A new group has been set up to give a voice to the Bangladesh community of South Shields.
The Bangladesh Welfare Association was officially launched in a ceremony at South Shields Town Hall, attracting more than 300 members of the local community.
The Deputy Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor John Anglin, was among those who attended the event on Sunday 22 June. He said: "Our Bangladeshi community makes a positive contribution to life in South Tyneside. We are really pleased that the association has been formed as it enhances our links with Bangladeshi residents.
"This association, along with others that provide different services and objectives, will strengthen the community's voice, helping them to have their say on more issues, whilst enabling them to keep even better informed on the opportunities available to them.
"On behalf of the Council, I would like to say good luck to the association. We look forward to working together in the future."
The association, which is currently based in Ocean Road, South Shields, has been formed to help break down cultural barriers faced by Bangladeshi residents by working with other voluntary organisations, community groups and authorities, including the Council, to address their concerns and resolve issues they face.
Chairman of the Association, Aminur Rahman said: "Our aim is to improve the lives and wellbeing of the Bangladeshi population. "Through this association, we want to promote cultural awareness, tolerance and understanding and help to form and maintain positive relationships with the wider community. We will also act as a voice for our members and raise issues that directly affect them.
"We want to give something back to the community and also hope to provide opportunities for training and to learn other languages including Bengali and Arabic as well as organising recreational activities and social events."
Caption:- Chairman of the Bangladesh Welfare Association, Aminur Rahman, with Deputy Mayor, Councillor John Anglin at the launch event.