Social interaction is critical, especially in one’s later years, as it generates a sense of belonging and well-being. The Outing for the Elderly Fund was started by Mr and Mrs William Bird in 2009 to enable seniors who are frail or with dementia to enjoy being out and hopefully reduce their sense of social isolation.
Through the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS), the Birds had visited some beneficiaries and found it a “humbling and enlightening experience”. “From our visits, we realised how little contact many of these seniors had with the outside world because of their medical conditions or immobility, or in some cases the total absence of any attention from family members of friends. Their loneliness and quiet despair were palpable.”
Managed by CFS, the fund enables charitable organisations to bring frail seniors – many wheelchair bound – on regular, organised excursions to attractions such as museums, Gardens by the Bay, the Singapore Flyer, River Safari or even supermarkets. The fund covers admission costs as well as transportation and refreshments and all charities taking care of the elderly are eligible to apply for it.
This initiative has since expanded from a donor-advised fund to a community impact fund. Showcasing the power of collective action, the fund has brought over 10,000 seniors from some 60 eldercare centres and homes on more than 700 outings.
Grant application for Outing for the Elderly Fund
The grant application for the Outing for the Elderly Fund 2018/19 is open from 1 October –15 November 2018. Interested charitable organisations may download application guidelines and forms here and here. For more information, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.