Elderly residents enjoy new lighting
Singapore, 21 Oct 2011 - Along Banda Street, the humble incandescent light bulb is bringing new meaning to the Festival of Lights for its elderly residents. With help from PwC and the Kreta Ayer Residents’ Committee, 560 homes in this historic area were lit up with new energy-saving bulbs ahead of Deepavali. Volunteers replaced over 1,000 old bulbs with new lighting in order to avoid possible accidents and injury among these residents, as well as to help them save on their electricity bills.
While changing a light bulb is a simple task for an able-bodied person, it can prove to be difficult and even dangerous for many of Banda Street’s residents, who are in their 70s and 80s and are not very mobile. Many of them live alone in one-bedroom rented units, and depend on government and community assistance for their daily needs. The new bulbs, which are 80 per cent more energy efficient, will also help cut down on their energy costs.
Gautam Banerjee, Executive Chairman of PwC Singapore, said, “It is very meaningful to us to know that even the smallest gesture can make a big difference to others in their time of need. I am glad that our people have shown their generosity of spirit not just through donations, but by sharing their time and effort to change light bulbs and pack gift hampers. We have a close and long-standing relationship with the Banda Street community through our corporate responsibility programme, and it brings us great joy to give back to the residents and brighten up their lives.”
In addition to replacing the lighting, over 200 PwC partners and staff packed and distributed food and grocery hampers containing daily necessities like noodles, canned food, shampoo, soap and toothbrushes. To round up the event, residents were treated to a community buffet dinner with live entertainment.
Quek Wei Cheng, Kreta Ayer RC Chairman shared, “A little help from volunteers to change these light bulbs means a lot to our residents. 90 per cent of the residents in these blocks are above 65 years old, and many do not have family or children looking after them in their old age. Some of them even supplement their living by collecting cardboard for sale. They also enjoy the gift hampers because these contain foodstuffs and daily necessities that are useful. We truly appreciate this support and hope that this community relationship will continue on a long-term basis.”
"I’m happy to see visitors around and value the company of community volunteers. And look forward to events like these every year,” commented Yit Shue Kee, 76 years old, a resident at Block Five Banda Street.
PwC has collaborated with Kreta Ayer RC since 2008 to identify needy residents who would benefit from assistance. The beneficiaries of this project are the elderly living in Blocks 5 and 333, Banda Street.
About PwC Community Outreach/Corporate Responsibility Team - China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan
PwC people are committed to helping improve the communities in which they live and work. Every year, hundreds of community projects around the world count on the participation of PwC people as volunteers, leaders and facilitators. PwC is active in supporting the communities in which it operates, particularly through corporate giving and volunteering.
This year PwC has had hundreds of volunteers across the China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan firms contribute thousands of volunteer hours to the development of our communities. These have taken the form of volunteer trips to rural schools in China, coastal clean-ups and social inclusion projects in Hong Kong, overseas community projects from Singapore, and providing skilled volunteer support to charities in Taiwan.