture’ an initiative of the Bray Travellers CDG
adult programme

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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
   4.1    Bray Travellers Community Development Group

          Youth Mission Statement

Bray Travellers Community Development Group operates from the belief
that Travellers are an ethnic group whose young people experience
particular disadvantage.       It aims to offer young people the opportunity to
develop holistically through informal education processes in a safe and
equitable environment. It is committed to safe guarding the rights of young
people and children particularly those with whom it works.

The welfare of a child and young person is paramount in decisions activities
and programmes involving them and as such programmes of education,
activities and services are designed for the purpose of aiding and enhancing
the personal and social development of young people through their
voluntary participation.

Bray Travellers CDG operates all of its programmes and services within
policies adopted by the organisation and these include,

      A Child Protection policy
      A Youth Charter
      A Customer Charter
      A Volunteer Policy.

The above policies are constantly updated along with all other organisational
guidelines to ensure that they continue to protect those accessing our
services and programmes and that they are in line with legislation.

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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
4.2 What is happening now?

4.2.1 The Bray Traveller Community Development Group

The Bray Traveller Community Development Group Annual Report (2009)
identified youth development as a key area of work; they cite a number of
sports and recreational activities. Football was reported as being particularly
popular with both Traveller specific and integrated activities attracting up to
60 participants. Other sports events were also organised including handball
tournaments (in conjunction with Wicklow Travellers Group), canoeing, hill
walking, rock climbing and other outdoor pursuits.                 There were also a
number of day trips such as theatre visits, life-skills training, personal
development and capacity building programmes.

                                                                   Integrated soccer camp

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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
There are a number of programmes currently on offer that cater primarily
for young Travellers. These are,

‘Monday madness’

This club has a core group of six boys and three girls aged between 10yrs-
16yrs who are all members of the Travelling community.                      They come
together on Monday evenings at Bray Travellers CDG and activities include
outdoor pursuits, swimming, and life-skills training such as a recent
information session held on the dangers of smoking.

‘Jigaboo Crew’

This is an integrated group of ten girls aged between 13 - 16yrs that meet on
a Thursday night from 7-9.30pm. Alongside recreational activities similar to
those outlined above, some additional age appropriate life skill supports are
organised alongside elements of the ‘copping on programme’, a national
crime awareness initiative originally devised by Youthreach and the Gardai
National Juvenile Office. This group is run in conjunction with ‘Little Bray
Youth Project’ who funds the activities. Bray Travellers CDG provide staff to
help organise the weekly activities for this group

Bray Traveller CDG also run an offsite youth group from the Community
Centre at Southern Cross Road. This is a structured group catering for the
needs of young boys aged between 11-14yrs.                   There is scope for an
expansion of this type of work in cooperation with the Bray Youth Services
Integrated group.

‘Summer projects’

Funded by the New Directions Initiative, Bray Travellers CDG organises and
run in an annual integrated soccer camp that attracts around 40 + children.

With money provided by Wicklow County Council, NATC and Bray Local
Drugs task Force two, week long summer camps are also hosted the first

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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
catering for youngsters aged 7-10yrs, the second for those aged 12-15yrs.
Gathering at a designated meeting point in the centre of Bray, these camps
offer a busy week to attendees including trips to the zoo, Powerscourt
waterfall and the local park along with swimming and other sports activities.
For the older group there is also bowling and q-zar. In 2010 these clubs
attracted around 50 participants in total and similar figures are expected for

Many of the children we spoke to felt the summer projects were a success
and those attending both youth clubs felt the clubs were doing well.
However these have been affected by funding cuts to the youth section of
Bray Travellers CDG and at the moment only the youth worker attending on
Monday night is being paid. The last six months has seen a cut in funding
for Thursday nights and the sessional worker is currently working
voluntarily. For staff involved there is a sense that the youth section of the
Bray Traveller CDG might not be a priority initiative for the project.

                                                                      Summer camp 2010

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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
4.2.2. Little Bray Youth Project.

Bray Traveller CDG work in partnership with Little Bray youth project in the
delivery of some of its initiatives. The little Bray Youth project forms part of
the work of the Little Bray Family Resource Centre who offer,

       Drop in programmes
       Life skills programmes
       Art, drama, sports and music
       IT access and training
       Summer programmes
       One to one support
       Educational supports and programmes
       Training and peer education

They report about fifteen percent of all young people accessing their youth
services as being from within the Travelling community. When asked if any
special provision is provided for these youngsters the project notes,

       We would always be aware of the cultural differences when planning
       programmes such as life skills etc. and make provision to ensure the real
       inclusion of young Travellers in the programmes. As with all young
       people in the project, Traveller young people are involved in the planning
       and development of the programmes

They identify how young Travellers using their service are historically from
the “settled Traveller Community”.          Their experience has been that these
youngsters often “see themselves as equals and integrated into the
community” already.

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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
                                                      When questioned on whether
or                                                    not they see the need for
                                                      Traveller specific services they
     We do believe that the links we have             indicate it is not something
     developed with Local Traveller                   they        themselves               have
     organisations has supported the
                                                      perceived       a     need     for    but
     inclusion. There is a need for young
     Travellers living on sites to be                 qualify this by pointing to
     supported to engage in youth services            their           close          working
     be they Traveller Specific or not
                                                      relationship         with     Traveller
     Little Bray Youth Service respondent
                                                      specific    groups           who      can
                                                      ensure      a       safe     space      is
                                                      provided            for      Travellers,
                                                      particularly               ‘non-settled’
                                                      members, to link with youth
services and wider services in general.

4.2.3 Bray Youth Service Catholic Youth Care (CYC).

Bray Youth Service (BYS) is part of the wider CYC movement first
established in 1944 and set up in its present form in 1977. It provides a
range of youth services in the Archdiocese of Dublin and supports extend
beyond Dublin City and County to also include areas of Co Wicklow and Co
Kildare. It describes its mission to us as “to promote a youth work response
that is caring, compassionate and Christian and enables young people to
participate more fully in the life of society and church”.

Bray Youth Service offers a number of different youth clubs throughout Bray
town alongside maintaining links with secondary and primary schools. They
list their services as “direct services to young people through a range of
projects e.g. Youth Information, Adventure Sports, Drugs Education, Youth
Counselling,      Education      Support,     Crime     Diversion,          Youth        Centre
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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
drop-ins, small group work, specialised tuition”. They also provide direct
work       and      support       to    young       people       and      leaders       in
designated areas, group work, leadership training, and support to summer
                                             Projects and individual work with
                                             young people. When asked if they are
                                             aware of numbers from the Travelling
    Discrimination and bullying are          Community using the service they
    usually the result of ignorance
    and lack of understanding and            were unable to put an exact figure on
it it is hard to break this down if          but are certain that Traveller children
    people do not mix or try to find
are common ground.                           accessing     and     availing    of     their
                                             services and supports in addition to
      Bray Youth Service respondent
the                                          integrated project named as part of
the                                          Bray Travellers CDG’s work-load. No
                                             special provision is made for these
                                             children because the needs of each
group are assessed individually.

When questioned on the need for segregated supports the respondent

      This question can only be answered in the light of what the
      Travelling community wants for itself - integration or segregation?
      There may be some justification for Traveller only programmes to bring
      young people to a certain level but this will still leave the question
      of what are the boundaries and how restrictive are they going to be to
      the young people being able to develop to their full potential.

4.2.4 St Fergal’s Youth Service

St Fergal’s Youth Service provide Lifeskills training, young mothers
programmes and a wide range of activities for young people and are aware of
5 girls attending their services who are members of the Travelling

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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
community.       There are also 3 young Travellers attending homework clubs
with St Fergal’s and the possibility that there are others accessing the
crèche who do not identify themselves as Travellers. No special provisions
are put in place to support these Travellers as, similar to the other projects
                                                referred     to    above       and      the
                                                organisation reports a cognisance
        I think all programmes for
        all young people should be              of a range of cultural differences
        open to all and if there is a
        mix of cultures this needs              across a range of groups.               The
        to be kept in mind and                  respondent        in   this      instance
        culture awareness done
        with the whole group                    observes     a     gender      difference
        From St Fergal’s Youth                  implying girls from the Travelling
                                                community integrate more easily
                                                than young boys.           She suggests
                                                there      may    be   a      benefit    to
segregated services at a young age but thinks this should not extend to
children attending secondary school. She states “regardless of culture we all
love our children and want the best for them and to protect them”; cultural
awareness should be for all and not just for members of the Travelling

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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
                                                                      Summer camp 2010

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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
                    5. What the Children have to say.

Like any other group in our society, young Travellers should not be thought
of as a homogenous group. What this means is that different Travellers will
have different interests and they will most likely satisfy these through a
range of activities, both structured and un-structured.              What this needs
analysis does is ensure what is offered puts the wishes of young Travellers
centre stage when making decisions on what might work for them.                       This
approach to youth services is an important ethos within the Bray Travellers
CDG and was continually expressed by the staff group interviewed as part of
this process. Matching the reports from youth groups, many of the young
people we spoke to reported already attending non-Traveller specific youth
activities in their local areas. Most of the boys took part in local football
teams and from time to time also attended discos hosted by Youth groups.
Others who were not already linked in with services reported not being
aware there were youth clubs they could access. There were also some in
the groups who reported previously attending youth activities with Bray
Travellers CDG, mainly the summer projects.                Other reported using the
youth groups in the past but of dropping off when there was a change in
personnel. One reason reported for this was a reduction in outreach work
by the youth section. A shift in uptake coinciding with changes in personnel
is not uncommon across the Community and Voluntary Sector and
unsurprising when considered alongside the commitment many youth
workers show when building relationships with young people.

                                                                      Summer camp 2010

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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
For those who participated in the research, the opportunity was given to
name without prompting particular activities they would like to see in the
future. The following list has been compiled from these findings (figure 2).

         Activity                                                    Girls    Boys
         Boxing                                                      10       14
         Beauty care (skin & beauty, hair and beauty, 19                      0
         nail care)
         Dress making, jeweler making,                               8        0
         Sports [basketball. Football, hockey, hurling, 4                     33
         rugby, hand ball, G.A.A.]
         Outdoor pursuits [rock climbing, cliff jumping, 12                   26
         camping, archery,
         Other activities included [fort Lucan, carnival, 45                  38
         go   karting,     paint    balling,   fun    fair,   wood
         carving, horse riding, Dublin zoo, ice skating,
         powerscourt water fall.
         In   door     activities    [cinema,     water       world, 54       40
         cooking, swimming, Dj workshop, bowling,
         disco, fun zone]

   Figure 2 activities as chosen by research participants

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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
There were also some youngsters who reported not linking with services and
not wishing to do so with this being particularly the case from around 16yrs
onwards.     It is important for youth workers to acknowledge that not all
young people are attracted to structured youth services.

4.1 Barriers to participation

There were also some barriers to participation reported by the youth groups
spoken to as part of this research. These can be categorised as follows,

   4.1.1 Parental consent

For any parent, the decision to allow young people to attend youth services
can be fraught with difficulty. This can be particularly so for a community
who report feeling excluded from many aspects of Irish society. A number of
young people reported parents being “protective” of their young people and
reluctant to let them join youth clubs. For a member of the parent group
there was a sense that young Travellers will not get involved “if there is none
in their area or if it’s only for settled people”. This identification of location as
an issue was shared by others and the positioning of Bray Traveller CDG in
the centre of town was presented as a problem as it is outside the local
areas where many young Travellers live.

It was also suggested that parents may lack understanding of the value of
youth activities and a number of voices suggested awareness should be
raised with Traveller parents on the benefits of youth clubs/activities for
young people including provision to address concerns parents might have.
One participant suggested this could be achieved through an open night for

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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
   4.1.2 Transport

                                            Another barrier to participation that
was                                         named by both children and parental
                                            groups is problems with transport.
The Because there are pockets of            logistics of centralising services in the
    Travellers in so many different         town centre was again questioned
    areas it proves difficult to form a
    youth group in each area as you         when       set     against      the       wide
    wouldn’t get enough young               geographical            area          under
                                            consideration.      This was felt to be
                                            particularly     significant   during      the
                                            winter months.          However summer
                                            activates are also not immune and
                                            some young people reported having a
real interest in attending the range of summer activities on offer but of
simply living too far from the pick- up location. A number of contributors
raised the possibility of delivering services in other locations.              Although
there is access to a bus for the summer projects in particular, this was
identified as a particular cost for the project and concerns were expressed
by one staff member that cheaper alternatives to private hire which are
supposed to be accessible are “never available”.

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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
                                                                      Summer camp 2010

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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
4.1.3 Fear of Discrimination

Consistent with previous findings elsewhere (BTCDG, 2001), there were
reports from some research participants that
they at times felt discriminated against when
attending youth clubs in their local areas.
When asked by whom, they replied that they
                                             Both Travellers and settled
experienced this from both adults and other  people both have attitudes
                                             and perceptions of each
young people.    It should be noted that these
fears of discrimination, although present for
                                                       Research participant
some, were not particularly strong with the
children’s groups.

For those currently using the youth services
with Bray Travellers CDG they did not express any sense that their choice to
do so came from a fear of acceptance elsewhere, they simply enjoyed what
was on offer through Bray Travellers CDG. For the children in St Kieran’s
although a fear of not being accepted was named by some, it was not a
dominant theme.

Concerns about discrimination were particularly strong with the parent
group who reported feeling concerned about the potential for “bullying”,
“discrimination”, “name calling” and “racism”.            Concerns were also raised
that there is a tendency to “blame young Travellers when things go wrong”.

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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
       6. Discussions on the Integration of services.

The integration of traveller services generated considerable discussion and
energy throughout this research project. For a number of those we spoke
to, there was a strong desire to mix with non-Travellers with this being
interpreted as advantageous for a number of reasons.                           Firstly many
respondents referred to the importance of young Travellers developing
friendships outside of their own ethnic grouping. It was claimed there are
perceptions and attitudes across both settled and travelling communities
and that diversity in youth clubs could be one way of potentially addressing
this. Respondents reported integrated youth services as a way to broaden
                                              opportunities      for    young        travellers
                                              through greater choice than those on
                                              offer     through        Traveller       specific
   There is a big number of Travellers        programmes.              Although        it     was
   in our catchment area who are              suggested        some     young        Travellers
   living in housing estates with all
   of these services on their                 may not initially have the confidence
   doorsteps and they are accepting           to   go    into    an     integrated          youth
   and seen as no different from
   anyone else.                               service,    it    was         felt   that       this

   Youth worker                               confidence would develop in time.

                                              Benefits    were        not     just    for      the
                                              children but also it was suggested
                                              parents can build trust amongst
each other and so barriers can be broken down.

It is important to acknowledge there were also some concerns about fully
integrated services.     Firstly a distinction was drawn in research findings
between Travellers who have grown up embedded in the settled community
as part of larger housing estates, and those who choose a more nomadic

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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
For Travellers who have settled, one respondent explained integration as
“something that naturally happens when you become a certain age, you can
                                                   join a number of different youth
                                                   activities”.      For     others    some
                                                   reported        being       aware       of
     Discrimination is now, and always             Travellers     who      prefer    not   to
     has been, the main barrier facing
     Travellers when it comes to equal             integrate or who find it difficult
     participation in society.                     to integrate due to the patterns
     Discrimination has a deep effect on
     Travellers and gives Travellers the           of discrimination cited above.
     message that they are not wanted.             For    the      majority     of     those
     ITM, Irish Travellers, Challenging the        interviewed,      particularly        from
                                                   the parent group and from youth
                                                   workers the preference was for
                                                   the    continued          provision     of
                                                   Traveller      specific    services     to
support these members of the community.

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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
5.1 Integration and funding.

Arguments on the integration and/non integration of services are difficult to
view in a vacuum outside of wider political and economic circumstances.
As cited earlier in this report when discussing educational segregation
opposition to the proposed amalgamation of services focus on a lack of
funding for sufficient additional supports. Shortages of funding are already
a problem in the provision of recreational services for Young Travellers. One
research participant reported how a number of young children start youth
groups then drop off as activities become less exciting due to funding cuts.
Youth workers also report a lack of awareness by service users of the
funding cuts projects have recently experienced. There were mixed opinions
on whether a charge should be introduced for youth services. Some in the
parent group were supportive of such a move others felt this would exclude
those who were not in a position to contribute.

                                                                      Summer camp 2010

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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
                      5. Summary of research findings

   The findings that have been presented thus far can be summarised into 9
   main points,

   a) There are a wide range of youth activities currently being accessed by
       young Travellers.       Some of these are Traveller specific, some are

   b) Young people have lots of ideas about the activities they would like
       and, unsurprisingly when set against the philosophies of the
       organisations in questions, many of these match many of the activities
       currently on offer

   c) Some children are not interested in structured activities.                 This is
       particularly at around 16+ yrs but in this research some younger
       children also cited either a disinterest in structured activities or a
       prioritisation of family time over time with peers outside of school

   d) There     would    appear     to   be   more    Traveller   children    accessing
       mainstream youth services, this trend it consistent with findings from
       the Bray Travellers 2001 report.

   e) Where integrated services are being used, a particular strength is
       presented as strong connections with Traveller specific projects. This
       ensures their expertise can be drawn from when required

   f) There are fears of discrimination, particularly from parents but also
       from some children.         The sense that the diversity and positivity
       Traveller children can bring is not always evident

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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
   g) Traveller numbers are relatively small and are spread across a large
       geographical area.      Because of this, travel is a problem for service

   h) Some parents and children we spoke to feel there is a lack of
       information on the services available and of the benefits that can be

   i) There is a distinction for some between settled Travellers and those
       choosing a more nomadic existence.             This distinction is important
       when discussing integrated youth services as it is suggested as part of
       these research findings that integrated services better suit the needs
       of ‘settled Travellers’.

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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
       7. Where to next? The implications of findings

The Bray Travellers CDG has consistently worked to support the ethnic
identity of Travellers.     This has been done by supporting their language,
value systems, customs and traditions and has at all times been alongside a
commitment to address the discrimination and exclusion that can exist
when others fail to acknowledge cultural differences.               Across a range of
services, supports and advocacy initiatives, there has always been a
provision for age appropriate supports for young Travellers.                  The Bray
Travellers CDG have done a good job in matching services on offer with the
stated interests of the young children it sets out to support. This research
provides further ideas for more activities to be included into current
programmes on offer.

Impacted by wider economic conditions, there have been some changes for
the work.      There are concerns about one of the sessional workers not
getting paid as a result of funding cuts outside of the control of the project.
Another unavoidable issue is that of transportation. Even for the summer
projects this is a huge expense.            Because there are small pockets of
Travellers living in Bray and surrounding areas it would prove difficult to
form a youth group that is age appropriate in so many different areas, to
tackle this problem the project would need to source funding for a bus and a
driver to collect young people and bring them to its location. Should Bray
Travellers CDG consider the purchase or leasing of a bus for the period or
sourcing a free?

It is however important to acknowledge and value that a small, but
committed number of young Travellers continue to avail of Bray Travellers
CDG youth clubs all year round alongside a more populated and active busy
summer schedule.         Whilst the Bray Travellers CDG might chose not to
actively recruit for these groups, they should remain open to new members
who opt for the small, Traveller specific groups on offer.

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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
Without a significant injection of funding, there is little more can be done to
expand the youth section as it is difficult to secure funding to employ a
youth worker on a full or part time basis. It is essential to always have a
second worker with you at all times to ensure child safety and to deliver
appropriate activities. However this research provides an opportune moment
to reflect on whether such and expansion would be the best way to support
young Travellers needs?

In line with wider objectives to address discrimination, an integrated
approach has long been supported through Bray Travellers CDG’s
association with non-Traveller youth services in the area. The desire from
within the youth section in Bray Travellers CDG is to look outwards towards
further integration with other projects as the integration of youth clubs
shows a commitment to all young people in its catchment area and not just
the Traveller young people. This helps young people from all walks of life to
come together and build relationships with people with cultural differences.
There is therefore an opportunity to consider strengthening links with other
projects in the town.       Although these projects are not Traveller specific,
there are Travellers availing of their youth services and this is a positive
thing.   It would be of great benefit to Bray Travellers to have someone
making links with other youth projects as it would benefit Traveller children
to have a leader there if any issues or concerns come up regarding their
cultural differences.

The involvement of parents in youth services is also raised throughout this
research both from the parent group and from children themselves. There
would appear to be a gap between both parent and children’s knowledge of
the clubs that are available and the benefits of these. This could easily be
addressed through an information campaign perhaps through an open
evening as suggested by one of the research respondents.

A crucial finding across all interviewees was a commitment to integrated
services but only alongside a continual provision for Traveller specific
services and Traveller specific space at the same time. This is an important
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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
point when considered in the context of wider moves towards educational
integration. Discrimination against Travellers in the education system can
be evidenced through the retention rates presented earlier in this report and
it is essential Bray Traveller CDG and other Traveller specific groups monitor
integration processes, advocate for increased funding to support Travellers in
mainstream education, and ensure space for Travellers themselves to gather
both to offer peer support and to be able to input into wider advocacy work.

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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
7.1 Key recommendations

   a) Bray Travellers CDG should continue to provide Traveller specific
        youth supports at the level they are currently operating. They should
        also investigate leasing or sharing alternative transportation to
        support these groups

   b) Ensure all activities are informed by those presented on page 25 of
        this report and continue the practice of checking in with children what
        they would like to see done at their youth clubs

   c) Further commit to working with other youth services in the area. This
        could be done by directly providing a youth worker on site for clubs
        where there are high numbers of Travellers attending. This will ensure
        if any issues arise there is specialised support on hand

   d) Continue to build relationships with other youth groups where they
        may not have a visible presence reminding them that should an issue
        arise where a ‘Traveller only’ space is required, Bray Travellers CDG
        are on hand to provide this

   e) Consider an information campaign for young Travellers and their
        parents that will advertise both Traveller specific and integrated youth
        services in the area

   f) Continue to advocate for the rights of young Travellers to have equal
        access to employment and educational opportunities in Bray and
        surrounding areas.


   1., sourced May, 2011
   2. These figures were gathered by Bray Travellers CDG as part of the Co.
      Wicklow Traveller Interagency Strategy (2009)

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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas

BTCDG (2001) Needs Analysis of young Travellers in Bray. Unpublished.

Brooke, S. & Burtenshaw, R. (2007) Profiling and investigating the
sustainability of local services delivered by the Community and Voluntary
Sector in Bray. Burtenshaw Kenny Associates.

Census (2006) Principal Demographic Results.                 Dublin: The Stationary

Duffy, V. and Regan, C. (2006) Being Heard…? Young people in Bray on
Education, the community and citizenship. The Bray Partnership.

Irish Traveller Movement (2011) Cuts to Traveller Education Position Paper.
pril_2011.pdf, accessed June, 2011.

O’Riain, G. (2004) Report on Consultations with Traveller Learners and
Parents towards the Development of the Traveller Education Strategy.,
accessed June, 2011

Robson. C. (2000) Real World Research. A resource for Social Scientists
and Practitioner-researchers. Oxford & Cambridge: Blackwell Publishing.

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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas
Appendix 1 – These are some of the broad questions used for the focus
groups with the children from St Kieran’s National School, Bray.

Theme 1

      What kind of activities are you involved with after school – e.g. sports,
       arts, computers etc?
      How many of these are in clubs and what are the names of the clubs.

   Theme 2

      Hands up who’s heard of the Bray Travellers Summer Camp? What
       can you tell the people who’ve never been there about it?
      What are the best things about it? What do you think should be

      Even for those of you who have never been to the summer camp, if
       you could design a shorter (1-2yrs) ‘youth club’ all year round, what
       would it be like? Where would it be, who would run it, what would
       kids do there?

Theme 3

      Ok so imagine the club is set up. What are the things that make it
       hard for you to go? What would make it easier for you to go?

Theme 4

      What others ideas do you have or is there anything else you would like
       to tell us?

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Supporting the recreational needs of young Travellers in Bray and surrounding areas

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