Caption: Mr Chua has discovered the joy of volunteering in his golden years
Caption: Mr Chua (left) and centre staff Mr James Lee at TOUCHpoint@Geylang Bahru
“I have never thought of when I will stop volunteering. As long as I can walk and contribute, I will continue to do so. There are so many things to do here. The seniors need my help."
When Mr Chua Eng Huat moved from Old Airport Road to Geylang Bahru in 2017, one of the first thing he did was to check out the activities at TOUCHpoint@Geylang Bahru (previously known as TOUCH Senior Activity Centre) located at the void deck of his one-room rental flat. The 76-year-old bachelor, who was living alone, had time on his hands and wanted to do something meaningful.
Despite being shy, Mr Chua was able to build good rapport with centre staff Mr James Lee, who then asked if he would like to join as a volunteer. That was the start of Mr Chua’s enriching volunteering journey with TOUCH.
“I like to keep myself busy. I feel at home at the centre because I can help in so many ways. I am familiar with the staff there and they are so friendly. They gave me some ideas on how I could help out and asked if I was keen,” said Mr Chua.
Caption: Mr Chua watering the plants daily at the centre
Known for his boundless energy with a knack for multi-tasking, Mr Chua is able to quickly move from one task to another.
From providing logistical support for events to running errands, he is known as the “handy man” at the centre. These include packing goodie bags for seniors as part of the centre’s community outreach efforts.
Caption: Mr Chua helping to arrange chairs before an event
Volunteering during the pandemic
With a soft spot for frail seniors, Mr Chua has been faithfully distributing rice packs to their doorsteps. During the circuit breaker period, Mr Chua played a critical role in helping the centre’s skeletal crew check on the well-being of isolated seniors who live alone, especially during the weekends. Despite the risk of getting infected with community cases rising, he continued to walk the ground to flag cases of seniors in distress.
“I have never thought of when I will stop volunteering. As long as I can walk and contribute, I will continue to do so. There are so many things to do here. The seniors need my help,” added Mr Chua.
Since the pandemic days, Mr Chua has also faithfully delivered sponsored vegetarian food to the homes of more than 100 seniors every Saturday.
Caption: Mr Chua (left) enjoys spending time with Mr Tong Mun (right)
“I feel happy when I volunteer because I like to help seniors. I have also learnt to be more patient as I focus on what needs to be done,” said Mr Chua.
Even till today, frail seniors are always on his radar, especially during weekends, as he would alert centre staff of any incidents that need to be addressed.
Mr Chua’s testimony shows that seniors can leverage their strengths to contribute in meaningful ways.
Story published in 2023.