70-year-old Mr Ang Bon Kee, is a regular volunteer at Bright Vision Hospital (BVH).   Before retiring, he spent 32 years at the Singapore Sports Council, in a job where he interacted with many different people.

“My main responsibility was to maintain the football field and the course of my work required me to communicate with a lot of people”, said Mr Ang.   His work experience helps him to engage with patients effortlessly.

Since 2013, Mr Ang regularly participates in ward birthday celebrations, karaoke sessions and mini outings for patients.   On 11 April 2018, Mr Ang, his fellow volunteers and eight BVH patietns revisited their childhood.

Walking Down Memory Lane
It was in the early afternoon when they stepped into the Moment of Imagination and Nostalgia with Toys (MINT) Museum.   The five story private museum located along Seah Street is home to more than 50,000 pieces of vintage toys - some over 100 years old and some others came from as far as Bulgaria.

A collection of toys near the entrance of the museum

It was their first visit to the museum, and it brought back nostalgic childhood memories for Mr Ang and the patients.

“I felt like a child again. We had a common topic to talk about and shared our experiences playing with the toys when we were young,” said Mr Ang with a smile.

“Back then, toys were simple, yet we had so much fun in a group”, he added.

For a whole hour, the patients went down memory lane with the volunteers.   Outings like this allows patients to make more friends, improve their self-esteem and provide them with a sense of fulfilment.

Mr Ang, third from the right with some of the volunteers after the trip

As a retiree himself, Mr Ang understands the patients very well. He feels comfortable volunteering because they share many things in common.   And to him, his age does not matter because he enjoys volunteering so much. He highlighted that to being good volunteer requires confidence, commitment and perseverance.

“You can still be a volunteer without these three qualities but you can’t become a good volunteer, and you won’t have as much fun.” he said.

This article is adapted from a story published by Bright Vision Hospital