Leona Leung, who was rewarded for her exceptional volunteering work last year at Sutton Coldfield Town Hall by the Mayor, Councillor Derrick Griffin, was honoured by Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands at a special event at The Botanist in Temple Street Birmingham for Chinese New Year.
Leona, won the Good Citizen/Neighbour of the Year Award, set up a nong -profit community school called United Education and also co-founded Chinese Active Citizens UK. "Winning was such a delightful surprise", said Leona, "as I see myself as an everyday person. It was great to stand amongst inspiring members of our community and to see people from all backgrounds working to make our local area positive and inspirational for future generations".
Chinese Active Citizens UK are individuals in the UK who want to make a difference in their community. Their mission statement is to improve the lives of people living in the community. "We help people", said Leona "and organisations to invest in local communities where it is most needed and where it will make the most impact".
Chinese Active Citizens UK hold a series of events throughout the year to share learning and understand the value of intercultural dialogue. "We run community projects and events " explained Leona "to encourage community integration and raise awareness of the Chinese culture, not only for Chinese community members but also for local people".
On 13th February during the Chinese New Year Festival celebrations across the West Midlands the Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, attended a spectacular event run by Chinese Active Citizens UK at The Botanist in Temple Street Birmingham.
"It is my great pleasure to wish everyone a very Happy New Year of the Pig", said Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands. "The West Midlands is proud to have become a home and a hub for the Chinese community. While we celebrate Chinese New Year it is right to think and be proud of the contribution of the Chinese community to our region. I personally want to congratulate Leona and everyone at Chinese Active Citizens UK for all of their hard work. Happy Chinese New Year of the Pig!"
Leona has a wide range of experience in project management and community development. In the past she has represented the diverse community in local groups such as the Business Crime Steering Committee Group, BME Recruitment scrutiny panel, the :Police Independent Advisory Group and the BCC Housing Steering Group. To address concerns and for the improvement of the Chinese community, Leona has spent a lot of her time building bridges with local government as well as building relationships with local businesses and groups.
"Thank you to Andy Street for tasking time out of his busy schedule", said Leona. "We are very grateful that he came to wish us Happy Chinese New Year".
It has been estimated that the West Midlands has one of the biggest Chinese communities in the UK with a population of over 20,000 living in the Midlands plus an additional 150,000 Chinese students living across the region. "The West Midlands is a place of great heritage and culture" explained Leona "and Birmingham and the surrounding areas like Sutton Coldfield are more ethnically diverse than the UK`s capital of London for it`s size".
For more information on Chinese Active Citizens UK please go to www.chineseactivecitizens.org.
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