District Highlights 2020-21
ENHANCING CONTACT AND SUPPORT FOR FAMILIES OF ELDERLY SINGLETONS/DOUBLETONS AND THEIR CARERS THROUGH A SMALL-COMMUNITY APPROACH, PROMOTING HEALTHY AND ACTIVE AGEING
- The “Working Group on Enhancing Support to Singleton Elderly and Two-elder Families”, which was set up by the Eastern and Wan Chai District Social Welfare Office (District Social Welfare Office) in July 2017 with the collaboration of 6 District Elderly Community Centres (DECCs) and 7 Integrated Family Service Centres (IFSCs) in the districts, continued to step up efforts at district level to increase the elders’ and carers’ awareness of the available services, to enhance their motivation to receive services, and to strengthen the accessibility of the community support services.
- The Eastern and Wan Chai districts were divided into 6 “small communities”. With the wisdom of all the stakeholders, creative strategies and focused interventions, such as the publications and distribution of promotional items with information on various service units in the districts, were worked out by the Working Group to better address and support the needs of families of elderly singletons/doubletons in the small communities according to their uniqueness. As a further effort to strengthen the safety net for the needy elders at district level and to create a caring community for all, the District Social Welfare Office also worked jointly with different government departments and organisations, including the Home Affairs Department, the Housing Department and the Hong Kong Housing Society, and strengthened communication with other local organisations, owners’ corporations, and members of the District Councils.
- Carers provide important support to the elderly persons so that the latter can receive continuous care in a familiar environment. To assist carers in taking care of their own needs, through our “2020 Caring Neighbourhood Sponsorship Scheme” , welfare service units in the districts were encouraged and subsidised to partner with another NGO, school, corporate, or local body in the districts to organise programmes which included the soothing of care stress and building of their supportive network. With valuable experience and collaborative frameworks, the District Social Welfare Office has collaborated with different welfare service units including the DECCs, Neighborhood Elderly Centres and IFSCs, to gradually set up different “Carer Hubs” in the districts since 2019, providing space for carers to relax and get acquainted with more fellow carers, support each other and build up a mutual support network while meeting their own needs.
- To officially announce the set-up of the “Carer Hub” and to recognise the selfless contributions of the carers in the Eastern and Wan Chai districts, a commendation programme named “「東區及灣仔區照顧者加油站開展禮暨照顧者嘉許禮」” was held online on 27 November 2020. A certificate of commendation was awarded to 95 carers nominated by 28 elderly and rehabilitation service units in the districts for their countless efforts in taking care of their elderly persons and those with rehabilitation needs. Other contents of the programme included carers’ sharing, reviewing the past activities of the Carer Hub since launch, and introducing the support service as well as other community resources available for the carers, etc. Through these efforts, the public can develop a more thorough understanding on the different needs of the carers and recognise their contribution.
- The District Social Welfare Office continued its efforts to promote the Dementia Friendly Community Campaign and to enhance the public’s knowledge and awareness of dementia at district level by liaising with different stakeholders and organisations, and arranging “Dementia Friends” Information Sessions for them. As at 31 March 2021, the accumulated number of registered “Dementia Friends” in the Eastern and Wan Chai districts was close to 1 600 while the number of “Dementia Friends Ambassadors” was near 120. Property management organisations were continuously invited to take part in the “Support for Carers Project” aiming at equipping their frontline property management personnel with the basic knowledge to identify and assist needy elderly persons with potential service needs, and connect them to the welfare service units for follow-up whenever necessary, hence building a caring neighbourhood. Under the collaboration of the District Social Welfare Office, the elderly service units in the Eastern and Wan Chai districts had successfully provided training to over 90 property management organisations/owners’ corporations, covering over 1 000 frontline property management personnel.
ENHANCING FAMILY RELATIONSHIP AND FUNCTIONING, SUPPORTING PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES AND THEIR CARERS, BUILDING A LOVING AND INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY
- To promote familial harmony and enhance family functioning, the District Social Welfare Office launched various projects including “Love‧Family”, “Strengthen Families‧Build with Hearts” and “Support Families‧Promote Children’s Holistic Development” projects in 2020-21. A series of programmes, volunteer training sessions and workshops were organised to promote family services and resources in the districts, to strengthen the families for building up their resilience, to achieve early identification of needy families and to strengthen the connection and co-operation among welfare service units and local organisations in the districts as well as to encourage positive orientations, familial harmony and social inclusions. There were altogether 6 000 participants in various activities during the year.
- The “Happy Family Month – Serving the Community Together” was organised by the District Social Welfare Office, IFSCs and Family and Child Protective Services Units in the districts from September to November 2020. Warm greetings and encouragements were sent to some 230 members of the community and families, especially those financially affected by COVID-19.
- The District Social Welfare Office is concerned about the needs of the persons with disabilities (PWDs) and their carers. Through professional exchanges, visits and the Sponsorship Scheme, the District Social Welfare Office was committed to enhancing the frontline workers’ understanding of PWDs, and alleviating the stress of carers of PWDs. With the concerted efforts and collaborations of different family and rehabilitation services units, welfare agencies serving ethnic minorities, non- Chinese speaking schools and other service units in the districts, purposeful and diversified programmes such as the “MTR Art Gallery”, LINK art gallery in a shopping mall of a public housing estate, visits to ethnic minority groups, and volunteer trainings were tailor-made and organised to foster social integration and build a caring community.
PROMOTING MENTAL WELLNESS OF YOUNG PEOPLE AND ENCOURAGING CONTINUOUS VOLUNTEER WORK TO BUILD A CARING AND INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY
- To better support youngsters facing stress, the District Social Welfare Office co-organised a time-defined project titled “「疫」 境同行@Youth Wellness” with Hong Kong Federation Youth Groups Jockey Club Shaukeiwan S.P.O.T. in 2020-21 to address the emotional needs of young people. The project was designed to enhance youths’ positive thinking and liberate their creativity through a series of art and stress-relief programmes, aiming to instill more vitality in the community, enhance youths’ ability to face adversity and manage emotions, and facilitate early identification of youth with potential service needs.
- The District Social Welfare Office endeavoured to continue the efforts of the school promotion programme on positive psychology in the Eastern and Wan Chai districts. With collaboration from youth service units and Integrated Community Centre for Mental Wellness (ICCMW), the District Social Welfare Office arranged programmes for 2 primary schools serving over 200 pupils with a view to conveying the messages of life cherishment, positive thinking, resilience and drug-free life through a series of programmes including magic show and sharing from an ex-substance abuser. Tailor-made training workshops, both on-site and online, were specially designed and held jointly with ICCMWs for primary and secondary school personnel with the aim of strengthening self-awareness on mental wellness, sharing tips for combating epidemic and enhancing sensitivity for early intervention of students with emotional needs. 4 primary schools with a total of 200 school personnel including principals, school supervisors and teachers joined the programmes.
- The District Social Welfare Office was committed to encouraging people and different sectors to participate in volunteer work with a view to building community inclusion. A briefing session on Promotion of Volunteer Service was held on 25 November 2020 at Sai Wan Ho Civic Centre with the attendance of about 30 participants under anti-epidemic measures. It provided a platform for volunteers and participating welfare units to gain access to volunteering information and service opportunities. Two thirds of the participants enrolled in volunteer work immediately in the briefing session.
- The 2021 Volunteer Award Presentation Ceremony with the theme “Resilience Walk-Along” was held online via YouTube on 6 March 2021 with about 200 live broadcast viewers. Over 100 volunteers nominated by 21 NGOs/schools/corporates were awarded with “Outstanding Volunteer Award” for their continuous commitment to serve the needy at neighbourhood levels, especially during the epidemic. 17 volunteer teams formed by welfare service units/corporates/shops were awarded a certificate of commendation as “Resilience Walk-Along Volunteer/Volunteer Group/Shop” to recognise their contribution to the community. 2 “Resilience Walk-Along Volunteer Groups” shared their experience and challenges in volunteerism amid the epidemic. During the one-week view period after the event, the clip received more than 700 views on YouTube.