Communities minister Lord Bourne has launched a national strategy to tackle inequality and improve the lives of gypsy, roma and traveller communities.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is to lead the national strategy, working with several government departments and the Cabinet Office Race Disparity Unit.
The ministry has provided £200,000 for six projects which aim to improve outcomes for the communities in educational attainment, health and social integration.
It has also funded 22 projects to support roma communities across England through the controlling migration fund, and money for two schemes to improve the reporting of hate crime.
Lord Bourne said: 'We recognise that members of gypsy, roma and traveller communities continue to face some of the steepest challenges in society. Despite ongoing government work in this area, it’s clear that more needs to be done.
'Health, education and housing inequalities are considerable, and we know that that there are disproportionate levels of violence experienced by some women and girls within gypsy, roma and traveller communities.
'To bridge these divides and tackle these vital issues, we are launching an ambitious programme of work, to be undertaken across government, which will aim to tackle the serious disparities faced by gypsy, roma and traveller communities.'
Photo: © Richard Webb