National postal operator Singapore Post (SingPost) has commenced its Postman Home Visits initiative, where postal carriers volunteer to check on elderly customers while making their delivery rounds.
The launch comes after a successful year-long pilot with AMKFSC Community Services and social enterprise NTUC Health SilverACE (Henderson), which involved seven delivery personnel and 11 seniors in the Ang Mo Kio and Henderson districts of Singapore. Following the success of the pilot, SingPost will progressively roll out the initiative to all districts across the island.
The Postman Home Visits program is a key initiative under SingPost’s community scheme Programme Silver, which aims to address issues arising from Singapore’s aging population.
Under Programme Silver, SingPost has put in place dementia awareness training for its frontline delivery staff to keep an eye out for the elderly in the community, and organized courses for seniors as part of People’s Association Seniors for Smart Nation workshops to learn about new technologies and services at SingPost’s smart post offices. Other initiatives include the use of its delivery network to transport unsold bread and pastries from hotels and bakeries to designated collection points several times a week, as well as organizing staff volunteering activities.
Training is provided for the delivery workers before they commence their home visits. During their house calls, the volunteers make simple observations about the elderly under their charge and fill in a checklist for the relevant social service agency servicing the area, to give them a sense of the senior’s mental and physical well-being. Should the postal employee encounter an emergency situation during their visit, they are able to directly contact staff from the social agency for assistance.
Woo Keng Leong, CEO of postal services, SingPost, said, “Postal workers have been an ubiquitous part of the community for more than a century. The Postman Home Visits initiative is a natural extension of their service to the community, as it offers kind-hearted staff the opportunity to do good during the course of their work.”
Ng Koon Sing, head of AMKFSC’s COMNET Senior Services, added, “The volunteers have shown that they can perform a sustainable voluntary service as part of their work, which does not require them to take extra time-off or go out of their way to help. This is a great example of how small sustainable efforts are doable and meet the needs of beneficiaries. It also demonstrates how community agencies can work with community partners to support our seniors and other vulnerable persons by examining what is needed on the ground, and the core roles of employees in their companies.”