By Ben Pindar, Community Newswire

A major new project which aims to promote a better understanding of gypsy and traveller culture amongst schoolchildren in Hampshire has today been handed a £50,000 Lottery cash boost.

Charity chiefs at the Heritage Lottery Fund have backed the scheme which will see a learning pack and DVD sent to schools throughout the county.

The project aims to help raise esteem among gypsy children in schools by introducing activities which incorporate their culture.

The Living Album initiative, which is being spearheaded by Hampshire County Council, will also invite gypsies and travellers in the county to visit museum and archive collections to gather information which will help to raise awareness of their own heritage.

"These resources will be used as part of an educational programme of activities in schools, particularly those which are attended by gypsy children - helping pupils to develop a greater understanding of gypsy and traveller lifestyles," the council said.

The council's executive member for recreation and heritage, Margaret Snaith, said: "Everybody who is involved in this project is enthused by this opportunity to highlight the many positive aspects of the history of the gypsy community in Hampshire.

"This initiative is an excellent example of how the archives can be used to reach out to ethnic minority groups in the county and encourage these communities to make the most of learning environments such as libraries and museums - which are available for everyone in the county to use."

About the project it says "aims to promote a better understanding of gypsy and traveller culture amongst schoolchildren" claiming, yet again, a single Gypsy and traveler Culture. There is NO such thing as a single Gypy and traveller Culture. There is the Gypsy/Romani Culture and then the whatever of the Irish travellers, a.k.a. Irish trailer trash.