Monday, December 28, 2015

Bringing Cheer to Ren Ci Patients

Photo by David Lau, The Write Stuff
In December, most people are busy doing Christmas shopping, trying to find the perfect gift for their loved ones, or occupied with decorating their homes for the festive season. However, NYP’s ambassadorial team and student volunteers from across NYP decided to organise an event to bring cheer to old folks at the Ren Ci Community Hospital.

Besides bringing some festive cheer to the patients, this event also had our youths step out of their comfort zones and reach out to the community. We hope by spending a meaningful and interactive day at Ren Ci, our volunteers can personally experience and learn more about different values and perspectives.

On Sunday, 20 December 2015, the volunteers gathered at Novena MRT station at 8.30am before making their way to Ren Ci Community Hospital. At the community hospital, the volunteers were split into two groups – each group attending to different wards. The two groups were then further split into teams of four, with each team responsible for either craftwork, singing or befriending.

After a briefing from the Ren Ci Community Hospital staff, the volunteers set off to put a smile on each patient’s face. Those in charge of craftwork handed out handmade Christmas-themed keychains, origami cranes, hearts and flowers while those in charge of singing went from ward to ward singing Christmas carols such as ‘Jingle bell rock’, ‘Santa Claus is coming to town’ as well as popular songs in different languages, such as ‘Chan Mali Chan’, ‘ Di Tanjong Katong’, ‘ Tian Mi Mi’(甜蜜蜜) and ‘Yue Liang Dai Biao Wo De Xin’(月亮代表我的心).

Some of the patients in the wards with chronic illnesses or severe medical conditions were bedridden and unresponsive or not able to express themselves due to the various machines they were hooked up to. Nevertheless, the volunteers remained optimistic and continued chatting with the patients even though there was little or no response as they just wanted the patients to know that they were not alone.

Fortunately, there were some elderly aunties and uncles that were rather chatty and the volunteers had a blast chatting to them about the dramas they were watching. They also sang Christmas carols with them and taught them how to fold origami. Whenever they were not undergoing treatment or physiotherapy, a few of the elderly patients expressed an interest in colouring to occupy themselves during their free time.

Fellow volunteer Aaron Tay, from the Diploma in Molecular Biotechnology course felt that  more people should  take part in such community service.

He said: “This trip has been a real eye opener and very meaningful for me. More people should volunteer for these activities as there is always something to take away at the end of each activity.”

By Brina Lim, Diploma in Molecular Biotechnology

Brina is a student in the Molecular biotechnology course, and her hobbies include reading and writing. She is an avid fan of Jodi Picoult’s books and loves the Harry Potter series since she was a child. She enjoys reading news about England’s royal family and finds a role model in Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge. Her favourite artiste is Taylor Swift and her dream vacation would be in London, touring the museums there, visiting the Buckingham palace and spending time beside the river Thames.

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