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Partners urged to join first-of-its-kind family fun day

​Organisations which offer support to help people stay healthy and happy are being invited to take part in a first-of-its-kind family fun day to improve health and wellbeing among the Gypsy and Traveller community.

The special event, which takes place at Gressenhall Museum, near Dereham, on Saturday, 18 May, 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.

Anyone from the travelling community is welcome to come along to the free event and find out more about looking after their physical health and mental wellbeing. 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 generosity of 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.

The event has been organised by Howard Tidman, Senior Practitioner with NSFT, in response to statistics which show that the suicide rate for male Gypsies and Travellers who are under the age of 50 is eight times that of their peer group.

“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,” said Howard.

“Statistics show that people from the Gypsy and Traveller community often find it hard to engage with health and wellbeing services, which can have a significant impact on their life expectancy. 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, so want to make it a really successful and useful event for everyone who comes along.”

* Anyone from the Gypsy and Traveller community is welcome to come to the museum between 10am and 4pm. Any organisations who would like to be part of the event can contact Howard on 07557 2901169.

Caption: Howard Tidman

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