The mayor of Malvern joined members of the Tzu Chi Foundation’s Malvern Group on the second day of celebrations for the Chinese New Year.

Coun Clive Hooper, said: “I was very pleased to have received the invitation from Su Bogue, the group’s local chairman to go and see the activities which had been arranged to celebrate the Chinese New Year, to learn something of the foundation's activities and meet everyone.

“I had a chance to practise some calligraphy and sample some of the delicious food which had been prepared by Su and her colleagues.”

The event took place at the Malvern Link Scout Hut in Redland Road.

Coun Hooper said that he was impressed with the foundation’s humanitarian work and the strong community focus it had.

He welcomed the efforts being made to promote waste reduction and recycling and noted the local group’s proposals to organise a litter-picking event at the retail park in collaboration with Morrison’s supermarket.

He hoped that this would set an example for similar initiatives by other community groups and volunteers elsewhere in the town.

In 1966, the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation was established in Hualien, an impoverished rural county of Taiwan.

From these humble origins, Tzu Chi is now active on five continents and has provided relief aid to over 100 countries and areas globally.

Over time, the mission of charity has expanded to medicine, education, humanistic culture, disaster relief and environmental protection.

The Tzu Chi UK branch was officially registered in 1995 as a UK charity with services starting in London, Manchester, Edinburgh, and now also in Malvern, Oxford, Cambridge and Canterbury.

The foundation’s stated beliefs are to spread “the essential values of love and compassion to all, regardless of faith, ethnicity or gender, and to inspire love and compassion in both givers and receivers”.