倫敦擁有悠久而成熟的華裔人口,但語言和文化障礙常常會成為與華裔及其他社區融合的障礙。

依士靈頓華人協會希望通過一項新計劃來彌合兩個社區之間的鴻溝,減少會員的孤獨感並改善會員的身心健康。這項新計劃由倫敦金融城慈善基金會的城市橋樑信託委員會撥款資助。

這個名為‘活出豐采’的項目將運用社交計劃、對話、文化和休閒活動,為英語水平有限的華裔長者發聲,並幫助他們獲得主流服務。

這項計劃將有助於減少孤立感,並幫助華裔長者更加獨立和有韌性,而在因對疫情的誤解所引起的種族主義及隔離下,這一需求比以往任何時候都更為迫切。

這五年的資金將用於聘請一名福利資訊主任去招募和協調志願者,提供具有文化敏感性的信息和宣傳服務,以及社會和文化活動。

依士靈頓華人協會希望幫助倫敦的老年華人,這些人主要來自依士靈頓,也來自鄰近的甘頓、克尼、夏靈基和西敏寺等行政區,其中許多人面臨著焦慮,孤獨或喪親之類的問題。

依士靈頓華人協會聯合創始人謝錦霞說:“我們經常看到說粵語的香港華人和說普通話的國內華人在自我隔離。他們還未準備好融入社會,這不僅是語言障礙,還在於他們的生活方式,習慣和志願之間的差異。

“這筆贈款將使我們能夠提供更多的教育、文化和社會活動,這是一個使人們團結在一起的好方法,讓我們的成員在種族主義和冠狀病毒的負面印象下能發聲,幫助他們蓬勃發展並樹立信心。”

ICA’s THRIVING BEATS SURVIVING project is funded by City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust over a five year period.  It will strive to bridge the gap between older Chinese people and wider UK society, reducing the isolation of the Chinese elderly and improving their wellbeing.

The project’s start has been delayed by lockdown restrictions in London but from April 2021 will enable befriending schemes, drop-in sessions, culture and leisure activities.   It will give a voice to older Chinese residents – who often have limited English – and help them access mainstream services.

Thriving beats surviving will help to reduce isolation, and help older Chinese people to be more independent and resilient, which is needed more than ever at a time when they have had to face ignorance and racism prompted by ill-informed views on the pandemic.

This funding over five years will pay for wellbeing and information officers who will recruit and co-ordinate volunteers and offer a culturally sensitive information and advocacy service alongside social and cultural activities.

ICA expects to help older Chinese people in London, predominantly from Islington but also from neighbouring boroughs such as Camden, Hackney, Haringey and Westminster, many of whom face issues such as anxiety, loneliness or bereavement.

Elderly Cantonese-speaking Hong Kong Chinese and Mandarin-speaking mainland Chinese people often endure a kind of self-imposed segregation due to cultural differences in lifestyles and aspirations. Through providing opportunities to build their confidence ICA will help them thrive in UK society rather than merely survive.