Lingnan University holds a Sharing Session cum Certificate of Recognition Presentation Ceremony of Jockey Club Age-friendly City Project:
Rural Neighbourhood Development Project
24 Feb 2019
The Asia-Pacific Institute of Ageing Studies (APIAS) of Lingnan University held a Sharing Session cum Certificate of Recognition Presentation Ceremony of the first batch of the university-led district-based programme: Jockey Club Age-friendly City Project - Rural Neighbourhood Development Project (the Project) on 24 February at Patrick Lee Wan Keung Academic Building of Lingnan University, which was aimed at enhancing the public awareness towards older people reside in both Tuen Mun and Yuen Long rural areas, sharing of experiences and good practices, as well as recognizing Rural Befrienders of this project. We were delighted to have the presence of Ms. CHIU Lai Chun, Kitty, Assistant District Social Welfare Officer (Tuen Mun) and Ms. WONG Ngok Ching, Samantha, Assistant District Social Welfare Officer (Yuen Long) of Social Welfare Department to express their support and appreciation to project participants and to assist in presenting certificates to Rural Befrienders.
Under the Jockey Club Age-friendly City Project, we undertook a baseline assessment of the age-friendliness by conducting questionnaire surveys and focus groups in Tuen Mun and Yuen Long respectively from May to August 2017, and provided suggestions and action plans to improve the age-friendliness in both districts. APIAS has always conducted with high-quality research work with the aim of maximizing the well-being of older people through collaboration with different stakeholders. The lower scores of age-friendliness in rural areas compared to those in urban areas in both districts found in the baseline assessment shed light on the current service gap that rural areas very often receive less social resources. In view of this, APIAS has joined hands with Yan Oi Tong Tuen San Tsing Rural Community Service Centre and The Salvation Army Ngau Tam Mei Community Development Project to implement the Project since April 2018. The core objectives of the Project are to promote social participation of older people reside in rural areas, to strengthen the neighbourhood support, and to equip Rural Befriender with the skills necessary for providing care to older people through ambassador training. Besides, the importance of home safety and fall prevention was conveyed to the public through education, and home modification for older people was implemented so as to achieve “ageing in place”.
Around 150 participants from Government, academia, non-government organizations and elderly attended the ceremony. Prof. MOK Ka-ho, Joshua, Vice-President of Lingnan University and Prof. CHAN Chak Kwan, Dickson, Director of APIAS gave the welcome speeches at the ceremony to express gratitude for the support from every stakeholder. Prof. MOK highlighted that the necessity and the significance of the implementation of “Rural Neighbourhood Development programme” by illustrating the age-friendliness of rural areas in Tuen Mun and Yuen Long according to the baseline assessment findings.
Experience sharing session was the climax of the ceremony. Four Rural Befrienders and beneficiary accompanied by the staff of two co-organizations shared their lessons learnt in the Project, challenges encountered and the positive influence towards older people in rural areas. They reckoned that the Project not only expanded the circles of life and self-confidence of Rural Befrienders, but also provided suitable assistance to older people, which was the embodiment of the spirit of good neighbourhood and mutual support.
In order to arouse the public awareness towards the Jockey Club Age-friendly City Project and the eight domains of an age-friendly city, a teaching kit working group with groupmates from Rural Befrienders, staff of two co-organizations and staff of APIAS was formed to design a board game about the age-friendliness in Tuen Mun and Yuen Long. Two Rural Befrienders from the working group were invited to introduce their journey of production and promotion of this board game in elderly centres as well as the rationale of this teaching kit.
Lingnan University has been promoting the concept of active ageing to heighten the knowledge of the age-friendly city in the community through district-based programmes, and encourage liaison among various sectors to jointly build an age-friendly city.