PACE: Volunteer programme receives Long-term Service Award
Rachelle Gaa, Dover parent, PACE Local Outreach Coordinator
In November 2017, HCA Hospice celebrated its annual HCA Volunteer Appreciation Night and PACE Local Outreach was once again the recipient of the Long-term Service award. Our volunteer programme has come a long way since its inception in 2008 which involved a Changi Terminal 3 outing attended by over a dozen volunteers in May that year.
The evening event was a wonderful opportunity to meet all the lovely people who do their part in providing various services for the benefit of the HCA Day Hospice patients. Hearing their stories inspires us to continue our work. I'd like to share some of the notable ones here.
There is Anson, whom along with a group of other volunteers, provide lunch twice a week to both the Hospice and the Day Centre. Their group won the award for chalking up the most service hours. Their work starts with a very early morning trip to the market that extends through lunchtime on Tuesdays and Fridays, during most weeks.
This year's 'star volunteer' was Mr Lim Nghee Huat, who is over 60 years old and participated in the Ultra Great Britain Run in 2016 and 2017. Last year alone, he ran a distance of 322km in a little over 70hours. His massive feat raised a staggering amount of $450,000 in support of HCA Hospice Care! You can watch his story here. Not everyone has the time nor the resources to spare to achieve such amazing feats. But this should not hinder one from helping others. The Volunteers and Membership Committee Chairperson, Dr Chua Jun Jin, gave us this reminder with this quote "No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."
PACE Local Outreach offers parents the opportunity to participate in a flexible volunteer programme - to come visit with us when they are able. We visit the good folks of HCA - usually every second and fourth Friday of the month - following the school calendar. For our regular volunteers, this entails a mere four hours maximum of their time a month. We offer various means of involvement, depending on one's commitment and availability.
For me personally, the rewards and fulfillment from this local service have been immeasurable. I am always grateful for the opportunity and time spent with these patients. Their enjoyment in the various activities we initiate is something I always look forward to. Let me share one of my favourite anecdotes...One of the regular Friday patients is a wheelchair-bound lady who cannot speak nor hear. But she is always so eager to touch our faces and squeeze our hands when she arrives. She carries around a small notepad that she shows to all volunteers to communicate with us. I will share some of her notes here...
HCA Hospice Care’s care philosophy is 'to add life to the days of patients with life-limiting illnesses, not days to lives.' At PACE Local Outreach we strive to embrace the same culture of care and contribution. Come and experience the joys of volunteer work with us. For more information, please contact PACE.