On a list of things I thought I’d never link to, a site with the name SavvyChavvy would probably feature. But it’s not a micktaking site or a spoof online joke: it’s a serious initiative to connect gypsy and traveller communities in the UK who are, by their very nature, often particularly isolated from each other. It allows young travellers in particular to connect to their peers, which is often as much about connecting East European Romany to their UK counterparts.
Does this section the community off in itself? Well, possibly, but providing them with a safe space to connect and communicate away from the excesses of Facebook groups and comments (there have already been ‘spoof’ profiles set up within the site, prompting new culturally-specific questions) seems like a sensible thing to do, especially when coupled with on-the-ground internet training. You can only join the community if you’re part of the traveller community at SavvyChavvy.com (it’s a social network built with Ning) but you can see some accompanying video clips here, and how the local South East TV news reported it.
Hopefully it might also go some way to reclaiming, or repositioning, the word ‘chav’, given that it is largely thought to come from the Romany word ‘chavi’ for a young person.