District Highlights 2019-20
1. PROMOTING THE MENTAL WELLNESS OF YOUTH
- To continue the effort of the “Pilot Project on the Prevention of Youth Suicide in North District” (Pilot Project) held in North District in 2018-19, the Tai Po and North District Social Welfare Office (District Social Welfare Office) joined hands with local partners to run the project of “守護晴[email protected]” in Tai Po and North District in 2019-20 with a view to conveying the messages of life cherishment, care and concern, and positive thinking in the community through a series of programmes, including regular publication of inspirational comic strips on different platforms, distribution of more than 40 000 inspirational comic books and production of other promotional materials. Joining hands with the Home Affairs Department (North District Office), District Social Welfare Office installed 10 signage boards with positive messages along the Wu Tip Shan Trail to give hikers a positivity boost. Besides, 8 Community Play Days were organised jointly with primary schools and collaborative partners for enhancing family cohesion and increasing participants’ awareness of mental health, attracting as many as 2 700 participants. A series of “gatekeeper training courses” were held to train social workers for early identification of youths with emotional distress and offer of support as appropriate. The youths will in turn be trained up as ambassadors to care for their peers and face adversity together. A total of 950 social workers and youths received the training.
2. PROMOTING THE “DEMENTIA FRIENDLY COMMUNITY CAMPAIGN”
- To echo the Dementia Friendly Community Campaign, the District Social Welfare Office has worked closely with local stakeholders in launching various public education programmes to enhance public understanding of dementia. In 2019, in collaboration with 2 District Elderly Community Centres in Tai Po and North District, Tai Po Dementia Care Link, Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital and North District Hospital, the District Social Welfare Office produced a video clip titled “Dementia and You” and a teaching kit to promote public awareness of the needs of persons with dementia and their carers. Over 800 teachers and students watched the video at school. On the “World Alzheimer’s Day”, 21 September 2019, the District Social Welfare Office launched a kick-off ceremony of the “Campaign on Dementia Friendly @ TP/N” in Tai Po. Mrs. Gwen Kao, Chairman of the Charles K. Kao Foundation for Alzheimer's Disease Limited, shared her experience in taking care of a dementia patient with over 100 carers at the ceremony. After the kick-off, public education programmes were held with a promotional van visiting 14 locations (including housing estates, urban and rural areas) in Tai Po and North District where game booths were set up to raise public concern about dementia. Members of the public were encouraged to register as “Dementia Friends” and help build towards a dementia friendly community.
3. JOINING FORCES WITH LOCAL PARTNERS TO CARE FOR THE DISADVANTAGED
- To encourage more local organisations to support the disadvantaged groups, the District Social Welfare Office launched a creative project “Wish Wagon 2019-20” jointly with a NGO. Under this project, each participating deprived family was paired up with a volunteer driver to plan and organise a one-day self-driving local tour. The volunteer driver drove his/her own car to take the paired up family for a happy trip. Through the interaction with the volunteer drivers, participating families got a brand new and treasurable experience. Meanwhile, to put the mission of the Volunteer Movement into practice, the programme encouraged volunteer drivers to bring along their families and friends to join the programme as volunteers. With the support of local partners including the Lions Club of Tai Po and the Rotary Club of Tai Po, a total of 8 self-driving tours were organised with an attendance of 145 participants and 86 volunteers. The scenic spots visited included Lantau Link Viewing Platform, Fei Ngo Shan and so on. All beneficiaries gave positive feedbacks to the programme and were grateful for the care and encouragement from the volunteers.
- The novel coronavirus epidemic has brought exceptional challenges to Hong Kong, especially to the disadvantaged. Since February 2020, the District Social Welfare Office has been actively liaising and co-ordinating with different social service units for distribution of free anti-epidemic supplies donated by enthusiastic organisations and members of the public to needy families and vulnerable groups. The supplies included more than 320 000 adult face masks, 43 000 children face masks and a large amount of hand sanitisers and bleach, etc.
4. CONTINUOUS ENHANCEMENT OF COMMUNITY SUPPORT FOR CARERS
- The District Social Welfare Office collaborated with an NGO in running a “Community Carers Café” (Café) in 4 SWD’s Integrated Family Services Centres in the districts. The Café not only strengthened community support network of carers, but also motivated and trained some of the beneficiaries to become volunteers of the Café. Given the desirable outcome of the Cafe, its services had been extended to some social service units operated by NGOs in the districts. In 2019-20, the number of participating volunteers exceeded 110 while that of carer beneficiaries was over 700. In 2020-21, we planned to expand the services by operating an on-line Café so as to identify more needy carers in an early manner, and provide them with more diversified stress-relieving and emotional support services.
- In joint efforts with the Department of Special Education and Counselling of the Education University of Hong Kong, the District Social Welfare Office organised the “Go Together - Children Speech Development Parent-child Project” to provide 10-session training for 36 families with children having speech problems but not having received any relevant treatment. It aims at providing early training for an optimal outcome. Under this project, 5 different thematic programmes were organised with a medical practitioner, an occupational therapist, a clinical psychologist, a university professor and an experienced social worker as speakers, attracting an attendance of over 140 carers. In order to further enhance community support for carers, a “Mobile Community Carers Café” as well as an introduction of parents’ mutual help groups and community resources were specially arranged in some of these programmes. Having achieved a great success, this project will continue in 2020-21.