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Gypsy and Traveller community offered chance to improve health at well-being day

PUBLISHED: 09:43 04 May 2019 | UPDATED: 11:58 04 May 2019

Howard Tidman. Picture: NSFT

Howard Tidman. Picture: NSFT

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A first-of-its-kind family fun day is being held to improve health and well-being among the Gypsy and Traveller community.

The special event has been organised by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) to encourage the travelling community to make use of health and care services which can help them stay well.

Statistics show the suicide rate for male Gypsies and Travellers under the age of 50 is eight times that of their peer group.

The event has been organised by Howard Tidman, senior practitioner with NSFT, who said: “This event will help us share information about the services which are available to this traditionally hard-to-reach group while also raising awareness of the important issue among our partner organisations.

“Statistics show that people from the Gypsy and Traveller community often find it hard to engage with health and well-being services, which can have a significant impact on their life expectancy.

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“We want to show them that support is available, and there is no shame in asking for help when it is needed.

“We are now encouraging any other groups who would like to showcase their services at the event to get in touch. We don't believe that anything like this has been done before.”

Anyone from the travelling community is welcome to attend the free event, which takes place at Gressenhall Museum, near Dereham, on Saturday, May 18, and find out more about looking after their physical health and mental well-being.

They will also be able to try out a variety of fun activities such as smoothie and popcorn making and arts and crafts, as well as looking round the museum for free, thanks to the Norfolk Museums Service.

Families will also be able to get information and advice by visiting stalls run by NSFT, Norfolk Library Service, Carers Matter Norfolk, Healthwatch Norfolk, Norfolk County Council, the One Voice 4 Travellers charity, and Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, which runs the Health Visiting Service.

Anyone from the Gypsy and Traveller community can attend the museum between 10am and 4pm. Any organisations that would like to take part should call Mr Tidman on 07557 2901169.

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