CHINESE people living in and around Woking have donated more than £6,000 to local hospitals and to buy personal protective equipment for charities.

Members of the Chinese Association of Woking donated £2,000 each to St Peter’s Hospital and Frimley Park Hospital and a further £2,100 to buy PPE for organisations such as Woking Foodbank.

The Chinese School, which is based at St John the Baptist School in Old Woking, is now running online.

The association has given Frimley Park a drawing by 12-year-old Lily, the daughter of the Chinese School deputy headteacher Joy Chen, that praises the work of NHS staff.

Clara Chipping, the association chairman, said that most Chinese people in the area had self-isolated and taken up social distancing early.

When the pandemic spread across China from Wuhan and Hubei province in December, people returning from visits to the country isolated themselves.

“No one got sick,” said Clara. “There were a few who seemed to have some symptoms but none of them got any worse,”.

“They were self-isolating before everyone else because they already had the experience of the SARS outbreak, which began in China in 2002.”

The Chinese New Year celebration that was to have been held in Woking town centre in January was among the first big events cancelled because of the spread of Covid-19.

Clara said that the association hoped to be staging the event for the 2021 Chinese New Year on 12 February next year, heralding the Year of the Ox.