Milton Keynes organises Friendship Festival to welcome new arrivals from Hong Kong

MK will to be one of the first cities in Britain to host a Friendship Festival to welcome people coming from Hong Kong to start a new life.

By Sally Murrer
Wednesday, 15th June 2022, 3:51 pm

The festival has been organised to give a VIP welcome the new arrivals and it is expected to attract 1000 people.

Tens of thousands of people from Hong Kong have chosen to move to the UK following the introduction of British Nationals Overseas (BNO) visa scheme offered by the UK Government in January 2021.

To be held on June 25 at 11.30am at Oakgrove School, the event will feature stalls, music, children’s entertainment, dancing and both British and Hong Kong food.

The Friendship Festival will welcome people coming from Hong Kong to live in MK

It is organised by charity UKHK, in partnership with many churches, the festival will be attended by several church leaders and special guests.

One of the organisers is Christine Ho, who herself moved to the UK 30 years from Hong Kong. She has lived in Milton Keynes since 1996.

She said: “Milton Keynes is a very welcoming city, we have some friendly people here. Lots of new families are coming from Hong Kong and we want to show them that Milton Keynes is a great place for them to be and to settle.

“There will be churches there and lots of charities and a big football game is planned. It’s going to be a great day and we are very excited. I’ve been here for a long time now and I’m looking forward to welcoming new people from my country.”

The event is one of a series of eight Friendship Festivals across the UK over May and June. The UKHK project, founded by Dr Krish Kandiah, is a partnership across organisations including Welcome Churches, COCM, OMF and others. They have recently received funding from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to run events and activities to help welcome those arriving from Hong Kong.

Dr Kandiah said: “Thousands of people have experienced huge changes and challenges as they have navigated moving 6,000 miles across the world to start a new life. Our hope is that we can really showcase the ‘best of British’ in our welcome of all those arriving in our communities, no matter what the reason they have come to the UK.”