Migrants from Hong Kong speak for the first time of a new life in the UK

Video report by ITV News Meridian's Mike Pearse

Migrants from Hong Kong, now living in Berkshire, have spoken about their new lives for the first time.

Reading and Wokingham now have one of the biggest communities from the former British colony in the country.

Many emigrated after fleeing oppression from the Chinese authorities.  

New security laws in Hong Kong mean clampdowns on protests and freedoms.

The handover has allowed up to 3 million Hongkongers to become British citizens. The UK government says with the current situation, it's only fair to offer those in Hong Kong, a better life here.


Wancy is one of those who has emigrated and is now living a new life in Reading.

She said: "When they know that we are from Hong Kong, they are very welcoming, which is very good."

"I also think that the diversity here, particularly in Reading, is very good as well. So I think people are very welcoming to different races."

Hong Kong was a British colony from 1841 to 1997 when the UK handed control to China.

The promise was 50 years of democracy, but a new security law means clamp downs on protests and freedoms.

Wancy said: "I cannot bear what Hong Kong has become now. I feel very emotionally impacted. And I feel the freedom that I was losing in Hong Kong is doing a lot of harm, so that's why we prepared to move."

Elsa and Steven

Elsa and her family moved to Wokingham at the start of the year.

Elsa and Steven

Elsa said: "We no longer have a normal Hong Kong. So we had the alternative to come here, and I think this is one of our solutions to have a better place for our family and our kids to grow up."

However Elsa says things have not always been easy since moving here.

"I believe most of the families having kids, school is a big concern."


"When you move from one place to another, you have a fear whether people will accept you.

"We just hesitate a bit on whether people will accept us. We are just from Hong Kong, we are Asian, we have yellow faces...but surprisingly here the people are very friendly."

One church in Reading now has services in Cantonese and hundreds of members. They've been offering help and support.

Pastor Siew Yin Chan from the Reading Chinese Christian Church said: "They feel that this is really home. They come to church and we don't just reach out to Christians, we reach out to all the Hong Kong people regardless of religious background."

Thomas and Katherine

"I think the people are very nice, and the people in the church are very nice to us, because they immediately formed a group to help Hong Kong people."

Thomas and Katherine

"First of all when we came, we didn't know how to operate a boiler, and they helped us. It's quite funny but it's the real situation we've encountered."

A support group based in Henley says those ITV Meridian has spoken to are 'pioneers'.

Krish Kandiah from the UKHK Church Network said: "They've left their home country and they've set up a new place here in the UK.

"But I think they're the first of many. Many people have got jobs, houses, things they need to tie up before they come here."

The hope is the people from Hong Kong can at last enjoy the democracy that they say is now so lacking back home.