Chinese New Year: Tackling isolation in Newham
The Newham Chinese Association, a group that improves the the lives of older Chinese people living in Newham and surrounding boroughs, will be celebrating Chinese New Year with a series of activities to help battle isolation and honour Chinese culture.
Based at the Beckton Community Centre, East Ham, the group will be marking the occasion with a fundraising event, this will include traditional Cantonese Opera Singing, a 6-course dinner and traditional Lion Dance.
Funded by People’s Health Trust, using money raised by HealthLives CIC through The Health Lottery, the group helps to provide support services and a hub of social activities for Chinese, that include a lunch group and a mix of social and cultural activities such as singing and board games.
The association helps to assist in breaking down loneliness often felt in the Chinese community, which has resulted from not being able to speak English after working long hours in areas such as catering, leaving minimal spare time to learn English.
Ms Pui Fun Chan, who visits the association said: “The centre helps me mentally, physically and psychologically. Before coming here, I was feeling very alone and depressed. I now have a community of friends. Without it I’d have nowhere else to go.”
Ms Gill Tan, Project Coordinator commented: “Chinese New Year is really important to the Chinese community and helps to keep our traditions alive. On New Year’s Eve, families would normally come together for a reunion meal, it’s as important as the Christmas Day Meal in western culture. Many of our centre goers are without families and alone, the association therefore offers a lifeline at an important time and enables us to keep building links with the wider Chinese community.”
The Newham Chinese Association has been funded by People’s Health Trust using money raised by HealthLives CIC through The Health Lottery.