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17 August 2011

The Salvation Army's Family Support Services (FSS) has been working in partnership with volunteers from the Australian & New Zealand Association (ANZA) for a few years now. And with each passing year, the partnership is growing to be more exciting, as new partnership initiatives germinates; providing volunteers with more ways to partner us in caring for our beneficiaries.
One of these initiatives is the new Healthcare Programme developed for our food ration clients. The programme is carried out in conjunction with the Food Ration Programme and has to date, been successfully ran at both Bukit Merah View and Jalan Kukoh. With this programme, FSS hopes to be able to better serve the seniors by proactively monitoring their well being in the community.

Together with FSS staff, qualified regular volunteers from ANZA including Shirley, Virginia, Bernadine, Patricia, Chen, L
eanne and Lynn, set up and manned health stations at the void deck of the block. At each station, the volunteers helped to conduct simple health checks e.g. checking of blood pressure and blood glucose. As necessary, the clients are also encouraged to follow-up with checks at their polyclinic.
Upon completing their health checks, the clients were invited to the snack corner to enjoy hot beverages and snacks which have been specially prepared by the ANZA volunteers. The volunteers and staff also took the opportunity to interact and catch up with the seniors at the same time to find out how they are doing and if they are facing any problems.

After the short food break, the volunteers continued to distribute the food packages to the self-collection and door-to-door clients.

We have received positive feedback from our clients who were appreciative of the staff and volunteers' help in conducting the health checks, befriending them and helping with their food rations.
In another "first", FSS also brought the Mothers Support Group outdoors to Hort Park together with children and youth from the Youth Programme. Joining the event was ANZA volunteer, Antonia, who helped as a facilitator for the Mothers Support Group Workshop. She shared with the mothers how one can learn to cope with life stresses e.g. sharing their problems with someone that they trust or exercise and outdoor activities etc.
For many of the mothers, this is their first visit to Hort Park. So having the sharing nestled among the greenery and beautiful landscape while watching their children having fun with one another; running and playing brought much joy to the mothers.
At the end of the informal and relaxing chat with Antonia, Mdm R, one of the Mothers Support Group member, presented Antonia with her hand-made cookies in appreciation of her time with them. Mdm R had just completed her baking course and this presented a wonderful opportunity for her to build up her confidence and utilize her baking skills.

And while the mothers were occupied in the workshop, the youth were taken on an adventure trail . It was an enjoyable nature walk where they got to bond with one another. Friendship blossomed as everyone helped one another along the trail; encouraging one another when they were tired. It was heartwarming to see how the older youth took the initiative to take care of the younger ones.

The Home Care Services is an ad-hoc programme where volunteers offer help such as painting, refurnishing and cleaning to needy elderly clients.
In June, FSS received a request for assistance from a food ration client in her 80’s. The client had recently fell and fractured her fingers. Hence she was having difficulty going about her daily household chores and preparation of meals.

To support the client, FSS partnered with ANZA volunteers to provide her with home care help. Both Linda and
Patricia were kind enough to respond to the call and visited the client weekly to help her with basic cleaning.

Even with the help from the volunteers, the client, who is particular about cleanliness of her home, continued to perform some house chores daily despite her injured fingers. However, w
ith Linda and Patricia's help, it has definitely help relief her of some of the more challenging chores e.g. mopping the floor and changing of bedsheets. The client is deeply grateful and pleased with the assistance she had received from FSS and the volunteers. We are glad to have been able to grow our support programme to our clients with our staff and volunteers. What began as a simple food ration distribution project with ANZA has now grown into a meaningful in-community project.
Thanks again ANZA volunteers!

Extracted & Edited from
Family Support Service's 2011 2nd Quarter Newsletter