Community cafe empowers the seniors
At 76, retiree Rosalind Foong never expected to lead a team of other seniors in running a community cafe.
She said: "I get a sense of fufilment when people enjoy the food we prepare."
She is one of 40 senior volunteers at Reach Community Cafe, officially launched yesterday at Youth Powerhouse@Bukit Batok.
Headed by Reach Community Services, the cafe empowers seniors to showcase their skills and talent through roles such as chef, barista and food server. Seniors are also involved in planning the menu and designing the cafe.
Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Health, who was at the launch, said: "The cafe creates an inter-generational community space that stimulates seniors socially and mentally, so they can age healthily and meaningfully with confidence."
The cafe is a space where residents, especially seniors at risk of social isolation, can meet, she added. There are about 7,600 residents aged 60 years and above in Hongkah North .
Inspired by the Ibasho cafe in Japan that is run by seniors, Dr Khor went to Reach with a similar idea last year.
Mr Ho Siew Cheong, 58, chief executive of Reach said: "When (seniors) give back, they feel younger too."
Dr Khor, who is MP for Hong Kah North, said the constituency plans to launch two more community cafes.
Customers can pay any amount. This amount helps fund cafe operations.
Madam Tan Keok, 84, a Bukit Batok resident who lives with two of her seven children, said: "I am so bored at home when my daughters go to work. Coming to the cafe will help me stay active and meet new friends."