THE Worcestershire Chinese Association provided free meals to homeless people in the city on Friday night to support the community and celebrate the Chinese New Year.

The event was held outside the Old Fire Station in Worcester and Frankie Tsang, chairman of the Worcestershire Chinese Association (WCA), said they decided on the kind gesture to mark the Chinese New Year, which started on February 12 and lasts for two weeks.

Mr Tsang, who also runs the Orient Express restaurant in Worcester, said: “The event went really well.

“Between 50 and 60 people turned up, but not at the same time, and it was very well received because some of the people didn’t know it was happening.

“Last year we were very fortunate to have some lottery funding for the WCA, and normally we have an event at The Guildhall to celebrate but because of Covid we weren’t able to do a live event, so we decided to provide meals for those in need within the community.

“One of the meals we served was four flavours, sweet and sour and rice, and one was beef and mushroom and rice.

"It was a great evening and some people were able to have seconds.”

Basia Ligas, who is the community engagement officer for Worcester City Council and helped to organise the event, praised the WCA for the kind gesture.

She said: "The idea of providing free meals came from a preparation meeting we had because the WCA wanted to make a donation, and because I work for homeless charities I suggested doing a meal for those in need."

Ms Ligas, who works with the Caring for Communities and People charity, added: "At this particular time with lockdown, it is really difficult for a number of people who are struggling so, for some, to have a free meal is life changing and the only warm meal they have.

"If it wasn't for the WCA paying for the meals and covering the costs it wouldn't have happened."