To mark Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Heritage Month throughout June, this republished piece takes a look at the celebrations and challenges of the modern Gypsy community.

"IT’S something I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. Being refused access to places, accused of doing crimes and 'being a horrible person' for something you can’t change is not fair."

For this young woman living in West Yorkshire, everyday life is tinged with discrimination simply because she is in the Gypsy traveller community.

The 21-year-old, who did not want to be named, warned that a generalised "horrible view of Gypsies" means people are less likely to call out everyday discrimination.

She's one of the latest members of the community to call out everyday racism, adding that education in schools would help break down myths and further understanding.

One of the community's most high profile figures, World Boxing Council heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, spoke about about his experiences during his show, The Gypsy King.

The boxer said: "Me and Paris [his wife] went to go into a restaurant and they said,‘No gypsies allowed.’ I said, ‘I’m a heavyweight champion of the world, representing this country.’

“And they said, ‘Well, you’re a Gypsy, aren’t you?’ It’s still acceptable to be racist towards travellers. Nothing ever gets done about it. No one ever says anything. It’s just accepted.”

A Government report into inequalities faced in the Romany Gypsy community showed that "Gypsies, Travellers and Roma are among the most disadvantaged people in the country and have poor outcomes in key areas such as health and education".

Life expectancy is 10 to 12 years less than that of the non-Traveller population - and this could be linked directly to discrimination, charity Pavee Point says.

Travellers told Pavee Point that waiting lists, embarrassment and stigma, lack of information, trust and respect in UK health services mean they do not feel comfortable reaching out.

Speaking to the Telegraph & Argus, the young woman said: "There’s a lot of discrimination and racism in Gypsies, more than people may realise and people just let it slide because they just have this horrible view of Gypsies.

"Especially when people don’t know you’re a Gypsy, you regularly have people telling you how Gypsy's horses and dogs need to be rescued. Or that, if you have a certain mark left on your door or even your horses, ‘the Gypsies’ will come steal from you.

"There’s horrible people around and people who will steal but you can’t pin that on a certain ethnicity.

"There’s a lot of things people refer to us as like ‘Gyppo’. Honestly calling Gypsies anything but Gypsies or Romany Gypsies is probably going to be racist.

"Travellers and Gypsies are also very different and most Gypsies will not appreciate being called travellers at all.

"There’s a lot of non-Gypsy people who also like to say they’re Gypsies - a lot of these people are the ones who give us bad names and it’s really a shame.

"Gypsies just want to lead a quiet life, roaming - which is where the word Roma originated from.

"People seem to look at us differently as they don’t understand our way of life but it doesn’t mean we’re bad people. It’s just a different way of life."

In the modern world, the lack of living space for Gypsies means she lives in one place, keeping up tradition with Appleby Horse Fair, horses and church with her family.

"Appleby is a really nice way to show our heritage," she said.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

"Appleby Horse Fair was originally made for family and friends who roamed, they met at Appleby once a year so they could meet each other, share good news and bad news- mourn people who may have passed and celebrate new life that had happened within the year. Unfortunately it’s not perceived as that anymore and 75 per cent of the people who go are tourists.

"We’re also all very close- family’s and friends are very close with each other and spend a lot of their time with each other. A lot of Gypsies are very religious, Catholic mainly, so we go to church together. We enjoy sitting round a campfire at night and telling stories."