896. James Wong
James Wong, from Birmingham, stages the UK’s largest Chinese New Year Festival celebrations in his role as chair of the ‘Birmingham Chinese Festival Committee.’
Under his leadership the committee attracts thousands of visitors to the city and in 2017 over 30,000 came to see the event. James is pivotal in the running of the festival and secures sponsorship from local businesses as well as the participation of community groups. The event showcases a range of traditional Chinese arts including dragon dances, martial arts and acrobatic performances. James is also a strong supporter of the local Birmingham Chinese community and provides free meals for 40 elderly people every month at his restaurant. As a result of his community work James was named ‘Brummie of the Year’ in 2017 by the Birmingham Awards.
In a personal letter to James, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Your inspiring work leading Birmingham’s ‘Chinese Festival Committee’ has attracted tens of thousands of visitors to the city and created the UK’s largest Chinese New Year festival. As well as creating a vibrant celebration of Chinese culture for others to enjoy, the hundreds of free meals you give to local elderly people in your restaurant demonstrates your tireless commitment to supporting your community.”
“I am totally thrilled to be given a Prime Minister’s Point of Light award. I’m fiercely passionate about raising awareness of Chinese culture and supporting the Chinese community.
“Birmingham is a fantastic, multicultural city that endorses diversity and I feel fortunate to have had the backing of so many wonderful friends and colleagues on the ‘Chinese Festival Committee’ and beyond. I look forward to seeing our great city continue to work closely and hopefully welcome more investment from China in years to come.”
The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.Volunteer now