Sister Cities Helping One Another

One of the real good news stories which came out of the pandemic was the mutual support between Chinese communities here in Northern Ireland and in China. An act of generosity by the local Chinese community as they felt it their duty to help Belfast's sister city resulted in much needed support for the NHS locally.

Members of Belfast's Chinese community raised over £15,000 to send vital protective clothing to China as new cases of coronavirus continue to soar.

China is struggling to deal with severe shortages of equipment such as protective suits, goggles and masks, which are now being sent to Belfast's sister city of Shenyang.

Around 1,200 protective suits have been despatched to the Red Cross for distribution to health workers fighting on the front line against the spread of coronavirus.

Min Shen (43) from the Chinese Welfare Association in Belfast, who has lived here for 20 years, said the city's Chinese community, which numbers some 7,000 people, wanted to help those back home.

"We had the request from authorities in Shenyang and felt it was our duty and responsibility to do what we can in a practical way... With the help of Belfast City Council to source the vital equipment from their suppliers, that is now happening. We set up a WeChat group to get the message out about fundraising and had donation boxes in various Chinese supermarkets and at our base at Stranmillis Embankment. We were delighted to have raised such a huge amount in such a short period of time,"

This act of kindness and forethought was responded to in April when Belfast received a donation of personal protective equipment (PPE) from its sister city Shenyang in China.

The shipment included 10,000 disposable medical face masks and 500 sets of disposable protective clothing - arrived in Duncrue industrial estate at a time when it was urgently needed and went straight for distribution among health workers fighting on the frontline during the Covid-19 crisis.

The shipment of PPE was in response to kit donated to Shenyang at the very beginning of the pandemic by the Chinese Welfare Association, based at Stranmillis Embankment, Belfast.

The association also recently donated £17,000 to the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.

Belfast Lord Mayor Daniel Baker said:

"I'd like to extend my sincere thanks to our good friend and colleague, Chinese Consul Madame Zhang, to Jiang Youwei, Mayor of Shenyang, and to all those in our sister city Shenyang, for their ongoing solidarity and support during this challenging time.

It's absolutely vital that our city's key workers are protected against this virus as they carry out their essential duties, and today's much needed supply of PPE will do a great deal to help ensure their safety.

One uplifting outcome of this incredibly challenging time is the ongoing readiness of people to reach out and help one another. It's hugely encouraging to know that this friendship, kindness and co-operation stretches right across the globe - as demonstrated by today's donation.

We look forward to further developing our sister city connections with Shenyang post-Covid-19 to develop new areas of co-operation in trade, tourism and education to help rebuild our economies."

This vital shipment arrived at a time when the entire United Kingdom was facing real challenges in terms of PPE supplies. Sourcing reliable supplies of PPE has been a constant battle during the outbreak. The NHS was getting through tens of millions of masks a week, and UK procurement officials were warning that stock were dangerously low.

Gambling Awareness

Health information

Gambling Awareness

Signs of Gambling Addiction

Is gambling causing problems for you or others around you?

The following signs may indicate a problem:

  • Always thinking or talking about gambling.
  • Being preoccupied with gambling, going to the casino etc

  • Needing to gamble for a longer time

  • Losing interest in usual activities or hobbies

  • Neglecting work or school because of gambling

  • Gambling until all of your money is gone.

  • Borrowing money, selling possessions or not paying bills in order to pay for gambling.
  • Having arguments with family or friends about money and gambling.
  • Neglecting expenses on gambling
  • Feeling anxious, worried, guilty, depressed or irritable

The negative effects of problem gambling include:

  • Family and relationship problems

  • Domestic violence or abuse in families

  • Job loss

  • Financial problems including high debt or bankruptcy

  • Engage in illegal acts

  • Self-harm, suicidal thoughts, actions or actually committing suicide

Get Help  倾谈或求助

If you would like to talk about yours or family member’s gambling issues, you can contact the following helpline or organisations:

Chinese Welfare Association

1+1 Project  

The project provides mental health support, signposting and referrals

Address: 1 Stranmillis Embankment Belfast BT7 1GB

Tel: 02890 288277

Email :


The main support organisation in UK, which runs a national telephone helpline (Please note that helpline cannot provide interpretation services)

: 0808 8020133

Gamblers Anonymous

It runs support groups for compulsive gamblers and their families

Address: 23-29 Little Patrick Street, Belfast BT15 1BA

Tel: 02890 249185

Learn Some New Year Greetings

Why not Use this Chinese New Year to learn some Chinese, and get involved.

Its the perfect time to pick up a few phrases and learn some traditional greetings and join in the fun of New Year. We all think its hard to learn a new language, but with a little practice and some friends to help we can have you speaking Chinese in no time. So why not make it your New Year's Resolution to learn a few phrases and say hello to new friends.

Virtual Chinese New Year

Behind the Scenes the CWA Team has been hard at work to ensure the Chinese New Year festivities can go ahead. This year as we do things differently the aim will be to take all the best bits of the traditional celebrations and bring them online. From a state of the art audio visual presentation which will be hosted on zoom to the launch of a new look CWA website during the festival we will connect Chinese communities across not just Northern Ireland but across the globe.

Our motto for this year is Keep Strong with the strength of the Ox in mind we will be using new technology to build the strength and resilience of not just the organisation, but the entire community. So join us and help us as we take our community online, and bring our culture to everyone. If you have an interest in all things online we would love to hear from you to become a digital volunteer. From our teenage gamers to our silver surfers we have a role for you in the exciting new online platforms we are developing.

We aim to make it fun and free to get involved with all the support and training you need. So Join the CWA Digital Team today.


Belfast's New Chinese Consulate-General inauguration ceremony.

On June 8, 2015, CWA was privileged to be part of the inauguration ceremony of the Chinese Consulate-General in Belfast. This opening heralded a new era of China-United Kingdom relations and cemented the good relations between Northern Ireland and China. It was welcomed by the Chinese Community here and will bring prosperity and better relations between our two great nations.

Over 200 people from all circles in China and Northern Ireland as well as the UK at large were present, including Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi who was paying an official visit to the UK, H.E. Liu Xiaoming, Chinese Ambassador to the UK, Lord Lieutenant of Belfast Fionnuala Jay-O'Boyle, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness of Northern Ireland, Finance and Personnel Minister Arlene Foster, representing First Minister Peter Robinson, other Executive Ministers, Lord Chief Justice Declan Morgan, Lord Mayor of Belfast City Council Arder Carson, MPs, MLAs, mayors of other councils, councillors etc.


Wang Yi said in his speech that China's establishment of the Consulate-General in Belfast is a vivid portrayal of the ever-developing China-UK relations, highlighting this important year in the China-UK relations. Despite of my short visit to Northern Ireland, I have a keen sense of Northern Ireland's urgent desire to develop friendly relations with China. China's establishment of the Consulate-General in Belfast is to send a clear signal that China is committed to developing long-term, stable, friendly and cooperative relations with Northern Ireland. China is willing to work with Northern Ireland to strengthen cooperation in agriculture and animal husbandry, and import more high-quality agricultural products from Northern Ireland; give play to their respective advantages, promote two-way investment and expand cooperation in areas such as innovation, environmental protection and electronic communications; jointly make the Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms a success to let more young people in Northern Ireland know about the Chinese culture and master the Chinese language to broaden employment channels; and promote tourism cooperation to give more Chinese tourists the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Northern Ireland and feel the friendly affection of people in Northern Ireland. We will take the inauguration of the Consulate-General as a starting point to open up a new chapter of friendly cooperation between China and Northern Ireland.


Wang Yi said that the overseas Chinese in Northern Ireland have made positive contributions to the development and prosperity of the region. The newly-established Consulate-General will provide better and more convenient consular service for the overseas Chinese in Northern Ireland. He hoped the Consulate-General will become a window for Northern Ireland to learn more about China, a bridge to promote mutually beneficial cooperation between the two sides and a bond to connect the hearts of the two peoples.

Liu Xiaoming said that the new member of Chinese diplomatic agencies in the UK will contribute to more comprehensive China-UK cooperation covering all regions. In recent years, China and Northern Ireland have deepened exchanges and cooperation in areas such as economy, trade, culture, education, science and technology. The establishment of the Consulate-General in Belfast meets the practical needs of the two sides to expand cooperation, and shows China's full confidence in Northern Ireland's peace and stability and China's high expectations for the prospect of cooperation with Northern Ireland.