Meet lb's 'power couple' of senior volunteering:
june & joshua
Meet “power couple” June and Joshua Sng, both retirees in their late 60s who are actively volunteering in LB Clementi 344 Active Ageing Centre (AAC). Their volunteer work highlights the importance of “silver volunteering,” especially with an estimated 500,000 Merdeka Generation seniors between the ages of 60 and 69 who have retired or will retire over the next few years.
June, a former HR executive as well as Secretary to Director with over 40 years of experience, has been able to use her well-honed organizational and interpersonal skills to lead the AAC’s activities, rally seniors for AAC events, and serve as a mediator between seniors and the AAC manager to seek help for the seniors.
A demonstration of her leadership skills at play was how Memory Lane, an LB chair exercise activity that began with only 4 to 5 participants, after a few sessions, it ballooned to over 20 participants at present after she started leading it.
June’s dedication and love for seniors is also evident in her small acts of kindness, such as bringing along an extra shawl to a theatre play event for seniors and offering it to seniors who felt cold.
Joshua, who worked as a project manager in the construction industry for over 30 years, was encouraged by his wife to join the AAC’s activities. Later, he too became a valuable volunteer with his skills and experience. Together with his wife, they go door-to-door to encourage seniors to live a healthy lifestyle by participating in the AAC’s activities, an effort that has contributed to an increase in the AAC’s members.
Another way that June and Joshua engage with seniors is to invite them to their home for Karaoke after morning exercises at the AAC have ended.
June shared, “After the exercise session at the AAC in the morning, seniors and us will go for an hour of Karaoke session at my house. Joshua and I even got a Karaoke set at our house for this. The seniors really want to come to my place and sing. That is how we have a deeper interaction with them.”
The couple’s decision to become senior volunteers has also turned their lives around positively in various ways.
June has had the opportunity to improve her Chinese and dialect skills through interacting with seniors. She shared, “I often tell the seniors, ‘You are my teacher’… I feel happy that I can learn new languages from them.”
She was also pleasantly surprised that volunteering had transformed her shy and reserved husband as she saw how he took the initiative to talk to the male seniors who came to their house for the Karaoke sessions, served food to the seniors and kept a look-out for them during AAC activities.
Joshua, a man of few words, quipped in a one-liner on what has kept him volunteering till now, “Volunteering makes my life livelier.”
After experiencing first-hand how happy volunteering makes her feel every day, she said: “I thank LB for giving this opportunity to me to be able to serve. LB sees (me and my husband) as an asset to serve the seniors.”
When asked what she would like to tell her peers who are in their retirement years like her, June advised, “Instead of only spending your time [at home] to watch drama shows continuously, if you come out to volunteer, as you interact with many people, your life will become more enriched.”
As Singapore continues to navigate the challenges of an aging population, their story serves as an inspiring reminder of the valuable role seniors can play in society and the many more “power couples” in senior volunteering which our society needs.