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Youths have a heart for hospice
13 March 2013

The heavy rain and thin crowd did not dampen the spirits of the 18 Saint Andrew’s Junior College (SAJC) students who turned up to help raise awareness for HCA Hospice Care at the recent YOUth Got Heart 2013, held 6 April 2013.The class of 12A05 broke into two shifts at the road show at *SCAPE Warehouse to help distribute brochures relating to HCA Hospice Care’s services to members of the public.

Curious passers-by were encouraged to sign up as volunteers, and to subscribe to HCA Hospice Care’s corporate newsletter to stay in touch.

YOUth Got Heart is an annual event organised to provide voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs) a platform to raise awareness for their causes.

Organised by the Raffles Junior College Interact Club, various VWOs, including HCA Hospice Care, are invited to set up booths to spread the word about their respective organisations.

Here, the SAJC students sought to convince their fellow students to ‘adopt’ the hospice cause, either as part of their schools’ Community Involvement Project (CIP) or in their own time.

Taking advantage of the event’s venue, the students explored the popular outdoor flea market and also went around the *SCAPE mall to distribute brochures and to network.

Armed with flyers and door gifts,Samantha Chan and Angela Chan get ready to meet people entering *SCAPE Warehouse.

For many of the students, this was the first time that they had done something like this.Bong Xin Ying, 18, felt that the experience was a positive one. “This event is a very good platform for raising awareness about volunteering and attracting youths to volunteer, especially given Singapore’s growing population of elderly,” she said.

This was also Vidya Venugopal’s first time running a road show and the 17-year-old was pleasantly surprised when many expressed interest to find out more about HCA Hospice Care and the work that it does for its beneficiaries.

Samantha Chan, Angela ChanandTessa Liu engage an interested enquirer with information on HCA Hospice Care.

“You always think that people my age are not interested in volunteering but I found a few people who were!” she exclaimed.While the response from the public was generally positive, the students also acknowledged the challenge of grabbing the attention of random strangers, particularly, in promoting the hospice cause to them.

Doubling up as ‘ambassadors’ of HCA Hospice Care, the enthusiastic students proved themselves adept at explaining the hospice’s mission and core values.

They were also able to answer questions about the organisation with confidence and poise.All participating students had attended a workshop under HCA Hospice Care’s Young Caregivers Programme which employs age-appropriate curricula to promote sensitivity towards the elderly/sick and awareness on the hospice philosophy among youths.

This workshop helps them understand that holistic hospice care aims to improve the physical, social and emotional well-being of anyone who suffers from advanced illness.

Ms Yap Xinyan, Community Relations Executive at HCA Hospice Care, helped the students to organise themselves including setting up the booth.

SAJC students stake out the entrance to *SCAPE

“I’m glad to observe that the event was worthwhile and that many young people who got to know of our services for the first time were impressed by our work and touched by our dedication towards our patients,” says Ms Yap.”Students left our booth understanding that hospice care is not all gloom and doom, but focuses on improving the quality of life for those living with life-limiting illnesses,” she adds.

“We are very grateful for the consistent support of the students from SAJC and for their enthusiastic efforts in reaching out to the public as ‘ambassadors’ of our cause – they were all abuzz with energy!”