Irish traveller Margaret is headstrong and mischievous, but also sweet natured. She has a boyfriend, and decided to apply for a job with Thelma despite his disapproval. She wants more for her life 'than just sitting in caravan all day cleaning'.
She currently lives on a council run site in Liverpool with her three brothers and three sisters along with her mother and father.
Victoria is the larger than life, joker of the pack. Before joining Thelma's workforce, Victoria was the chief carer for her younger siblings at their home in Queensferry.
Victoria struggles to tell the time, and read, and hides her insecurities over this with her bubbly personality. She has previously worked in a wedding shop but gave up the job after only a few weeks, but is keen to learn from Thelma and learn the skills to make the dresses.
Irish traveller Rosanne is highly impressionable and young for her age. She cannot read, write or tell the time. Thelma has known Rosanne's family for many years.
Rosanne's love of fashion drove her to apply to work for Thelma, who intends to take her under her wing and teach her as much as she can. At home, Rosanne looks after her younger brother and sister and does the majority of housework.
Kathleen is very body conscious as she feels she does not fit in with the archetypal looks of gypsy and traveller girls. She has been bullied in the past over her weight.
At home, Kathleen is responsible for all of the younger children in the family, and all the housework - she has to get the kids ready for school, clean bedrooms, wash floors and tend to her elders needs. She hopes working for Thelma will provide a welcome escape.
Romany gypsy Samantha is something of a rarity within her culture, as at 34 she has never married or had children. Her mother died when she was younger, and she was left responsible for her two younger brothers, so the traditional Romany life has passed her by.
She desperately wants to make a success of the opportunity Thelma has given her. Hardworking and keen to learn, Samantha views this as her last opportunity to make a life for herself.
English traveller Bridget is the most educated of the new recruits. She completed her GCSEs and is an intelligent, quick learner.
Before joining the course she was studying accountancy at college, but dropped out because she wasn't enjoying it. Bridget classes herself as a modern traveller, and believes girls should be able to stay in school. Old for her age, Bridget doesn't get involved in the mischief some of the others create.
Thiry-year-old Grace is a working traveller mum. She has two sons, and along with her husband still live in a mobile caravan moving from site to site.
As one of the eldest of the group, she commands a lot of respect from the younger girls, although she is still fond of joining in with their banter. She is also quite modern in her views and will openly discuss subjects that are traditionally deemed taboo.
Lilyann is Grace's younger sister and the only girl of the group engaged to be married. She will wed her boyfriend Issac next year when she turns 18.
Lilyann shows a natural talent for sewing and is taking part in the course because, as the youngest of seven children, her mum feels she doesn't need to follow the traditional route into married life. However, she doesn't like Grace, trying to keep her in line - which causes frictions between them.
Shannon is Kathleen's niece, and Thelma has known her family since Shannon was a baby. She is very keen to take up the opportunity to work for Thelma and believes no one else would give gypsy and travellers the same chance.
She has a boyfirend, Paddy. Shannon lives in Wrexham and left school aged 11, and she is responsible for looking after her seven siblings.
Traditional traveller girl Megan has had experience working before, alongside her elder sister Noreen who featured in Big Fat Gypsy Weddings working for a cake maker.
Megan stayed in education until her mock GCSE exams, and intends to follow the expected role for a traveller girl of being married and a housewife by the time she is 21. But she shows excellent promise and a seamstress and Thelma has bigger plans for her
Meet the Girls
Thursday 05 July 2012