CLEEVE Prior First School was promoting the value of different cultures in a unique storytelling experience for youngsters.

The school opened its doors to welcome traditional Romani storyteller Richard O’Neill who entertained children using traditional Romani techniques, including his cast of handmade peg dolls.

He was joined by local police officer Julie De Paris and community support officer Julie Pardoe, who also spent the morning with the youngsters.

CSO Pardoe said: “This was a great opportunity for everyone to find out more about different cultures while having a truly entertaining time.

“A number of pupils at the school are from the traveller community so this event is particularly special.”

West Mercia Constabulary have been working closely with Mr O’Neill, himself a Romani, while he has been leading two training events for the force.

It is due to this work that he is able to offer these unique storytelling sessions to a number of Worcestershire schools, including Blackminster Middle School in Evesham and Pebworth First School.

Mr O’Neill said: “We aim to bring storytelling to as many people as possible, because we believe in the power of storytelling to educate, inform, build brings and entertain.”

It is hoped the specialist training he can provide will assist West Mercia by providing staff with a wider awareness of Gipsy, Roma and traveller culture, as well as a greater understanding of the negativity that can be faced by some people in society.

Gipsy and traveller diversity advisor, Sgt Alistair Webster, said: “I’d like this training to focus on the good work and great opportunities that be gained from understanding more about difference.

“Similarly, the storytelling events in schools will help convey the same messages to our younger generation.”