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Wirral youngsters celebrate Hong Kong links
2:40pm Tuesday 31st July 2012 in News
YOUNG people from Wirral and Hong Kong have taken part in the first phase of an international exchange programme.
Organised by Wirral Council and supported by Liverpool City Council, it gives young people the 'chance of a lifetime' to forge cultural and economic links with their contemporaries on both sides of the world while celebrating the region's close ties with China.
The first phase of the visit - to Merseyside - took place recently, and will be followed in the autumn when young people from Merseyside visit Hong Kong.
While here, 16 young people from Hong Kong, plus two workers, enjoyed an itinerary packed with culture and excitement, including visits to famous landmarks associated with sport and music.
They also visited facilities for young people in Wirral, and Wirral Youth Theatre in Pilgrim Street, Birkenhead, which was the venue for a lively celebration evening on their final night.
They also learned about close links being forged with China via Wirral Waters and the building of a £175m International Trade Centre in partnership with China and Peel Holdings.
They visited Liverpool’s Chinese communities and toured Liverpool Town Hall. There was a serious side to the trip as delegates pitched in to help volunteers at Marybone Youth and Community Association and Liverpool Habitat for Humanity, and saw contrasting sides of life with visits to affluent areas and areas of deprivation.
Caroline Laing, deputy head of Wirral Council's universal youth support service, said: "We thought it was important that the delegates see all facets of life on Merseyside, and get a flavour of our rich cultural heritage, particularly relating to the strong links we have with China.
"It was a fantastic visit and the delegates from Merseyside are really looking forward to their visit to Hong Kong later this year".
The scheme was run in partnership with Pine Court Housing Association and Cosmopolitan Housing Group, who provided accommodation for the visitors.