AWE Volunteer Appreciation Day: 28 Jan 2023
It’s the time of the year for us to celebrate the contributions made by the Age Well Everyday (AWE) Programme Volunteers and Community Partners.
The AWE programme operates on a self-supporting structure. Volunteers first undergo official training from Mind Science Centre by completing the full suite of e-learning course. From here, our volunteers will bring the knowledge to their respective communities, rolling out a series of workshop and activities for the seniors based on their learnings. With the help of our volunteers, MSC was able to fulfil the promise of translating research into intervention programmes that is beneficial to the community.
On 28 January, we hosted the 2022 edition of AWE Volunteer Appreciation Day and we are pleased to have a total of 70 volunteers with us for a whole morning of insightful talks and presentations.
Professor Kua Ee Heok, the Tan Geok Yin Professor in Psychiatry and Neuroscience at National University of Singapore, kickstarted the day’s programme in his capacity as MSC’s Vice-Chairman. He gave a warm welcome to all the invited guests and acknowledged all the efforts that has impacted the lives of seniors in the community.
Next up, we had a series of sharing by the representatives from our partnered centres. Ms Genevieve Chua from RSVP Singapore, Mr Pung Hoi Toh from Eunos Community Centre (CC), Ms Emily Yap from Bukit Timah CC, Ms Tricia Lim from Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery and Mr Abdul Rashid from Tampines-Changkat CC took turns to introduce their centres’ works and the key activities organized by the AWE Volunteer working team.
We were greatly inspired by the volunteers’ strong advocacy of the AWE programme and their dedication has allowed seniors in the community to engage in active ageing efforts that will help to ensure a good quality of life as they live through their golden years.
Thereafter, Mr Maxel Ng from NParks shared with the enthusiastic audience the locations of various Therapeutic Gardens in Singapore and how they can sign up for the ongoing Therapeutic Horticulture Programmes.
Associate Professor Tan Tin Wee, the Chief Executive of National Supercomputing Centre, joined the session over Zoom to give a professional perspective on how engaging in daily cognitive activities (i.e. Rubik’s Cube and Guitar Practice) can help delay dementia. He took some time to demonstrate how ChatGPT, an AI chat tool, can effectively provide additional support for isolated seniors.
Rachel Chun, a Research Associate from MSC, then shared the findings from a recent survey done across all centres to gather feedback from the volunteers and trainers. Through the survey, MSC has identified the content areas that are in demand and the activities that are getting the most traction from the community seniors. Refreshed content is in works and we will be rolling out new exciting activities for the volunteers to bring to the community.
The main highlight of the day was the award presentation to our 38 long-serving volunteers across the partnered centres. We are glad to have Mr Abdullah Tarmugi, the Former Speaker of Parliament; Dr Cheong Choong Kong, the Chairman of MSC; Dr Ang Seng Bin, Senior Consultant and the Head of the Menopause Unit and Family Medicine Service at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, with us to present the certificates to the volunteers who have served 3 years and 5 years in the programme.
Click here to view more photos of the long-service volunteers.
The event was closed by Associate Professor John Wong Chee Meng, the Lin Jo Yan and Yeo Boon Khim Professor in Mental Health and Neuroscience, in his capacity as Mind Science Centre Director. As the day coincides with the seventh day of the Lunar New Year, which is also known to be everyone’s birthday in Chinese traditions, the volunteers were treated to a sumptuous Lohei lunch after the event.
Once again, we are truly thankful for the contributions from the volunteers, trainers and collaborators who have enabled the programme to continue expanding and impacting more seniors in the community. We are where we are today, because each and every one of us cared for the Singapore community. Join us in celebrating the achievements!
AGE WELL EVERYDAY (AWE) PROGRAMME
AWE is a holistic and evidence-based depression and dementia risk prevention programme designed to delay cognitive deterioration, reduce anxiety and increase socialisation. This flagship programme under Mind Science Centre is derived from the ongoing 10-year Jurong Ageing Study. As of now, the programme includes health education, physical exercise, mindfulness practice, art and music reminiscence, horticultural therapy, choral singing and therapeutic forest. The list may grow as our research team uncovers more beneficial activities.
Feel free to contact us at email@example.com.
AWE E-Learning Portal:
Doctor, am I at risk of Dementia? – Living with Dementia Webinar Series
A common question family caregiver asks us in the clinic is “Doctor, am I at risk of dementia?”
This webinar will focus on the causes of dementia and what we can do to prevent the illness. The types of dementia and early signs will also be explored.
We have invited Senior Consultant Psychiatrist at NUS and NUH, A/Prof Rathi Mahendran to share her expertise. This webinar will be chaired by Mind Science Centre Vice Chairman, Tan Geok Yin Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Prof Kua Ee Heok.