I APPLAUD Billy Welch for his initiative to visit schools in order to try and build bridges between the Gypsy and settled communities in our region (Echo, Feb 1).

A greater understanding of other cultures can only help to forge respect and tolerance – two things which often seem in short supply in today’s world.

Mr Welch is right to say it must begin as part of the education of children but there are many clubs and societies for adults in our region. I wonder if any of them would like to invite Mr Welch as a speaker?

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I, for one, would be fascinated to hear about Gypsy culture and this community’s historic connection to Darlington.

Well done The Northern Echo for giving this issue front page exposure.

It is in all our interests to get along with our neighbours and all children deserve no less than our best efforts to do so.

Anne Alderson, Sadberge