Outgoing and friendly, Florence is an active member of MWS Senior Activity Centre – Kebun Baru. She retired from her job eight years ago, but has since kept herself busy by volunteering, an activity that she finds meaningful and satisfying.
As a befriender in the Community Befriending Programme, she regularly visits two elderly women in the neighbourhood. One of them, a Malay lady in her eighties, invited her to celebrate Hari Raya with her extended family. At the celebration, her daughter expressed her heartfelt appreciation to Florence for visiting her mother and spending time with her.
Florence also teaches other seniors about cooking, and arts and craft. She noticed that cooking and baking are popular among members at the centre, and so she constantly learns new dishes to share with them. She focuses on recipes that are easy to prepare, such as egg tarts and cheesecake, as well as festive goodies like snowskin mooncake.
She also looks for new craft-making ideas to teach others. She is passionate about learning and strongly believes that ageing well involves learning new things to keep one’s mind sharp and active.
New initiative to promote volunteering among seniors
Befrienders like Florence will participate in a new time-banking initiative for volunteers at MWS Senior Activity Centre – Kebun Baru. They can convert the time spent volunteering into time credits, which can then be exchanged for services at the centre, such as use of the gym and participation in courses and outings. Time-banking for volunteers will be progressively rolled out to all MWS Senior Activity Centres.
The initiative is in line with the shift from mere service provider to an asset-based one at MWS Senior Activity Centres. With this approach, seniors are encouraged to be co-creators and contributors, instead of mere observers or recipients of services.
By the Methodist Welfare Services (MWS) Communications Team
Photo courtesy of Methodist Welfare Services