The Chinese Community Gateway (CCG) is a London based charity set up by Jonathan Phan and James Tam. Its aims are to create a sense of Chinese community in Britain by running fun social events, raise funds for worthwhile causes in the UK and in China and promote Chinese culture for all.
Nee Hao Magazine’s Sally Li speaks to founding member James Tam to find out more.
Why did you create CCG?
We created it because we think the Chinese community here is too fragmented. For example, you have different groups aimed at British-Born Chinese, Mainland Chinese and other Chinese but there’s no coherent group to unite the community in our opinion. We aim to address this by uniting the various groups so we can make the Chinese voice heard more clearly as other minorities groups have already done.
Is it open to everyone?
Absolutely! We would welcome you regardless of whether you are British-Born Chinese, Mainland Chinese, English or from any other ethnicity group. We want to promote Chinese culture. This will then help promote a more harmonious and inclusive society.
What sets you apart from other similar organisations?
What sets us apart is that we have a broader vision for the Chinese community. And in order to promote Chinese culture we will need funds and a solid reputation first. To build up our brand and funds we will need a few large scale events along with some smaller ones. In order to attract people to these fundraisers, people need to know we will organise quality, fun events like dim sums and hikes. You see, everything is inter-dependent, like a pyramid so we plan to organise the full spectrum of events.
What events are in the pipeline?
Well, we have our launch drinks event on Friday 27th September at 21 Covent Garden. In October we have dim sum, a hike and month end drinks, then rock climbing in November. These are the confirmed events. Other events in the pipeline include setting up a run club, badminton club, karaoke and many more fun activities!
For the cultural side, we plan to have a mini concert showcasing Chinese instruments and music. Next year we are aiming bigger and will have a culture festival, for example, celebrating Chinese artists in the UK and a film festival.
What does Gateway in your organisation’s name mean?
The name just jumped out at us as we were building our website. We wanted “Chinese Community” in it to emphasise that we are open to all and want to build up the community and thought “Gateway” invoked memories of Chinese architecture you seen in Chinatowns around the world. This also alludes to that there is so much more inside once you take a peek.
It’s quite a tough job running a Chinese community group, do you guys have any experience to do this?
We both were former members of the executive committee of another Chinese organisation which was mainly focused on British Chinese. Whilst running it, we had a wide variety of events from paintballing to horse riding and managed to quadruple the attendance compared to the year before we started helping out. A particular highlight was packing out a Chinese restaurant with 110 people for a 1/2 price dim sum we negotiated and having to close the reserve list too as it got too large!
Where do you see the charity in 5-10 years time?
We see ourselves as a national charity representing Chinese interests and promoting Chinese culture.
Where can we get more information?
Please join our Facebook page by clicking here.
And of course you can always join our events where a friendly volunteer will make you feel welcome!