Caring for the community

Volunteers from DBS Bank keep seniors at Lions Befrienders senior activity centres company with virtual engagement sessions. PHOTO: DBS


Social distancing measures means this year's National Day celebrations will be smaller in scale, but Singapore-based social enterprise Ace Seniors, or Aces, has made sure they will be no less special for 6,404 seniors in 23 nursing homes and community hospitals across the island.

Working with more than 800 volunteers, corporations and organisations, it organised activities such as parade screenings and the baking of a 10kg cake for each nursing home, as well as offering special meals that include hawker food and dim sum, and National Day care packs customised for each senior.

Public servants, volunteer groups and students also put up virtual programmes such as pre-recorded video shows and Zoom sessions that include singing and dancing.


Volunteers from DBS Bank have been helping to keep up the spirits of seniors through virtual engagement sessions.

Activities include gardening with edibles, playing games, singing along to YouTube videos and simple exercises tailored to the seniors' interests. The online sessions are held at Lions Befrienders senior activity centres, which residents visit during the day. Many of them live in rental units nearby.

A total of 850 volunteers have kept 429 seniors company since the programme was launched last month to ease the feelings of boredom or loneliness that may have come about as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.


With the pandemic possibly taking a toll on mental health, Caper Spring, a private clinic in Thomson, is offering three free therapy sessions to anyone who needs help.

  • This is the third of a five-part series in collaboration with DBS to showcase people in Singapore who have come together to uplift the community in these trying times. Read more at

Sessions are run by volunteers who are either undergoing or about to start a master's degree in counselling. Subsequent sessions will cost $50, a third of the clinic's usual rate.

Founder and principal psychologist Neo Eng Chuan says about 25 people have signed up since the service was launched last month. Many are women aged 20 to 25.

He adds: "You don't need to have a mental health condition to come in and get help - it is for anyone who is struggling and needs a listening ear."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 09, 2020, with the headline Caring for the community. Subscribe