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Never too old to volunteer

​70-year-old Mr Ang Bon Kee, is a regular volunteer at Bright Vision Hospital (BVH). Before retiring, he spent 32 years at the Singapore Sports Council, in a job that required him to interact with many different people.

"My main responsibility was to maintain the football field and the course of my work required me to communicate with a lot of people", said Mr Ang. His work experience helps him to engage with our patients effortlessly.

Since 2013, Mr Ang regularly participates in ward birthday celebrations, karaoke sessions and mini outings for our patients. On 11 April 2018, Mr Ang and our volunteers revisited their childhood.

Walking Down Memory Lane

It was in the early afternoon when Mr Ang along with some volunteers and eight patients stepped into the Moment of Imagination and Nostalgia with Toys (MINT) Museum. The five story private museum located along Seah Street is home to more than 50,000 pieces of vintage toys - some were over 100 years old while others came from as far as Bulgaria.

                               A collection of toys near the entrance of the museum

It was their first visit to the museum, and it brought back nostalgic childhood memories for Mr Ang and our patients. It felt like it was just yesterday that they were playing with the exact toys.

"I feel like a child again. We had a universal topic and shared our experiences playing with the toy," said Mr Ang with a smile.

It is rare for him nowadays to see the younger generation playing together with toys. "Back then, toys were simple, yet we had so much fun in a group", he added.

                      Patients admiring the arrays of toys they used to play with

For an hour, the patients were brought down along memory lane by volunteers. The trip allowed them to make more friends, improved their self-esteem and provided them with a sense of fulfilment.

As a retiree himself, Mr Ang understands the patients' very well. He feels comfortable volunteering because they have many things in common. To him, age does not matter as long as he enjoys doing it. He highlighted that to be a good volunteer requires confidence, commitment and perseverance.

"You will still be a volunteer without these three qualities but you cannot become a good volunteer, you won't have as much fun." he said.

               Mr Ang, third from the right with some of the volunteers after the trip

At SingHealth Community Hospitals, we appreciate every act of kindness to make a difference. We welcome everyone to volunteer with us and believe that when it comes to giving back, age is not a barrier.