As part of a Surrey Heartlands funded project to improve the health of people from the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) community, the Children and Family Health Surrey’s GRT team went to Ash Fair this month. Ash is home to the largest housed GRT population in Surrey. The team spoke to 68 people, took blood pressure for six people and made two referrals to local GPs.

“It was a very successful event made at the suggestion of a team member,” said health visitor Lisa Gavin who leads the GRT project. “We are trying a wide range of ways to meet and engage with GRT families. Even GRT families living in settled housing have poorer health outcomes and access NHS services less often than other people. Team members attended the fair at the weekend in their own time and I think the level of engagement showed it was worthwhile.”

The GRT project started in April 2019 and will run for two years. The project involves proactive outreach to GRT people in their own communities as well as an education and support element for other health professionals within Surrey Heartlands about the specific needs of the GRT community and how best to support them.