District Highlights 2020-2021
SHAM SHUI PO WELL-BEING MOVEMENT
- The Sham Shui Po District Social Welfare Office (District Social Welfare Office), in collaboration with various organisations in the district, endeavoured to promote values of positive psychology with the theme of instilling gratitude, hope, resilience and open-mindedness in the community through the annual flagship programme “Sham Shui Po Well-being Movement”. In 2020-21, despite facing a rough time during the COVID-19 epidemic, collaborating parties spared no effort in organising a total of 17 online and offline activities under the theme “Walk Together” for people with special needs, including demented elders and their carers. Besides, a series of annual highlight events was held in October 2020 that allowed staff of different social service units in the district to participate in person or remotely via live webcast. A video about carers living in Sham Shui Po was premiered followed by the sharing of the production team. Besides, WhatsApp sticker packs with messages of positive psychology designed by local youths were rolled out. Last but not the least, a training workshop on the use of music intervention was conducted by a professor of Hong Kong Polytechnic University and a certified music therapist. All participants were equipped with practical skills in providing services for the needy and their families through an innovative approach.
- The District Social Welfare Office also designed a leaflet containing information on community resources with unique district characteristics. It included programmes and activities for people with dementia, their carers and other people with special needs provided by various social service units in the district. In order to support residents in fighting the epidemic from home, the leaflet also contained internet resources, including introduction of videos and mobile apps for body and mind relaxation, puzzle games and websites that enable residents to learn more about the community and the world, etc. The electronic version of the leaflet was distributed to local residents through more than 210 local stakeholders and social service units, while the printed version was distributed to residents of public housing estates in Sham Shui Po with the support of the Housing Department.
PROMOTING MENTAL WELLNESS
- Since 2015, the District Social Welfare Office has collaborated with a number of social welfare organisations in the district to launch the “Life Education Programme”, with a view to promoting the message of “Love Life, Love the People Around You” through a series of programmes. In 2020-21, the District Social Welfare Office jointly launched the Programme with 15 organisations. Under the Programme, 3 working groups were set up to deal with problems arising from the COVID-19 and social incidents. The working group on “Emotion” organised 2 online seminars for parents, namely “Respond to Yourself, Respond to the Children” to help parents master the skills of helping their children face the ever-changing learning environment and manage their emotional responses. At the same time, parents were enlightened to take care of their own emotions and relieve their stress from taking care of their children. The working group also provided training for over 80 youth workers of the district, with a view to enhancing their skills in helping teenagers with emotional distress. The working group on “Communication” organised the group activity “Vivid and Impressive” which provided a platform for participants to express their thoughts and feelings towards the incidents in Hong Kong over the past 2 years and encouraged them to accommodate diversified views in society through the production of a display board with creative pictures or wordings under the theme “Blessing Sham Shui Po”. The working group on “Trust” arranged for university students to visit the Life Education Centre for experiential learning on life and death so as to help them acquire a new understanding towards life.
EXTENDING SUPPORT NETWORK AND BUILDING SOCIAL CAPITAL
In recent years, a number of new and redeveloped public rental housing projects have been completed in Sham Shui Po District. In order to support the new residents, the District Social Welfare Office has collaborated with the Housing Department and service units providing core welfare services in the proximity as well as NGOs granted with funding support from the Community Investment and Inclusion Fund and the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, etc. to set up collaborative platforms for each new and redeveloped housing estate under the “New Estate Partnership Programme”. The aims are to identify persons and families who are in need of welfare services at an early stage and provide appropriate services for them, to help new residents establish a support network, cultivate their sense of belonging to the community and promote mutual support in order to strengthen the community’s cohesiveness and achieve harmony in the community. In 2020-21, the “New Estate Partnership Programme” served the new residents of Lai Tsui Court, Hoi Tat Estate Phase 1 and 2, Hoi Ying Estate and Pak Tin Estate Phase 7 and 8.
- Since 2009, the District Social Welfare Office has collaborated with local welfare organisations to launch 2 Community Networking Projects, namely “Caring Nam Cheong” and “Neighbour Support”. The projects aim at identifying needy families and persons living in private housing of Sham Shui Po and Cheung Sha Wan, including those living in sub-divided units, and refer them to mainstream services as appropriate through various outreaching means, such as home visits, networking programmes and distribution of resources booklets. The projects also help residents get to know each other and build a neighbourhood support network for mutual help. In 2020-21, in view of the epidemic, these 2 projects have been implemented in different approaches, including online programmes such as talks on handling emotions/stress management, seminars on parent-child relationship, introduction of carer support services and distribution of anti-epidemic materials and information leaflets, etc. The “Caring Nam Cheong” community networking project took a step further to build the network of “Caring Shops in Sham Shui Po”, facilitating the support of local shops to grassroots families affected by the epidemic to build a community with mutual help and support. In 2020-21, the 2 projects successfully reached about 6 200 residents through street counters and visits, with 120 needy families living in private housing identified and arranged to receive appropriate follow-up services.
CARING FOR INCLUSION
- Since 2017, the District Social Welfare Office has set up the “Platform on Strengthening Support to Private Residential Care Homes for Persons with Disabilities” to provide relevant support services to residents in private residential care homes for persons with disabilities (RCHDs) by lining up the rehabilitation service units in the district to strengthen collaboration. Besides, various large-scale programmes were organised to encourage residents in private RCHDs to maintain a healthy living and keep connecting with the community. In 2020-21, the Platform organised an online event, namely “Deep Love in Sham Shui Po” to provide support services to residents in private RCHDs through live webcast and pre-recorded videos, so that they could maintain good health and have a more enjoyable life during the epidemic. The activities included a Christmas concert, rhythmic exercises with music, cheering up activities, a song dedication programme, lucky draws and talent performances, etc. All the private RCHDs in the district have joined this project. The programmes and activities have been well received by both the staff and residents of the private RCHDs.
- As at March 2021, the total number of volunteers registered in Sham Shui Po exceeded 8 500. The total number of volunteer service hours reached 88 269 in 2020. Volunteers serving in different service units and organisations in the district demonstrate the spirit of mutual support and care in the community. To recognise their contribution over the past year and their unfailing support to voluntary work, the District Social Welfare Office issued certificates of recognition and souvenirs to more than 300 volunteers who received the Individual Volunteer Award and the Long Service Award. In the coming future, the District Social Welfare Office will continue to promote volunteer service, encourage residents in the district to integrate volunteer service into their lives and work, and actively build a caring and friendly community.