Singapore

Single mum with four kids finds time to volunteer

She is a single mother with four children, including one with special needs.

She also cares for her sick 73-year-old mother.

Yet, part-time cleaner Azizah Mohamed Noor still finds time to volunteer at elderly activity centres.

Once a month for four hours, the 46-year-old serves the elderly at SilverACE senior activity centres, cooking and caring for them.

"I like to help the elderly, talk to them when they have problems and no one to share it with," says Azizah.

But there are responsibilities that Azizah has to shoulder alone.

After 16 years of marriage, her divorce in 2010 left her as the sole caregiver of her children - aged 22, 17, 13, and seven - and mother. The youngest child has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

That same year, her mother, who suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure, collapsed.

Azizah quit her catering assistant job to look after her.

After sending her mother to NTUC Health’s SilverACE centre in Lengkok Bahru, Azizah was offered a job as a part-time cleaner at SilverACE in 2013.

Senior Activity Centres (SAC) are drop-in centres for the elderly living in rental housing nearby, where they can interact with their peers and provide mutual support.

NTUC Health has seven SilverACE SACs in Singapore, with 100 volunteers islandwide.

Azizah tells her story in this episode of Heroes Among Us, a video series that explores the lives of ordinary Singaporeans who overcome challenges to pursue extraordinary lives.

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