Be a friend and give joy

Mrs Tay-Oh Siew Hoe, 66 years old, is a familiar face in Bright Hill Evergreen Home (BHEH). Through her network of friends and neighbours, she gathers sponsors for the fortnightly tea-break for our residents.

Mrs Tay started volunteering with BHEH in April 1998. With more time on her hands after her youngest son went on to secondary school, she decided to sign-on to the volunteering programme advertised by National Council of Social Service. She chose to start with the closest charity to where she stays, Bright Hill Evergreen Home, which was then located at Bright Hill Road.

She started by helping around the kitchen but soon found that the environment was not suitable for her. She wanted to quit volunteering but an office staff suggested to her about being a befriender.

Becoming a friend

As a befriender, she engaged the elderly residents with activities like Lego brick-building, chit-chatting, as well as feeding them. Mrs Tay remembers many stories with the elderly, from an uncle who wanted to marry her in his next life to an auntie who was on tube-feeding but wanted a taste of wanton noodles. With consistent engagement, Mrs Tay gained the trust of the elderly residents and with permission from the staff, was even tasked with money from a resident who requested her to help buy a gold chain for himself.

“There was once when I was a child, I felt very happy when my uncle gave me a $10 allowance. So, I was determined to give however I can when I have the ability.” Mrs Tay adds that to continue being a happy volunteer, besides setting aside time, one needs to have the right attitude of giving.

She said to others who want to start volunteering, “Just pick up the phone and speak to the charity of your choice!”.

Sign-up and join us as a befriender.

To find out more, please email Germaine at or call 64319212.

This article is also published in Evergreen Issue 2, a quarterly publication of Bright Hill Evergreen Home. Click here to download the complete PDF version of Issue 2.