“In order to help the seniors, you must have the passion, patience, understanding and study their likes and dislikes during interaction time with them in order to serve and win their confidence and trust in you,” shared Hock Kee. The 66-year-old has been an active grassroots leader in Bedok Community Centre for over 30 years and has a deep passion to assist the elderly.
When he was the Civil Defence executive chairman in Bedok CC, Hock Kee gathered a team to teach seniors and their helpers how to handle electricity trips, basic first aid, and basic fire-fighting skills. He felt that it was important for them to learn such skills so that they will be better equipped to handle unexpected situations. The team is also well-equipped in Cardio Pulmonary Resusitation (CPR) after receiving basic training from Singapore Civil Defence Force. When he was working in the then Bedok Radiance Seniors Activity Centre (SAC), he organised an outreach to engage seniors who were living in one-room rental flats to come down for some karaoke and exercise. Although it had not been easy, what kept Hock Kee and his team going was the chance to “to see their faces glow with smiles and laughter” at the end of the sessions.
Hock Kee and his team also visited their houses to check on their blood pressure and glucose levels, occasionally enlisting the help of a nutritionist to talk to them. The team also organises sight-seeing programmes for the seniors. One such programme included “Beautiful Sunday”, where seniors enjoyed live musicals and orchestral performances at the Esplanade.
He has since left the centre but still visits these old friends for a chat and to “see their happy faces”. Another proud moment for Hock Kee was the chance to organise a basic Fire Fighting and Evacuation Exercise for the Seniors and Kindergarten Children in Bedok South. Hock Kee was also an avid blood giver when he was still eligible to donate. Now he helps out during blood donation drives in collaboration with Singapore Red Cross and Health Science Authorities where he would talk to first-timers to calm them down and inform them about the dos and don’ts after the donation.
To Hock Kee, volunteering is about giving joy and happiness to others and is particularly motivated by the ability and opportunity to add value to someone else’s life. “I personally feel that at some point in time when you have achieved what you strive for, it is time to reflect on those who are not as fortunate as you. It is also time to give back to society and help our fellow Singaporeans to live life to the fullest.”