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Nicole Seah on assisting East Coast residents: “We don’t have deep pockets” but “heartware” to get people help

Ms Seah said taking the time to listen and understand the residents as well as connecting them to the right avenues to request for aid is what is needed

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Singapore—The Workers’ Party’s (WP) Nicole Seah took to Facebook to talk about her on-ground activities to provide assistance and support to the residents of East Coast. She wrote that while the funding for such endeavours is limited, she and the WP team have been successful in helping residents nevertheless.

Sometimes, she wrote, what has been needed is “heartware,’ taking the time to listen to and understand the residents.

In a Facebook post on Sunday (Sept 20) Ms Seah wrote that she and her team had met with residents across two blocks in Bedok North in order to keep the database for their food distribution programme updated. She posted photos from the outreach, which included meeting a cat, “a very furry and cute resident,” she wrote.

The former East Coast GE candidate then wrote that one of the WP volunteers had asked how the party ensures that all the requests they receive from residents are met in spite of limited funds.

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Had an encounter with a very furry and cute resident today ☺️ We met with residents across two blocks in Bedok North to…

Posted by Nicole Seah 佘雪玲 on Saturday, September 19, 2020

 

She answered this in two ways.

“First, we acknowledge that we do not have the deep pockets of government funding and where possible, point residents in the right direction of official avenues such as ComCare, MUIS, medical social workers etc.”

Ms Seah added that there are times when residents are unaware of available government schemes. “Sometimes falling through the cracks could simply mean that they have not been met by the authorities, and we try to connect them where help is required.”

The second way that the WP provides needed help to residents is through providing “heartware.” She explained it this way:

“Secondly, while we might not be able to provide the full spectrum of assistance in terms of meeting medical needs, or the full scale of monetary assistance, where the WP East Coast team will and continue to help is to provide the heartware. The gotong royong spirit, stopping to take a breather to listen and empathise, and take the time to fully understand residents will help in ensuring that we get to the root of chronic or deep seated issues.”

Ms Seah acknowledged that with lower-income families in particular, at times their problems are a “result of complications in their family history or personal struggles” that do not find resolution with “a quick bandaid.” She added that the WP intervenes in such cases, helping to “unravel” these problems “with empathy and patience.”

She also said that she made an emergency delivery of adult diapers and bedsore cream in the past week, calling this “a significant cost which caregivers of the elderly would be all too familiar with.”

According to Ms Seah, she looked into the matter and discovered that “the Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund (SMF) helps to subsidise home healthcare items such as the ones mentioned above. I’ve shared the information with the resident and will check in on their application and eligibility.”

In the General Election last July, Ms Seah, along with the WP’s Mr Kenneth Foo, Mr Abdul Shariff bin Aboo Kassim, Mr Terence Tan, and Mr Dylan Ng nearly defeated the People’s Action Party (PAP) team, headed by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat.

The PAP team won the East Coast GRC with 53.41 per cent of the vote against the WP team. —/TISG

Read also: Nicole Seah continues the “good work” Gerald Giam and Dennis Tan did at Fengshan

Nicole Seah continues the “good work” Gerald Giam and Dennis Tan did at Fengshan

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