The Story of Chinese Lion Dance
Gloucestershire Chinese Womens Guild (GCWG) was established in 1993. There is an elected committee with fifteen members all volunteers, including four elderly as co-opted honorary advisers, two councillors, one ex-mayoress and two solicitors.

Our committee members have been working very hard to establish the Guild during the last fifteen years. The Guild is both a registered charity and company limited by guarantee no share. We now have a team of one full time, two part time staff and seventeen community volunteers and tutors and tutors assistants.

Our services have proved to be very important to the Chinese community in Gloucestershire. We started out with home visits, interpretation, support and advice for Chinese communities in Gloucestershire addressing to their needs. We carried out a survery and produced a framework for the chinese elderly centre, the Chinese Cemetery at Coney Hill and established the Goh Ling Lok Elders/Carers Group (Goh Ling Lok meaning of old age people happiness) in 1999. Our administration office in Gloucester is also a 'drop in' centre for the Chinese member community in Gloucestershire and sometimes beyond. We have extended our work to include advocacy, advice on benefits, education and training, social welfare and promoting Chinese culture. We serve the elders and their carers, expectant mothers and mothers with young children, working with employees, unemployed, disabled people, asylum seekers and refugees in the community. We work for the Chinese Sheltered Housing and Resource Centre started on 1999 and will be built by 2010. Finally, we embrace cultural diversity and welcome people from other ethnic backgrounds to join our activities and classes.

We also provide drop-in-office service for the community members at moment of needs from Monday to Friday (9:30am to 4:30pm)
Lion is a special animal to Chinese people and regarded the king in the animal world with its image presented as power and prestige.

At the beginning of the Eastern Han Dynasty(25-220AD) with the introduction of Buddhism into ancient China, it is said that Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism, was seen after birth "to point to Heaven with one hand and to Earth with another, roaring like a lion." In the Buddhist faith, the lion is considered a divine animal of nobleness and dignity, which can protect the Truth and keep off evils.

Chinese Lion dance symbolizes prosperity and blessing. It has become a traditional Chinese custom for individuals, families and businesses to engage the performance of a Chinese lion dance in many festive events as well as other Chinese Festivals, such as Chinese New Year (the Spring Festival), special events, opening ceremony of a business, a new building, and etc.
Regist'd Company Number: 4040299
Registered Charity Number: 1091416