09 June 2023

June is Gypsy Roma and Traveller History Month

Aberdeenshire Council is once more celebrating Gypsy Roma and Traveller History Month, which runs throughout June.

Gypsy Roma and Traveller History Month, established in 2008, provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the recognised minority ethnic communities and celebrate their richness and contributions to society.

These communities are widely considered to be among the most socially excluded and disadvantaged communities in the UK.

The month of activity helps to address prejudice and stereotyping, as well as promoting the history, language, culture and heritage of the communities, helping to challenge myths.

Gypsy/Travellers face many disadvantages as a minority ethnic group as they:

  • experience racism on a daily basis, and derogatory terms and language are still used against the community.
  • are among the poorest in society, falling far behind in every area including education, health and housing.
  • will often hide their ethnicity because of the racism towards them.
  • suffer a lack of understanding about the Gypsy/Traveller culture and why they resort to setting up camps in unsuitable places.
  • Young Travellers are considered to be one of the groups most at risk of low attainment in education.
  • are part of the history of Scotland and have contributed to it over many years and indeed still do.

Aberdeenshire Council has a dedicated Gypsy/Traveller Liaison Officer, as a single point of contact for these communities.  

The liaison officer’s role is to assist the Gypsy/Traveller community by providing signposting, support and assistance to try to achieve positive outcomes for them, and they can be contacted at 07795 238423 or by email at

Aberdeenshire’s Library Service is hosting on a travelling exhibition in libraries to celebrate Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month.

The exhibition can be found at the library in Mearns Academy in Laurencekirk and Peterhead Library throughout June, after which it will tour all Aberdeenshire libraries.

There is also a wide range of information about Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History available online, with being a particularly good resource.

Here’s some other information you may find interesting:

Step back in time with the Highland Folk Museum

10 things you should know about Scottish Travellers by David Donaldson:

Jess Smith’s Tinker’s Heart

The truth about life as a young Scottish Traveller

Sam Lee discovers the roots of ancient Traveller song Jonny O’ the Brine

Stanley Robertson sings ‘Busk Busk Bonnie Lassie’