Senior Citizen Home Safety Association
Where: Unit 1A, M2/F Tsui Ping Shopping Circuit, Tsui Ping North Estate, Kwun Tong
What: Senior Citizen Home Safety Association is a charity that provides 24-hour emergency services to local elderly people who live alone. The association launched its Personal Emergency (PE) Link service in 1996 to provide the elderly with an emergency alarm system.
PE Link has helped save the lives of 85,740 seniors who required emergency hospital treatment. It also provides a hotline service, home visits and escorted hospital visits.
How: The association runs a Secret Angel-Elderly Care Programme in which students, parents and teachers organise and hold fund-raising events to help subsidise the cost of PE Link to the elderly. Students can also send greeting cards and visit elderly people who have benefited from the programme. For more information, visit www.schsa.org.hk/b5g/news/news_secretangel.html or call 2338 8312.
Teen volunteer: Winnie Tong Wai-ling, 16, is a fourth-former at Ning Po No2 College. Her school participates in the Secret Angel programme and has raised $41,616 for it over the past three years.
'I am the vice-chairperson of my school committee that is responsible for planning and running the fund-raising event. We hold a three-legged race; participants present a fund-raising form to their parents and classmates to ask for donations. The activity is fun and helps enhance the relationship between teachers and students.
I have also taken part in a few home visits, which serve elderly people living alone in public housing estates in Kwun Tong. Before the Lunar New Year, we - together with [Canto-pop singer] Stephy Tang Lai-yan - we made turnip cakes and delivered them to the elderly.
During our visits, we ask the senior citizens about their daily lives. Some have said that they are unhappy because they suffer from muscle aches and back pain.
Our teachers advised us not to ask the elderly about family matters in order to avoid stirring up sad memories. But we suggest that they visit elderly centres so that they won't feel lonely.
A way to break the ice is to ask the senior citizens if they have eaten yet. If they remain solemn, we'll keep trying to talk to them. Otherwise, more experienced volunteers will help.
In the past, I thought that elderly people were annoying. But in fact, they just want people to talk to them because so few people care about them.
Through my volunteer experiences, I've learn to care more about other people. I've also learned that team spirit is necessary when planning things. There may be problems, but you will always find a solution if you persist.'