More than 130 people attended a Chinese New Year celebration event held at Thamesmead Youth Centre on 16 February.
The event, organised by Bexley Council together with Respond Community Matters and Connexions, was designed to break down cultural barriers between the young people of Thamesmead.
"A lot of partnership work went towards making this event such a success. Events like these that bring partner organisations together working for the good of the community are what Bexley is all about," says Cllr Simon Windle, Cabinet Member for Schools, Adult Education and Youth Services. "I am delighted that so many local young people, from toddlers to teenagers, turned up to take part."
Bexley Council was able to help out local Chinese community group for young people the 'Respond Chinese Youth Group' earlier this year, when as a result of their success they needed a much bigger venue. The group, set up by Respond Community Matters, turned to the Thamesmead Youth Centre for assistance. The young people already using the centre integrated easily with the new club and together they came up with the plan for the special Chinese New Year celebrations.
The Thamesmead Centre members researched Chinese New Year, prepared a ribbon dance for the event and decorated the centre with handmade Chinese lanterns. The young people from Respond Chinese Youth Group provided entertainment in the form of Shaolin Kung Fu and a Chinese Lion Dance.
Chinese snacks for the event were provided by Parkley Women's Group. Bexley Council for Racial Equality helped to supply decorations and activities on the day including origami, Chinese calligraphy and lantern making.
"This was the first event of its kind for Thamesmead Youth Centre and we look forward to building on the relationships that organising the event has helped us to create," says Bexley Council Youth Worker, Amrit Rahi.