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The Happy Apples of Our Eye.
13 March 2014

Ever seen apples smile?

Those belong to the Project Happy Apples team certainly do – and the palliative care sector is smiling along because of this committed group of medical students.

Project Happy Apples was pioneered last August by Project Director Mervyn, who was joined by students of the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine in a bid to raise awareness for palliative care.

Juggling their notoriously heavy workload at school and hectic hospital attachments, the Project Happy Apples team runs a three-prong programme: personally befriending patients, including some of our patients, roping in befrienders, and of course, creating their materials promoting palliative care.

 The team launched their labour of love at the Voices for Hospices concert on the 12th of October, exhibiting their posters at their booth outside the auditorium, and screening their touching video as part of the evening’s programme. The team intends the event to grow over the years, and shared their ambitious plans with us – from creating even more posters and creating a fully-fledged website, to moving publicity material outwards to public platforms like bus stops and MRT stations. All this, while faithfully continuing to befriend our patients. ‘It makes a huge difference to them,’ shared Shawn, befriender and Assistant Director of the team.

The Project Happy Apples team, welcoming Guest of Honour Dr Amy Khor to their booth outside the Voices for Hospices concert.

One of the three posters created by the team with information they got from interacting with patients.

Most importantly, why Happy Apples?The team burst into laughter when we finally asked, unable to contain our curiosity. Mervyn explained that the project last year began, literally, with apples, where they sold apples at NUS to raise funds for the cause. They ultimately decided that their efforts could be better spent on raising awareness, but decided to keep the name, Happy Apples, because of the symbolism apples had linking them to good health and wellness.HCA Hospice Care appreciates the efforts these students are putting into raising awareness about our sector.

Find out more about Project Happy Apples on their Facebook page. Let us know at communications@hcahospicecare.org if you’re interested in launching your own project!