Our project, in collaboration with Breaking Down Barriers and the Sylvia Adams Charitable Trust, is working with the Irish travelling community to raise awareness of genetic haemochromatosis. Our charity already knows that diabetes, joint disease and liver disease are major health issues amongst Irish travellers and diagnosis and treatment of iron overload should help to tackle those directly. 

In England there are a large number of Irish travellers; estimates vary from 50,000 - 120,000 people living in these communities. By their nature, this group has difficulty accessing healthcare services. For a traveller suffering with GH, the sometimes protracted diagnostic process AND the treatment programme (which requires regular clinic attendance) makes the patient pathway even more difficult.

This genetic condition runs in families and is particularly prevalent in the traveller community, due to population migration over the years. Our project started in 2019 with the co-creation of awareness materials tailored to the travelling community. The materials were designed by members of the traveller community and used images and plain language to explain genetic haemochromatosis simply.

These materials were distributed through our trusted partner network, including GATE (Gypsy & Traveller Empowerment) Hertfordshire, and at Appleby Horse Fair in Cumbria. 

Irish Travellers Leaflet

The project continues in 2020, with further outreach to the "settled traveller community" through county council traveller liaison officers and the specialist traveller media.

Feedback from Breaking Down Barriers Community Engagement Manager on our CEO's presentation of learnings in Birmingham in December 2019 :

"Thanks again for speaking at the Breaking Down Barriers workshop. We received some excellent feedback about your presentation and it came out as one of the highlights in the ‘What did you find most interesting or useful?’ section of the evaluation report. We also received comments from other speakers and member organisations saying how useful meeting you was and how they hope to be able to continue collaborating with you in future.

Thanks again for helping to make the event a success and we look forward to working with you and learning more about your project. Oh and by the way…..we absolutely love your leaflet so well do to everyone involved!"