Violet was born into a traditional English Gypsy Family, living roadside up until a change in legislation made the life style increasingly more and more difficult. Violets parents were left with 2 equally unappealing choices. Move onto a Local authority caravan site, where Mr Cannon would not be allowed to keep animals or carry out his life long trade of dealing horses and recycling scrap metals or move into a house. Strangely the house seemed the most palatable for Mr Cannon. So, a house was chosen that would allow his children to be surrounded by what was important to them and him. This didn’t stop the family travelling; the first hint of sunshine meant a trailer was bought and ready to go. Staying out and seeing England for as long as they could manage. During this time the wealth of Gypsy culture was imparted and meeting people from all Travelling backgrounds encouraged. Violet draws on this rich heritage and her strong links within the different communities to enrich her work. During her working life Violet as been at the forefront of many Yorkshire based Gypsy Traveller Initiatives, including
•Founding member/chairperson of the Northern Network of Travelling People
• Project lead from youth media projects “Do Mang Mandi” & “Krush on the Drom”
• Trained Researcher & consultant for regional assemblies and many local authorities
• Project lead & photographer for Just Like You, which was shown in the Tate Modern
• Project lead for Doncaster Gypsy Traveller Voice and the Proud Gypsy Traveller Project.
• Author of Gypsy Princess and Proud Gypsy Traveller
• The First Gypsy Traveller to be appointed to the senior paid role of a Gypsy Traveller Organisation in Yorkshire
• Council of Europe trained Intercultural Mediator
• Delivered Cultural Competency training to a wide variety of audiences including NHS staff, Schools, Service Users and students.
• Safe Space Conversation Facilitator for 8 years
Violet creates training packages that offer a fun, interactive, authentic look at the Gypsy and Traveller Communities. The packages are developed for each audience based on several factors, including audience and budget.
Session are ideally delivered to audiences of around 10-20 participants. This allows a good level of intracultural exploration and conversation. All sessions are run on the basis of “a safe space conversation”
The sessions are designed not to spoon feed information to an audience, but to work with the audience to look at what is needed to increase their cultural competence when interacting with these and other communities.
Alongside employment as the Director of a small North Yorkshire charity, she is also self employed.
She feels it is of vital importance that the “Gorja” world and Young Gypsies and Travellers see educated, confident, empowered Gypsies or Travellers who are in a place of authority.