Heroes Among Us series

Disadvantaged, yet wanting to help others

Despite being a single mother of four children and having to look after her sick mother, Azizah Mohamed Noor still finds time to volunteer at elderly activity centres.
PHOTO: ST VIDEO

She is a single mother with four children, including one with special needs.

She also cares for her sick 73-year-old mother.

Yet, part-time cleaner Azizah Mohamed Noor (right) still finds time to volunteer at activity centres for the elderly.

Once a month for four hours, the 46-year-old helps out at SilverACE senior activity centres, cooking and caring for the elderly. The centres are drop-in facilities for the elderly living in rental housing nearby, where they can interact with peers and offer mutual support.

"I like to help the elderly and talk to them when they have problems and no one to share them with," said Ms Azizah. But there are responsibilities that she has to shoulder alone. Her divorce in 2010, after 16 years of marriage, left her as the sole caregiver of her children - aged 22, 17, 13 and seven. The youngest child has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

That same year, her mother, who suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure, collapsed. Ms Azizah quit her catering assistant job to look after her .

After sending her mother to NTUC Health's SilverACE centre in Lengkok Bahru, Ms Azizah was offered a job as a part-time cleaner at SilverACE in 2013 .

Ms Azizah tells her story in this episode of Heroes Among Us, a video series that explores the lives of ordinary Singaporeans who overcome challenges to pursue extraordinary lives. 

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 20, 2017, with the headline 'Disadvantaged, yet wanting to help others'. Print Edition | Subscribe