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Hong Kong Volunteers in Manchester

2263. Andrea Chow

Andrea Chow, from Manchester is helping over 200 Hong Kongers living in Manchester feel less isolated and more integrated in their community through her communal litter-picking initiative.

Wanting to support people who, like herself, had moved from Hong Kong to Manchester to settle into the community, Andrea created the ‘Hong Kong Volunteers in Manchester’ group in 2021. Andrea initially started by organising bi-weekly litter picking events, which enabled large groups of volunteers to all get together whilst also removing hundreds of bags of litter from the streets of Manchester. The group has since expanded and Andrea has also organised, with the support of local government and the ‘Canal and River Trust’, city greening projects, paddle board canal cleaning and elderly home visits. 

Andrea has organised more than 30 events, participated by a total of over 500 attendees, that have positively impacted the local area and environment, as well as enabling Hongkongers in Manchester to connect with other people in the community. Andrea is continuing to encourage new immigrants from Hong Kong to join projects to contribute to their new home and, in the process, nurture a stronger sense of belonging to the local community. 

This award coincides with the No10 Lunar New Year Reception. 

In a personal letter to Andrea, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: 

“Through your hard work and dedication, you have touched the lives of hundreds of Hong Kongers across Manchester and helped to bring the community together.

“From simple beginnings organising local litter-picking events, Hong Kong Volunteers in Manchester has grown to take on a variety of projects to improve the local environment, hosted numerous events and organised home visits for elderly members of the community.”

Congratulating Andrea on her award, Barbara Keeley, Andrea’s local MP for Worsley and Eccles South, said:

“I am very pleased that Andrea Chow is being recognised with a Point of Light award for her work creating the ‘Hong Kong Volunteers in Manchester’ group.

“The work of the group is valuable and important both to those arriving to live in Salford and Manchester from Hong Kong and to the wider community in Greater Manchester. Not only does the group support the Hong Kong community, it also makes our area a better place to live with regular litter picks on land and even litter picks in our canals using paddle boards.

“Well done to Andrea Chow.”

Andrea said:

“I was genuinely surprised and touched to receive the Points of Light Award.  I believe the award belongs to every volunteer from the Hong Kong community, who have travelled thousands of miles to arrive in the UK, each facing their own battles when adjusting to a new life, but still have the heart to give and help others.  It is truly an honour to have our collective efforts recognised by the Prime Minister. 

“To me, finding creative ways to help Hongkongers integrate while strengthening our uniqueness, whether it is through volunteering or through cultural projects, has been challenging yet rewarding. This recognition is a great encouragement to keep me going. 

“I would also like to dedicate the award to any Hongkongers who may be feeling lost and disheartened.  In a time of loss and uncertainty, the award is a reminder that the seeds we sow are growing, sometimes in unexpected forms and shapes.”

Find out more about ‘Hong Kong Volunteers in Manchester

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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