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Social distancing “drama” when residents of rental flats were queueing to receive goods

Ambassadors should have helped to keep everyone safe, says volunteer




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Singapore — A volunteer with the charity organisation Keeping Hope Alive 让希望活下去 took to Facebook on Monday (Oct 5) to air his grievance over a Social Distancing Ambassador who, instead of helping to ensure that everyone would be safe, “caused drama” at a weekly outreach event the previous day.

The volunteer, Mr Rich Sng, said that Keeping Hope Alive was carrying out a goods distribution event to residents in rental flats at Blocks 91, 92 and 93 in Henderson Road. He wrote: “These residents are mostly elderly and families with many children. They are eligible to rent these flats from the government due to low income.”


Posted by Rich Sng on Monday, 5 October 2020

He said the organisation’s volunteers were all decked out in protective gear and that the residents had started lining up to receive the food and other items, including some appliances, furniture, vitamins, toys and NTUC vouchers, at 8 on Sunday morning.

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“We even had volunteers to help the residents to cut their hair and nails,” he added.

In pre-Covid times, the organisation had 50 to 80 volunteers for events such as the one in Henderson Road. However, because of restrictions to prevent the worsening of the Covid-19 pandemic, it had less manpower than before.

Mr Sng wrote: “20+ volunteers to coordinate and move all these items in such a short time-frame stretches us out to the max. (Even for me, I had to coordinate logistics for furniture from Woodlands, Tampines and also Bendemeer to go to Henderson in 1 single morning.)”

As some residents had formed a queue, “6 social distancing ambassadors turned up at our Keeping Hope Alive 让希望活下去 weekly event, asking who is the in-charge”.

He added that Miss Fion Phua talked to the SDAs. However, one ambassador, in particular, seemed to have a negative attitude towards the outreach.

Mr Sng wrote: “A middle-aged male Social Distancing Ambassador of the group of 6 straight away questioned us why are these residents not adhering to social distancing rules. He was rude, egoistic and demanding. They started taking photos and videos as evidence.”

The group ended up calling the police, which led in turn to the SDAs also calling the police, who, Mr Sng said, had difficulty “mediating this issue before the whole saga ended”.

Fortunately, the group successfully carried out its goods distribution “and the residents received what they needed”.

Mr Sng wrote that it should have been the SDAs who helped the residents observe safe distancing measures, since the event was already understaffed.

He ended his post by appealing for everyone to do his or her own duty. /TISG

Read also: Activist urges Singaporeans: Buy a meal for an elderly person

Activist urges Singaporeans: Buy a meal for an elderly person

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