32,000 people have joined China Exchange events since we opened in 2015.
By programming two festivals, curating seven exhibitions, leading five volunteer projects and holding over 300 events, we have created inclusive and unexpected ways for people living in the UK to understand China, Chinese culture and London’s Chinatown.
- We launched the first UK celebration of writers and writing from and about China – China in Context – and we are now planning the third edition for 2021.
- We created the first archive of London Chinatown’s heritage in the City of Westminster Archives documenting the never-before-detailed history of how an area of Soho became the iconic focal point for the UK’s Chinese communities.
- We brought Chinese public square dancing to the UK for the first time with our How Do You Guangchang Wu project in partnership with Southbank Centre and Goldsmith’s Confucius Institute of Performing Arts getting 180 people dancing as a result.
Support for China Exchange supports other organisations.
In 2018, China Exchange became the first place in the UK to install a plaque to commemorate the contribution of the Chinese Labour Corps, 140,000 men recruited by Britain and France to serve in the First World War. Their role is yet to be formally recognised. Through events and activities to highlight the CLC, China Exchange has:
- Raised over £1000 towards the Ensuring We Remember campaign for a public memorial
- Welcomed over 250 people to events on the topic; and
- Taken part in a Channel 4 documentary, Britain’s Forgotten Army.
We have worked with community groups in Chinatown and provided a venue for their activities – providing a total contribution of £60,000 in donated venue support over five years.
Our Chinatown Stories walking tours are designed to support the Chinatown community with a donation from each ticket sold made to the London Chinese Community Centre and the Chinese Information and Advice Centre. To date, we have raised over £400 for registered charities in Chinatown through the tours.
Since our first pilot volunteer project in 2018, we have welcomed 58 volunteers through our doors who have donated a combined total of 550 working days to China Exchange activities. We provide them with high quality professional training and ways to connect or engage more deeply with Chinese culture.
China Exchange provides a paid internship programme, supporting 19 people to date with their career ambitions.
We are a small and ambitious organisation that has laid foundations since 2015 that will allow us to deliver our future projects at scale. This will, of course, rely on the talents of our team, the commitment of our volunteers and our board of trustees, and the support of our funders and partners.