For its work with the elderly at House Of Joy Mountbatten, City Harvest Community Services Association received an Excellence Award from the People’s Association on 25 July.
The People’s Association Community Spirit Awards are presented to exemplary strategic partners who have assisted in building social capital and who have contributed to the community.
There are two categories of awards. This year, there were 100 Merit Award recipients and 27 Excellence Awards recipients; CHCSA was one of the 27.
The award was nominated by MP Lim Biow Chuan for work done by CHCSA House of Joy team and volunteers in the Mountbatten Award.
Outstanding community partners are nominated, then selected by a committee. CHCSA was nominated by Member of Parliament Mr Lim Biow Chuan for the work done by the team and volunteers of House Of Joy Mountbatten.
BRINGING VALUE TO THE COMMUNITY
PA recognised that House Of Joy provided a sense of home to its members. The organisation also noted that HOJ facilitates programmes that prevent cognitive and physical degeneration, and the staff and volunteers actively eliminate social isolation and cultivate a positive attitude towards ageing in the elderly that come to the centre. Working alongside PA, HOJ has managed to address the needs of seniors in Mountbatten by giving them a sense of purpose, opportunities to socialise and avenues to improve their health.
Besides offering in-house programmes, HOJ also partners with the local grassroots teams to organise activities and events, such as art jamming and the annual Silver Fest.
HOJ staff members also regularly attend constituency meetings hosted by Mr Lim, who is the Adviser to Mountbatten SMC, along with other governmental and non-governmental agencies, contributing towards a holistic approach in addressing the needs of the local residents.
One notable example of CHCSA’s work in the community is how the team helped an elderly couple with hoarding issues. Understanding that the nature of the challenge was likely to be chronic in nature, the team of staff and volunteers, led by CHCSA’s social worker Jeannette Soh, tirelessly engaged and counselled the couple. They succeeded in helping the couple declutter the flat numerous times over a period of more than five years, and in doing so, ensured that the couple and their neighbours were safe from fire hazards.
House Of Joy Mountbatten, the first of two centres, was introduced in 2010 as an extension of the community befriending programme, with the support of the Southeast Community Development Council and Mr Lim, the MP for the estate. Over the years, the centre has gone through numerous iterations and improvements to best serve the community. Today, HOJ Mountbatten runs over 20 programmes a week, serving about 300 active members. Supported by volunteers, the HOJ team regularly conduct home visits to about 200 vulnerable seniors in the estate who have difficulty attending programmes at the centre. In 2022, House of Joy Mountbatten began receiving support from the Ministry of Health for its eldercare work.
“Our volunteers have been very consistent in reaching out and befriending the seniors in the Mountbatten estate. They started this outreach when there was no physical centre, and continued through the challenging years when City Harvest Church faced public scrutiny,” says CHCSA’s executive director Kenny Low. “This award is a testament of the trust we have earned from the residents and the community leaders. In the coming years we are committed to continue to express the goodness of God in our community through action, conversations, partnerships and our people.”