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Veteran Silver Volunteers Honoured At RSVP Singapore’s 25th Anniversary Bash

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Veteran Silver Volunteers Honoured At RSVP Singapore’s 25th Anniversary Bash
Giving back to society, passion for their chosen field and a chance to get out of the house are some of the reasons cited by silvers who’ve chosen to dedicate their retirement years to volunteering.
Last Thursday (27 July), non-profit organisation RSVP Singapore The Organisation of Senior Volunteers celebrated its silver jubilee at Orchid Country Club, marking 25 years since its inception in 1998.
Over 360 of RSVP’s 3,500-strong force of silver volunteers attended the event, as well as around 240 corporate and governmental partners.
A highlight of the event was the celebration of 10 seniors that have spent 20 to 25 years volunteering in the organisation’s various programmes, which include digital knowhow workshops, senior befriending, volunteer guiding and mentoring.
Veteran Silver Volunteers Honoured At RSVP Singapore’s 25th Anniversary Bash - Suseela
Credit: RSVP Singapore The Organisation of Senior Volunteers
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Suseela Rajan, 84, was one of them. She has been volunteering with RSVP throughout its 25-year history, save for a small stint away due to personal matters.
Most of her time was spent on mentoring primary school children, before moving into volunteering at senior activity centres after the pandemic.

"Once I started volunteering, I was happy, because I could go out everywhere on my own. As for why mentoring, it is a very satisfying activity – interacting with young children who are about the age of my grandchildren. They are very loving."

Two other volunteers received special commendations as well.
Tan Peng Guan, 72, received a Special Commendation Award for 2022 in recognition of his contributions to RSVP as an instructor, trainer and advisory team member.
Volunteer of the Year Award for 2022 went to Ang Siew Lian, who joined RSVP in 2015.
The 67-year-old is a team leader and committee member in the organisation’s guiding programme, which connects volunteers with guiding opportunities in museums and heritage centres.
Veteran Silver Volunteers Honoured At RSVP Singapore’s 25th Anniversary Bash - Ang Siew Lian
Credit: RSVP Singapore The Organisation of Senior Volunteers
The retired tax consultant is also involved in leading healthy ageing programmes, engaging silvers in fitness and conditioning classes, and aiding people with muscular dystrophy in playing boccia, an inclusive ball sport accessible to wheelchair users.

"Mentally, by engaging in all these activities, I’m keeping myself and other seniors alert. After volunteering, I have become more patient. I learnt how to step into the shoes of the people I’m helping. So it is beneficial for you too."

“I would like to encourage seniors who are not already doing anything to take one step forward. Many people hesitate because they associate volunteering with difficult work. But that is not necessarily the case."

Veteran Silver Volunteers Honoured At RSVP Singapore’s 25th Anniversary Bash - Cutting Cake
Credit: RSVP Singapore The Organisation of Senior Volunteers

"We aim to shift mindsets on ageing and poise seniors as key partners in strengthening social capital and uplifting the community."

To that end, he also announced RSVP Singapore’s plans to strengthen its volunteer ecosystem.
His first measure involves regularly calling senior volunteers to check on them and remind them of upcoming opportunities, planned for implementation by the end of the year.
The second will come in the form of an RSVP-fronted senior care centre, manned by RSVP volunteers and professional nursing staff, to be set up within “5 to 10 years”.
During the event, RSVP Singapore also inked deals with two organisations for upcoming collaborations.
The first was a commitment to jointly promote senior volunteerism and increase its pool of active volunteers in community care with the Silver Generation Office at the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC).
RSVP Singapore also committed to training silver volunteers that can engage seniors in the community via “Digi Kakis”, a digital pilot programme fronted by Prudential Singapore.
The programme aims to support a healthy ageing population by teaching “holistic skills in nutrition, digital and financial literacy”.

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