[COVID-19] Singapore Red Cross rolls out more support for communities in Singapore and the Asia Pacific

Customised care packages and psycho-social support calls to local elderly; sanitation kits for volunteers

Singapore, 3 April 2020 - The Singapore Red Cross (SRC) today announced a series of initiatives aimed to provide support and relief for the vulnerable in Singapore, especially the elderly, in light of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. The aid will include customised care packages and psychosocial support calls for seniors living alone, sanitation kits for our volunteers and staff who continue to provide our humanitarian services to the vulnerable. 

Initially to be distributed over the next three months from April to June, the care packages will benefit 1,000 seniors across SRC’s ElderAid, Medical Chaperone / TransportAid, and Home Monitoring and Eldercare (HoME)+ services. In consideration of the varied needs of its beneficiaries, the care package will comprise a mixture of food, medical, hygiene and household items. Contents of each package have been carefully curated based on beneficiaries’ feedback, and are customised for each elderly beneficiary, bearing in mind their most immediate and essential needs. 

Reaching out beyond SRC’s regular beneficiaries, SRC will receive new referrals, particularly from social service agencies that have suspended their services. Meanwhile, SRC volunteers are pressing on with fortnightly home visits and weekly befriending calls to the seniors. To safeguard all 2,000 volunteers, fundraisers and staff who are actively serving the community across a spectrum of essential services, the Singapore Red Cross will also provide personal protection equipment (like masks and gloves) and sanitation kits to each of them.

Recognizing the anxiety experienced by SRC’s beneficiaries and volunteers, under these challenging circumstances, the Singapore Red Cross is also providing psychosocial support to its beneficiaries through home visits and telephone calls, and would extend the helpline service to all its volunteers within the month.

“These are extraordinarily trying times.  It is critical that we intensify our efforts to uplift the most vulnerable in our community, who are amongst the hardest hit. We are immensely grateful to our volunteers and fundraisers for standing by us and working with pride, whilst careful to comply with preventive and precautionary measures, such as social distancing. They remain in high spirits, knowing that their work is making a difference in the lives of our vulnerable beneficiaries,” said Mr Benjamin William, Secretary General / CEO, Singapore Red Cross. 

Support to Asia Pacific communities

The Singapore Red Cross will contribute more than S$800,000 worth of humanitarian relief items to communities in the Asia Pacific: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Timor Leste, Vietnam, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives, North Korea and Iran. The support includes personal protective equipment (PPE); medical supplies including thermometers; hygiene and sanitation kits; as well as the dissemination of health messages in the community. The first batch of PPE like medical-surgical masks have been secured and will be shipped out in the coming days to frontline health workers in these countries.

“Humanitarian workers from the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in the Southeast Asia and North Asia regions have been working tirelessly with their respective Governments to curb the spread of COVID-19. With increasing cases of COVID-19, we have received calls for help to fight the outbreak. Our contribution is a very modest response.  But it signifies our support for, and heartfelt solidarity with, our neighbours during these trying times,” said Mr William. 

DONATE Make a donation here to support the local COVID19 response efforts to support the elderly and vulnerable today. 

Alternatively, you may mail your cheque to: 15 Penang Lane, Red Cross House, Singapore 238486

Please include at the back of the cheque, your full name and NRIC/FIN no. for auto inclusion of tax deduction by IRAS.

Note: Donations to local causes are eligible for 2.5x tax deduction.

PARTICIPATE  Find out how the Singapore Red Cross is helping the local community during this pandemic, at a webinar moderated by GiveAsia on 9 April from 2-3pm. Sign up here