CAL held its annual Charity Lunch at Ban Heng Restaurant on 29 September 2018. It was attended by more than 490 guests, most of them caregivers.
The Lunch was themed “Journey of Hope”, reflecting the lengthy challenges caregivers face and the great impact that they have on persons with mental health issues. Guest of honour Mr Ng Chee Meng, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office shared the importance of having ‘heart’ and giving generously, in order to support this important group in society.
It is through the generous donations of supporters that CAL has been able to make a big difference in the lives of caregivers. According to Executive Director Tim Lee, over 3000 caregivers have benefited from the Caregivers-to-Caregivers Training Programme (C2C) since 2012, and many of these caregivers have reached a state of well-being and resilience to be able to volunteer and give back to society. In addition, CAL has been able to provide more than 15 new jobs to caregivers and persons in recovery in the last two years – as was displayed through an in-house video production featuring CAL staff and their motivation in serving caregivers. The impact that CAL has had on caregivers was also seen in the stories shared by two young adults. Caregiver-turned-staff Hidayah shared about her caregiving journey, and Claire, a person in recovery, shared about her journey from having suicidal tendencies to becoming a resilient and capable individual.
Fundraising through the Charity Lunch 2018 will be used to help CAL further support caregivers. Caregivers may look forward to a range of engagement and equipping activities which will keep them connected to CAL and the caregiver community, even after their C2C training. A taster of such engagement activities was seen at the Lunch, with the moves from a dance therapy for caregivers featured in a video entitled “Between Earth and Sky” by artist-filmmaker Alecia Neo. The expressive dance performance of the caregivers sought to portray their tireless determination in looking after their loved ones.
The Charity Lunch 2018 also highlights that many individuals are giving more than just financial support to CAL. Caregivers are stepping up to collaborate with CAL in various capacities, resulting in a recent partnership between CAL and Chinatown Heritage Centre. Similarly, a partnership with author Andrew Ang saw the sale of his books at the Charity Lunch, with the proceeds of his sale being donated to CAL. Many volunteers also helped during the Lunch at booths selling handicrafts and T-shirts.
From such generosity and willingness to help, CAL raised more than $270,000 in donations.
If you would like to support CAL in making a difference in the lives of caregivers of persons with mental health issues, you can make a donation here.