Our Home Sweet Home: Extracts from our gathering with residents, families, volunteers, staff and management representatives
Our CASS Group Home is not just a place to live in, but a home sweet home for our loving ‘family’. The ‘family’ recently had our annual gathering where residents catch up with family members; and representatives from CASS management, volunteers, staff and residents’ families can get to know one another and build better communications.
Since taking over the management of the Group Home for people with disabilities, CASS staff have been organizing activities for the residents every week to enable them to have contacts with the outside world. For those who have difficulties walking, staff will arrange wheelchairs. As residents spend most of their time inside the home, we also encourage them to have regular contacts with their families. Some of the families take the residents out regularly. But for those who do not go out, they will join the activities organized by our staff.
Our annual gathering was held on 16 July. It was attended by over 40 participants, including 8 residents. Our staff and some of the residents’ family members arrived early to decorate the venue and make preparations, hoping to make the day a memorable one for the residents and their families. Accompanied by our staff, residents began arriving half an hour before the event officially started. On arrival, some residents rushed into the venue and immediately began dancing to the music. Those who were on wheelchairs would urge the staff to take them in quickly.
The gathering started with the game, ‘Find a friend’, followed by singing and dancing activities. With the assistance of staff, residents engaged actively in the activities. Those who were normally active became more enlivened and danced like butterflies buzzing among the crowd while the quiet ones were also inspired and joined the singing and dancing. Family members were touched by the cheerful smiles of residents. Some were prompted to sing for the party, some were enchanted by the performances, while some enthusiastically assisted residents to join in.
Though it was utterly cold outside, the group inside was burning with an indistinguishable ardor. The atmosphere was filled with a sense of warmth, and so were the hearts of all those present. Dr. Leng Tan, Chairperson of CASS, welcomed all the residents and their families. Dr. Tan, who is always elegant and candid, showed her sprightly side on the day. She mingled in the crowd, playing games together with the residents. She even brought along a lovely cake. When the games finished, she gathered all the residents for the cake-cutting and sang ‘happy birthday’ with them. Yes, it was the birthday of our Group Home!
Everyone was tired and hungry after all the singing and dancing! All eyes were on the scrumptious food even before it was announced that lunch was ready. Our staff always say that the group home is their home, and the residents are just like their children and family members. Every time they cook, they are cooking for their family, making sure they enjoy the happy and healthy meals. Most of the food on the day was prepared by our staff, with specialty dishes cooked by our multicultural staff coming from Korea, Guangdong and Shanghai. Family members also brought along specially prepared dishes which were very healthy. Residents were excited, enjoying the variety of colourful dishes.
When it was time to say goodbye, family members thanked our staff for the wonderful gathering. They were grateful that CASS not just provided a place for residents, but also a home sweet home where they are loved and well cared for!