ACERT EC Meeting Thu, 18 Feb 2021

Thomas ActonPresent
Colin ClarkApologies
Brian FosterPresent
Tyler HatwellPresent
Valdemar KalininApologies
Hazel MarshApologies
Chelsea McDonaghPresent
Sue MutterPresent
Siobhan SpencerApologies
Margaret WoodPresent
Anne WalkerPresent
Minutes of previous meeting


Matters arising
  1. Margaret has contacted Movement for Change bid. We were accepted but it will require someone to be the liaison person. It is clearly Traveller led. Margaret has circulated a form with training needs. Regular meetings and very interesting. Forms in ACERT Dropbox. We need to participate now we’ve applied and joined. We could respond to say we have a fundraising training need. Anne will complete the bit on funding applications
  2. Margaret hadn’t been able to check whether her local library has Directory of Funders. She’ll try again.
  3. Anne has emailed and phoned Friends Meeting house but has had no response to either.
  4. Anne tried to get in touch with Co-op bank for cost-free account but received no response. Not appropriate or necessary in the current climate.
  5. HE Pledge launch was very positive with 150 people including contributions from University Vice-Chancellors, Administrators, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller students and graduates. Brian to add write up to website.
  6. Friends and Families of Travellers event was very good.
Correspondence from December 7 2020 to February 17 2021
  1. S.S. a student researching mental health in the Traveller community asking for help. Margaret responded that this is not one of our areas of expertise but sent various links to articles and research.
  2. Emma Nuttall requested that we publicise in our next newsletter that FFT have a new (and ongoing work in progress) section on our website of resources for use in including GRT history and culture on the curriculum. Brian will add post to next mailout.
    She asked if she is right in thinking that ACERT holds the NATT resources now they no longer exist. If so, would ACERT like FFT to put a link to these resources on their website too? Brian explained he had gone through NATT website before it closed and transferred everything we didn’t have to our website.
  3. 9th Feb From Jamie Summers Subject: ITV News – vaccines among Traveller communities. He would be interested in hearing the concerns of anyone from those communities which has an interest in this. Also, do we have any statistics to hand on the Roma/other Traveller population in the UK, and how many, if any, could miss out? Difficult to respond without more information about how the information will be used. Also there are no statistics and it is not our role. BAME groups are being prioritised but in Shropshire they interpreted it as people of colour. No action.
  4. From: Thomas Acton regular updates and minutes of the London Committee to Commemorate the 1971 World Romani Congress.
  5. Chelsea McDonagh: invitation to TM Education Research launch on February 24th.
  6. Chelsea McDonagh shared a request from the Our Voice project seeking 6 Disabled young people (between ages of 16 and 25) to share their experiences on COVID-19.
  7. From Sue Mutter: UK Education & Skills Funding Agency offering help with a large range of fully funded Level 2 courses.
  8. Thomas Acton shared: Roma Discussion Group Workshop on Nationalism and Roma Mobilisation: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives 1-2 June 2021 Online via Zoom. Contact Dr. Katya Ivanova
  9. Tyler Hatwell informed us that the parliamentary committee gathering evidence on elective home education has accepted our submission made on 05/11/2020 08:25:11 and have published it on the committee’s website
  10. From Lisa Woodhouse the National ISVA (Independent Sexual Violence Advisor) Coordinator for LimeCulture CIC which is the national leading sexual violence training and consultancy company. to inform us about their National ISVA Advice Line and to request our input as they aim to engage communities with this new service. Thomas responded.
  11. Isaac Blake requesting publicity for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller LGBTQ+ Spoken History Archive. Brian added information to website.
  12. Eileen Mullervy sent link to the Dukes Theatre (Lancaster) GRT young women’s ‘Our Voice’ project. Brian added information to website.
  13. Moving for Change network accepting the ACERT application to join and asking us to complete information on training needs. DISCUSS
  14. From correspondent in Hertfordshire with serious concerns over a council liaison officer. Anonymous letter sent to a number of organisations. Anne talked to HertsGate who were aware of the issue and that they and FFT had worked on it for years. Unfortunately, no-one will allow their name to be used in a legal complaint. Families are afraid the county will close sites. She will update us if anything changes. Brian agreed to contact FFT to see if they were doing anything.
  15. Brian reported on a phone conversation he had had with a woman who was living on her daughter’s pitch in Hertfordshire and had tried to apply for one but had been refused after the site manager had phoned around sites she had lived on before refusing her a place. In fact she has a solicitor and is pursuing a judicial review.
Bank Balances
CAF Bank                              £15646.43
PayPal                                   £    738.12
TOTAL                                   £16384.55
This months Payments 1&1    Website
Renewal of Zoom
Bank charges from this month.
Website paid for and domain registered.
Little income!

World Romani Congress Jubilee celebrations

25th- 27 March Proposals and registrations had come in for Academic Conference “Gelem Gelem” How far have we come since 1971? organised jointly with University of Silesia (Poland) and Bucks New University (England) . Thomas , Hristo Kyuchukov and Margaret Greenfields were in discussion about how to schedule them.

A second online conference is being organised with CEU Budapest, Harvard, and Södertorns on 5th, 6th and 7th April having selectively invited speakers including bell hooks. Both events will be recorded.

A Brussels event is being organised by Romeo Franz MEP at 10am on 8th April (coinciding with UK event and Berlin event!) Lisa had meeting who is creating the landing page; Lisa’s role is to bring together all the content produced and create a space where people can reflect on what has been achieved since 1971 and what the implications are for us now.

Nobody is getting paid for their time. Thomas asked for a budget of £500 to cover “out of pocket” expenses for items such as an upgrade of Zoom to allow editing, transfer of personal details of 5000 supporters to a database in Berlin, a banner. No other organisation in the UK is offering support. ACERT had originally said it would allocate funds in order that it could be represented at events in Europe but this was no longer practical.

EC members were willing to consider specific funding for items which could be of use to ACERT such as the banner or the edited video. It would be harder to justify a Zoom account upgrade because we already have an account and we will have no control over how that account will be used. Under those circumstances it will be difficult for us as trustees to ensure that the funds are used in pursuance of our charitable aims. The only way we could reimburse out of pocket expenses would be if they were agreed in advance by the EC or the treasurer acting with their authority.

Counter arguments were made that this is an historic event and a lot of work has gone into it. Roma trial in Berlin has found itself in the same position of being the only organisation supporting the event.

It was agreed that we would support in any way we could but we need to fund finite elements of the programme which fall within our charitable objectives.

Education Support Network

The second meeting was well attended and very positive. We have set up a mailing list and are setting up an online register of services. It was agreed that each meeting will have a theme and one service or individual will start the discussion. Selina Costello from Darlington will lead the third meeting on 10th March focusing on Transitions and Careers.

 GLA forum

Positive Video’s presented. Meeting began looking ahead to GRT history month. as a celebratory event related to surviving Covid..

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