This two-year project extended the range of activities offered to Chinese elders by the Newham Chinese Association. This project drew Chinese elders from across East London and helped them to reconnect with the community.

Woman being served food at Newham Chinese Association

Many older people within the Chinese community find that language and cultural barriers can prevent them from developing their social networks and making friends. By developing a group based around cultural activities where a participant-led steering group lead and shape the project, participants were able to build strong social connections.

An example of an activity the group established is a singing group. This has cultural importance within the Chinese community and is used to alleviate stress and gain greater confidence in themselves.

The project has been a chance for members to pursue leisure activities that they did not have an opportunity to do during their earlier lives. Activities were decided by project members and include Tai Chi, Fitness Dance classes, a Cantonese Opera group, day trips and the chance to learn to play musical instruments.

Through their contribution to the project design, delivery and development, members have felt more confident and empowered to take the lead and take ownership of the activities.

Gill Tan

Project Coordinator

Funded by People’s Health Trust using money raised by Health Lottery London East