DSW joins Tang Shiu Kin and Ho Tim Charitable Fund to celebrate Lunar New Year with elderly (with photos)

     The Director of Social Welfare (DSW), Ms Carol Yip, and members of the Management Committee of the Tang Shiu Kin and Ho Tim Charitable Fund, including advisors Mr Richard Tang and Mr Hamilton Ho, today (January 8) hosted an annual reception for the elderly and distributed lai see packets to them in celebration of the upcoming Lunar New Year.
     Speaking at the reception, Ms Yip said that the Fund has since its inception in 1977 been providing financial assistance to needy families and individuals to help tide them over amid difficulties. Assistance from the Fund helps the poor facing adversity in life and relieves their distress by providing timely and substantial support.
     She pointed out that the Fund granted $2.77 million to 719 approved cases in 2017-18, and the Fund had also approved a further 288 applications totalling $1.21 million from April to September 2018. A total sum of $3 million has been earmarked for the Social Welfare Department (SWD) as social relief grants for the coming fiscal year.
     Ms Yip took the opportunity to extend her sincere thanks to all members of the Management Committee for their long-term support and care for those in need.
     Ms Yip added that the Government has devoted extensive resources to various services for the elderly in the face of the ageing population. To strengthen home care services so as to enable frail elderly persons to age in place, the Government will increase the service quota under the Enhanced Home and Community Care Services by 2 000 in 2019, and will implement a new scheme in 2019-20 to set up day care units for the elderly at qualified private and self-financing residential care homes for the elderly (RCHEs). Around 120 day care places for the elderly will be provided.
     In September 2018, the SWD launched the Dementia Friendly Community Campaign, a three-year public education programme, with the aim of promoting public awareness and understanding on dementia. Its series of publicity activities and events include the newly released Announcements in the Public Interest on television and radio, a new thematic webpage at the SWD's website, a television docudrama series to be broadcast in late January, a large-scale highlight event to be held on January 26 and related district-level activities as well as talks organised by 11 SWD District Social Welfare Offices. In addition, citizens are encouraged to register as internationally recognised "Dementia Friends" and turn care and support into actions for people with dementia and their families in order to build a dementia-friendly community.
     As regards residential care, the Government strives to increase subsidised residential care places for the elderly under a multi-pronged approach. Apart from continuing to build new contract homes and implementing measures such as the Special Scheme on Privately Owned Sites for Welfare Uses, it was announced in the 2018 Policy Address that the Government will purchase an additional 5 000 EA1 places under the Enhanced Bought Place Scheme in the next five years to increase the supply of subsidised residential care places for the elderly and enhance the overall service quality of private RCHEs.
     For helping the social welfare care sector attract young people and retain talent, the Government will continue with the operation of the Navigation Scheme for Young Persons in Care Services, providing an additional 1 200 training places in the coming years under an enhanced scheme.
     Attending the reception today were some 40 elderly persons, with the oldest at the age of 92. The Fund treated them to a wonderful show and a lavish and healthy lunch, as well as offering them best wishes for a happy Lunar New Year.
     The Fund was founded by the late Sir Tang Shiu-kin and the late Dr Ho Tim, with the DSW Incorporated acting as the trustee of the Fund under Chapter 1096 of the Laws of Hong Kong. Members of the Management Committee include descendants of the founders (advisors), prominent members of the community and representatives from relevant government departments, the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals and the Po Leung Kuk.
     The objective of the Fund is to provide timely financial assistance to needy individuals and families in emergency situations for which other sources may not be applicable or readily available. Recipients of the Fund include the unemployed, disaster victims, the chronically ill, persons with disabilities, single parent families and the elderly.

Ends/Tuesday, January 8, 2019
Issued at HKT 15:30