Towards a Healthy, Active and Happy 3rd Age

"I feel that on the surface, volunteering seems to be about helping others. However, at the end of the day, the rewards we ourselves gain are measurable, if not more. We get to interact meaningfully and regularly with people and the larger world.” - ECSS Volunteer, James, 70+ years old

James, who has just passed 70-years-old, has been a volunteer with En Community Services Society (ECSS) for about four years. He first became interested in joining ECSS due to its various exciting programmes. Still, one, in particular, struck a chord with him: “I don’t remember how I first came to know about ECSS - I think it was either through the radio or the newspaper. Anyway, I came to hear of ECSS’ new Kopi And Toast Programme, which, for the first time, would be held in Mandarin.”

Kopi And Toast is a senior-befriending-senior programme, initiated by non-profit Council for Third Age (C3A) and jointly conducted by ECSS. The Kopi And Toast programme connects an active senior (Kopi) with less active seniors (Toast) in hopes of encouraging more seniors to lead more active and fulfilling third lives. Through a nurturing buddy, seniors are encouraged to take the initiative to discover the best way they want to spend their golden years.

James says: “I was very excited when I heard about it - previously, Kopi And Toast wasn’t accessible to Mandarin-speaking seniors. I quickly spoke to some of the staff at ECSS and signed up for it. And this is how I started my journey as a participant and then a volunteer with ECSS.”

For James, he believes that volunteering is an activity that benefits both parties: “I feel that on the surface, volunteering seems to be about helping others. However, at the end of the day, the rewards we ourselves gain are immeasurable, if not more. We get to interact meaningfully and regularly with people.”

“Through my volunteering journey, I have built up confidence. Volunteering also gives me a goal to work towards, and it gives me a strong sense of fulfillment when I manage to, with a team of people, fulfill these goals.”

James says: “I am a Chinese-educated person, and I see the need for more help for seniors like myself.” For James, ECSS’ programmes, which cater to Mandarin-speaking seniors, is something he feels grateful for.

Read more about James at https://cn.c3a.org.sg/News_detail.do?id=3090

Special thanks:
Volunteer, James, who agreed for an online interview
Volunteer, Chelsea, who helped us with the english write-up, and to conduct the interview
Colleagues from Tri-Love Elderly Department, for all the support and coordination