Volunteers lead charity drive

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 December, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 December, 2006, 12:00am

Operation Santa Claus 2006 - beneficiaries of the age-related issues category

Hong Kong is grappling with a serious problem - an ageing population. While it is a sign of long life expectancy, it also poses a number of challenges.

Elderly people who live alone can sometimes become isolated, while those with Alzheimer's disease need constant care and attention.

The selected charities hope to address these issues through the formation of young volunteer groups who will record the history of elderly people, conduct community visits and organise social events.

They also want to set up a therapeutic weekend activity centre for people with Alzheimer's.

Age is also an issue for unemployed, middle-aged women. Rejoining the labour market is not easy, often leading to frustration and depression. It is hoped the establishment of a support network for these women will help them get back on their feet.

Sham Shui Po Community Association (SSPCA)

It has served the local community, including the elderly, for the past 20 years. Sham Shui Po has the highest percentage of people over 65 in Hong Kong.

Over the past two decades, SSPCA has been training its 'neighbours' to help each other. The association organises various recreational, educational and development activities with the aim of cultivating a spirit of mutual support among the community and improving living standards.

Wish: To form a group of volunteers who will care for elderly people living alone in Sham Shui Po. This will include recording their history and organising community visits and social events.

Website: www.sspca.org.hk

Hong Kong Alzheimer's Disease Association (HKADA)

The association aims to help those who are suffering from dementia, as well as their families.

HKADA was established in 1995 by a group of health-care professionals, including doctors, social workers, academics and volunteers.

It joined Alzheimer's Disease International and Hong Kong Council of Social Services in 1996 and 1999, respectively.

Wish: To set up a weekend activity centre for people with dementia, and help their families cope with stress.

Website: www.hkada.org.hk

Hong Kong Federation of Women's Centres

It provides a variety of services to women in order to develop their confidence, independence and competence.

The first women's centre was opened in Sham Shui Po in 1985, followed by another in Tai Po 10 years ago.

Wish: To carry out a one-year project to enhance the mental health of middle-aged, unemployed women, and to arouse public awareness of their needs.

Website: www.womencentre.org.hk

The Boy's Brigade Hong Kong

This youth organisation, which promotes Christian values, helps young people to get involved in community and other activities.

Wish: To train boys to assist the elderly in a project aimed at bridging the generation gap.

Website: www.bbhk.org.hk

Helping Hand

Its objective is to meet the emerging needs of the elderly as quickly, effectively and imaginatively as possible.

In order to cope with the rapid social changes and aspirations of our senior citizens, Helping Hand is always ready to initiate alternative methods to tackle problems.

Wish: To promote a better understanding between the younger and older generations through outings and sports.

Website: www.helpinghand.org.hk

Tung Wah Group of Hospitals

The group, set up in 1870, offers services to schools, hospitals and clinics and is also involved in welfare projects.

It currently runs 134 community centres - including 41 for the elderly - 38 youth and family centres, 38 rehabilitation centres and 17 traditional services centres.

Wish: The group's Yu Mak Yuen Integrated Services Centre wants to recruit young people to help renovate the homes of elderly people. This will create jobs, while providing a vital service for the elderly.

Website: www.tungwah.org.hk