All charged up about helping seniors

Participants from the Awwa Senior Activity Centre holding up the Samsui women dolls they made with staff volunteers from SGX last month.
Participants from the Awwa Senior Activity Centre holding up the Samsui women dolls they made with staff volunteers from SGX last month.PHOTO: SGX

SGX Bull Charge Cares reaches out with food and fun to folk at Awwa centre

Madam Theresa Anthony, 55, had never been to a "popiah party" before but last month, she not only attended one but also tried her hands at making the local delight.

"It was very fun, I enjoyed it a lot. I really hope there will be such an event again; it will make us very happy," said Madam Theresa.

The retiree was one of several seniors from welfare group Awwa, formerly known as the Asian Women's Welfare Association, who were treated to a day of feasting and fun by 21 staff volunteers from the Singapore Exchange (SGX).

The event marked the start of a monthly Cook-a-Meal programme that will benefit about 65 elderly people from the Awwa Senior Activity Centre. Located at Block 123, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6, the centre caters to low-income senior citizens living in the vicinity, including those who live alone in rental flats with minimal caregiver support.

The Cook-a-Meal programme is organised by SGX Bull Charge Cares, an outreach arm where SGX staff plan and participate in activities for its beneficiaries.

Through the programme, volunteers will provide meals for seniors who have difficulty getting their own food because of financial or physical limitations. It also encourages closer social interaction between the seniors and the volunteers, and keeps the seniors active and integrated in the community.

MEANINGFUL

The gesture of cooking a meal may sound simple or even taken for granted by some, but it can mean a lot to our seniors. From buying ingredients and preparing these to cooking, we want to provide the seniors with a sincere home-cooked meal.

MR CHEW SUTAT, SGX's head of equities and fixed income, who is also chairman of the SGX Bull Charge.

The popiah party last month, for instance, included a craft session where the volunteers made Samsui women dolls with the seniors.

Mr Keith Lee, director of Awwa Health and Senior Care, said: "The seniors get excited when they meet volunteers, especially this group from SGX. They come and share their love with the seniors."

Mr Chew Sutat, SGX's head of equities and fixed income, joined the 21 volunteers in making the popiah.

"The gesture of cooking a meal may sound simple or even taken for granted by some, but it can mean a lot to our seniors," said Mr Chew, who is also chairman of the SGX Bull Charge. "From buying ingredients and preparing these to cooking, we want to provide the seniors with a sincere home-cooked meal."

SGX staff volunteers will continue to work closely with the centre on what food is good for the elderly, taking into consideration their preferences and nutritional needs.

Started in 2004, the annual SGX Bull Charge rallies the financial community and SGX-listed companies to do good together.

It supports the needs of the elderly, people with disabilities, and underprivileged children and families through four partner charities: Awwa, Autism Association Singapore, Fei Yue Community Services and Shared Services for Charities, a non-profit group that provides independent review and documentation services for charities.

The SGX Bull Charge started out being only a run. It has since included Charity Golf and Charity Futsal. Since its launch, the SGX Bull Charge has raised more than $27 million via these three sporting events.

The Charity Golf, sponsored by SGX-listed firms, brokerage firms and business partners, was held in April and raised more than $180,000. The Charity Futsal and Charity Run will be held on Saturday and Nov 18 respectively.

The Charity Run, the finale of the year-long SGX Bull Charge, will feature the 3km Chief Challenge for chief executives or chiefs of companies, as well as the 5km Mass Run for staff of SGX-listed firms and the financial industry. Other activities organised this year as part of SGX Bull Charge included a percussion session with children from Fei Yue Student Care Centre in April, as well as a movie treat for students from Awwa Special Student Care Centre and Fei Yue Community Services during the June school holidays.

SGX said the futsal and run events have raised $2.5 million to $3 million annually since 2013. Mr Chew said SGX is committed to raising as much as possible and aims to exceed its previous targets. "In line with SGX Bull Charge's objectives, we strongly encourage other industry professionals to support and join us in this meaningful cause," he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 22, 2016, with the headline 'All charged up about helping seniors'. Print Edition | Subscribe