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The morning light spreads across the neighbourhood of Geylang Bahru and staff of SP Group are deviating from their usual route to office.
Navigating through the neighbourhood, the staff are taking on different duties this morning – serving breakfast to elderly residents and holding conversations with their newfound senior friends.
Their fresh start to the workday is the result of a partnership between SP Group and TOUCH Community Services initiated in 2017. As part of this pilot service-based volunteerism project, staff volunteers known as ‘Heart Workers’ have been facilitating monthly programmes at the TOUCH Senior Activity Centre in the same neighbourhood as their workplace. In place of meetings and gatherings in the pantry are morning exercises and breakfast with the elderly, among other social group activities.
This engagement with the neighbourhood has been a continued effort by the SP Group, which was awarded the President’s Volunteerism and Philanthropy Award in 2016, for their corporate giving and volunteerism practices. With special volunteer leave granted to the staff, these ‘Heart Workers’ have been dedicating their time to the residents around them.
The new partnership comes on the back of an earlier programme that offered more event-based and ad-hoc form of volunteerism. Under the current initiative, SP staff can convert their special leave days into blocks of shorter hours to ensure more regular and sustained engagement with the elderly. This also enables the volunteers to consistently contribute to programmes that have a direct impact on those who need care, such as delivering meals to frail seniors living in HDB rental blocks.
This partnership provides a steady pool of volunteers for key elderca
re services in the area. In turn, the elderly are opening up more to the ‘Heart Workers’ who have become familiar faces in the neighbourhood.
Interested in getting your colleagues into volunteering with you? It’s easy to get your office and peers involved using the e-learning resources available here. You can also look into volunteering opportunities at Giving.sg or via the SG Cares app.