(Tailor-made traditional Lunar New Year clothes for the elderly community. Photo Credit: Sewing Hearts)
The [email protected] fund was launched in April 2020 to respond to communities’ urgent needs brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. As we near the two-year anniversary, here are a few recent projects supported by [email protected] fund that are impacting lives in our local communities.
Tailor-made pieces for the elderly community
Sewing Hearts is helmed by a group of over 20 sewing enthusiasts who came up with the idea of making bespoke, traditional Lunar New Year clothes for elderly individuals who live alone in rental flats and have been socially isolated due to COVID-19 restrictions. They have noted that the low-income elderly may not be able to afford new clothes for the festivities at all, let alone tailored outfits.
Supported by the [email protected] fund, Sewing Hearts formed a partnership with Lions Befrienders and Ang Mo Kio Family Service Centre to connect with beneficiaries. The team visited 36 seniors, took their measurements, and created qipao and cheongsam pieces for all of them prior to the Lunar New Year celebrations. The volunteers also honoured special requests by the elderly, such as preference of colours or specific cuts. The initiative was a thoughtful one as the elderly felt their culture and traditions were respected and appreciated.
Revitalising outdoor education for Special Educational Needs students
osc[email protected] fund recently supported a kayak paddling activity for students with Special Educational Needs (SEN) and their caregivers. The project was initiated by a team of lecturers and students from the Republic Polytechnic. In the face of challenges posed by COVID-19, the team identified a critical need for engagement with this group of beneficiaries through outdoor activities as the safety management measures had significantly reduced their time spent on physical activities as well as social interactions among the group and with the public.
With an aim to befriend the beneficiaries and improve their mental well-being, the team created a half-day programme which would not only allow the students to improve physical skills such as hand-eye coordination and attention span, but also provide opportunities for them to play and bond with each other and their caregivers. Training for volunteers is set to kick off in mid-March 2022 and will culminate in three programme at Pulau Ubin Quarry later in the year.
Engaging our seniors through virtual tea dance sessions
Virtual Return To The Tea Dance was initiated by Thye Hua Kwan Nursing Home to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of our seniors who had been left isolated and disconnected due to COVID-19 safe management measures. With restrictions on family visits and volunteer visits, many seniors had to reduce social interactions which could be detrimental to their mental wellbeing especially for those who are prone to or are already experiencing dementia.
Global research has proven that regular physical activity has the effect of delaying or stagnating the onset of dementia. Thye Hua Kwan Nursing Home initiated the Virtual Return To The Tea Dance, an online adaptation of the original award-nominated physical offline program. A total of 76 sessions of the online dancercise program engaged seniors through popular evergreen music in English or Mandarin and a series of upper and lower body exercise and dance movements. The program aims to support our seniors cognitively, physically, emotionally as well as socially during the pandemic period.
Celebrating milestones; looking forward to future projects
As Singapore continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we look forward to collaborating with our community partners, volunteers, and social entrepreneurs who are eager to deliver meaningful impact to those who need it most.