Chinese communities across London and England have been ushering in the Year of the Rooster early this year.
The first to kick off their celebrations was Camden Chinese Community Centre (CCCC) on Sunday 22 January with a spectacular variety show with lion dance, martial arts and Chinese opera performances.
Founded in 1981, CCCC is a thriving organisation that provides services primarily for members of the Chinese community in London, but not exclusively to those of Chinese origin. This it does through a mixture of centre-based social welfare, recreational and leisure activities, as well as outreach and collaborative work with partners and the wider community.
Linda Chung, current Chair and a former Liberal Democrat Councillor on Camden Council, said:
"Our centre is well loved and popular but we can also see that it's a continually evolving demographic, and though attention, expertise, and care and dedication are the given parameters in serving people well, we need to be fleet of foot in being responsive to different ongoing demands and challenges.
"This is heightened by the lack of any government support considering the high level of social provision to members, some of whom may be frail and elderly. CCCC are working to meet those challenges and have some exciting plans in hand".
Another centre that celebrated Chinese New Year early on 24 February was Birmingham Chinese Community Centre. Birmingham CCC held its Ruby celebrations (40th anniversary) last year, and Dr Yeow Poon, its long serving Chair, is also the founder of the England China Business Forum. Guests were not only treated to a scrumptious meal and scintillating Chinese dance performances, but also to a slide show demonstrating the growing trade and investments between UK and China. Nothing like a power point slide show to whet the appetite!
All in all it was a great evening for business networking attended by Co-Chair Merlene Emerson and Liberal Democrat Mayoral Candidate for the West Midlands Metro, Beverely Nielson, as well.