District Highlights 2021-2022
SHAM SHUI PO WELL-BEING MOVEMENT
CARING AND INCLUSION IN THE COMMUNITY
- The Sham Shui Po District Social Welfare Office (District Social Welfare Office), in collaboration with various organisations in the district, endeavoured to promote positive thinking and core messages including gratitude, hope, resilience and open-mindedness in the community through its annual flagship programme called “Sham Shui Po Well-being Movement”. In 2021-22, more than 30 collaborating parties organised a total of 15 activities with the theme of “Love Challenge in Sham Shui Po” for youth, women, elders, disabled person and their carers, with a view to creating a caring atmosphere and promoting positive thinking in the community, and cheering up families that were hit financially and emotionally by the pandemic. In addition, the publicity team produced more than 20 banners and over 6 000 souvenirs, all printed with positive messages. By displaying the banners in schools, housing estates and social service units in the district and distributing the souvenirs, the publicity team stepped up its effort to spread positivity in the community, with a view to encouraging residents to face the pandemic and take on challenges in life with optimism.
- Moreover, the District Social Welfare Office, in collaboration with The Salvation Army Nam Tai Centre for Senior Citizens, invited carers of elders to design a community resource map called “Road & Journey in Sham Shui Po” in 2021-22. Having studied the needs of persons with dementia, children with special educational needs, persons with disabilities and their carers, the carers of elders formed a group to design three leisure routes in Sham Shui Po for their benefit. The public can locate the social services units in the district using the map as well. Social service units in the district were provide with the electronic version of the map. The printed maps, on the other hand, were available for free at various public housing estates, clinics and shops in order to reach those in need of social services but were unaware of available services in the district.
- Since 2017, the District Social Welfare Office has set up the Platform for Strengthening Support to Private Residential Care Homes for Persons with Disabilities (RCHDs). By strengthening mutual collaboration, the collaboration platform lines up rehabilitation service units in the district to provide relevant support services and organise various large-scale programmes for residents of private RCHDs with a view to encouraging them to maintain a healthy lifestyle and social connection. In 2020-21, in response to the public’s concern for carers, the collaboration platform shifted its focus to supporting carers of persons with disabilities in the district and changed its name to “Platform for Strengthening Support to Persons with Disabilities in Sham Shui Po”.
- To consolidate community resources, the collaborating agencies jointly set up a Facebook page called “Showing Love to ‘Sham’ Carers” for carers of persons with disabilities in the district on 1 October 2021. The page provides all kinds of information to enhance carers’ ability to take care of persons with disabilities and help carers alleviate their stress. In order to timely identify and support carers in need, the collaboration platform organised a movie screening (“Showing Love to ‘Sham’ Carers – ‘Let’s Relax • Movie Appreciation’”) with five special schools in the district on 20 October 2021. It enabled carers of special school students to enjoy some “me time” by watching movies and participating in a relaxation workshop together. The collaboration platform also prepared 1 000 carer resource kits and 3 000 calendar cards for distribution to the participants of the activity, service users of collaborating agencies, parents of special school students, and members of the community. QR codes for different services were printed on the calendar card to facilitate carers’ access to relevant information online.
EXTENDING SUPPORT NETWORK AND BUILDING SOCIAL CAPITAL
- The District Social Welfare Office continued to encourage social welfare organisations, local groups and residents in the district to participate in volunteer work in the service of those in need in Sham Shui Po, with a view to promoting the spirit of mutual support in the neighbourhood and building a caring and inclusive community. In 2021-22, the District Social Welfare Office organised the “Volunteer Award Scheme” to recognise the contributions of volunteers in the past year and commend their unfailing support for volunteer work in the district. The District Social Welfare Office issued certificates of recognition and souvenirs to nearly 500 volunteers who actively participated in the work of different collaboration platforms and assisted in building a caring and friendly community.
PROMOTING MENTAL WELLNESS AND CAREER PLANNING
- In recent years, a number of new and redeveloped public rental housing projects have been completed in Sham Shui Po District. To support the residents of these new and redeveloped housing estates, the District Social Welfare Office has been collaborating with the Housing Department and service units providing core welfare services in the proximity, and NGOs granted with funding support from the Community Investment and Inclusion Fund and the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust to set up a collaboration platform for each new/redeveloped housing estate under the “New Estate Partnership Programme”. The programme aims at identifying individuals and families in need of welfare services at an early stage so as to match them with appropriate services. It also aims at helping residents new to the district establish support networks, and develop a sense of belonging to the community, and promoting the spirit of mutual support. In 2021-22, the programme served the new residents of Hoi Tat Estate, Lai Tsui Court, Hoi Ying Estate, Pak Tin Estate and Shek Kip Mei Estate.
- Since 2009, the District Social Welfare Office has been collaborating with local welfare organisations to organise two Community Networking Projects, namely “Caring Nam Cheong” and “Neighbour Support”. In 2021-22, various programmes have been carried out under the two projects via different means, including street counters, home visits, concern calls and material help, with a view to identifying needy grassroots families and individuals living in private housing (including sub-divided units) in Sham Shui Po and Cheung Sha Wan, and matching them with appropriate mainstream services. 25 neighborhood support programmes were organised under the two projects to promote mental health of residents in private housing and alleviate the stress of carers. These programmes successfully reached 9 000 residents and identified 305 needy families, for which appropriate follow-up services were also arranged. Furthermore, 24 local shops were successfully recruited to join the “Caring SSP Shops” network to help grassroots families affected by the pandemic by offering them shopping discounts, thus fostering the spirit of mutual help and support in the community. A total of 950 families benefitted from the initiative.
- Since 2015, the District Social Welfare Office has been collaborating with a number of social welfare organisations in the district to run the “Life Education Programme”, with a view to spreading the message of “Love Life, Love the People around You” through a series of activities. In 2021-22, the District Social Welfare Office launched the programme in collaboration with 16 organisations, which took turns to set up street counters, organised diversified activities, and encouraged service users of different participating service units to interact with one another in order to promote peer support. To help service users consolidate what they learned and experienced from participating in the programme, social workers provided them with follow-up counseling services to assist them in discovering the blessings in life and developing positive thinking. A video capturing the highlights of the programme was produced to spread the message of positive living among other community members.
- Since 2013, the District Social Welfare Office has been running the “Job Shadowing Mentorship Programme” in collaboration with the Federation of Hong Kong Industries, the Hong Kong Small and Medium Enterprises Development Institute, the Hong Kong Christian Service Happy Teens Club, the Boys’ & Girls’ Clubs Association of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Young Women Christian Association and Caritas School Social Work Service. In 2021-22, 55 industry experts, entrepreneurs and senior executives were recruited as mentors and matched with 111 young persons from underprivileged families. The mentors arranged for their mentees to visit their workplaces during summer vacation and shared with them knowledge of corporate operation and soft skills for the workplace. Through the programme, mentors developed a close relationship with their mentees, sharing with them their life experiences and inspiring them to plan their career paths. The programme also presented an opportunity for mentors to integrate volunteering into their work lives.