The Club’s new Charity Committee is this year raising funds for the China Coast Community, a care home for the elderly in Kowloon Tong. In the past, it has also been known as home to a number of FCC members.
What sets the China Coast Community apart from other care homes is that it’s the only one dedicated to assisting the English-speaking elderly in Hong Kong. The residents come from different nationalities – the common denominator is that they all speak English, have spent a significant part of their lives in Asia and don’t have access to government-sponsored facilities.
The idea for a care home for English speakers was first mooted in March 1978 when the Dean of St John’s Cathedral Reverend Stephen Sidebotham called a meeting to look into the needs of the elderly. A year later and with the support of the Hong Kong Jockey Club and an interest-free loan from the government a property at 63 Cumberland Road was bought.
The two-storey CCC is still on this original site although it has undergone a number of makeovers. Beginning with just eight beds, the building was expanded in 1982 and, responding to the needs of the residents, in 2000 it became a fully licensed Care and Attention Home with professional nurses on call around the clock.
The centre is home for 39 residents and there is a waiting list for people hoping to get in. The CCC prefers to admit people when they are still active – most of these residents live on the first floor and the less mobile residents have rooms on the ground floor where they are closer to nursing staff.
As far as elderly care goes, the CCC facilities are good. All residents have their own room and shared bathroom. Meals are served in sittings in a restaurant and there is a lounge for communal activities – yes, that includes Bingo. Physiotherapy and occupational therapy session are available twice a week and regular activities organised by volunteers.
Residents pay depending on their financial position. Those who are comfortably off pay 85% of the cost of living at the centre, but in many cases residents can’t afford that and instead pay a much-reduced fee. The shortfall required to keep the home operational is largely covered by donations as they receive little government funding.
The FCC’s fundraising efforts will focus on purchasing much-needed specialist beds, which will make it easier for nursing staff to look after residents. Funding for the home’s occupational therapist dries up this year and the FCC also hopes to raise money to continue that ongoing service. We are planning to make visits to the home and hope members will volunteer to assist with the various activities we get involved in.
‘Hong Kong Remembers’, the FCC’s extravaganza on March 25, will bring together some of the best of Hong Kong’s home grown musical talent with proceeds from the event going to our chosen charity, the China Coast Community.
Among the acts performing will be The Red Stripes, the acclaimed ska and soul band whose brass section is sure to raise the roof of the Main Dining Room. Down in Bert’s, Miriam Ma and Hippogroove will continue their run of getting the crowd on their feet with their energetic R&B sounds. Complementing these live acts will be DJ’s including local favourites Crimes Against Pop whose only instructions have been to ‘get the place dancing’.
Tickets for the event, which include buffet food and drinks, are available at the FCC priced HK$880 for members and HK$1100 for guests.
How can you support this year’s charity? Come to the party on March 25 and bring your friends and some cash for raffle tickets for the chance to win some fabulous prizes.
If you would like to donate funds to “Buy-a-Bed” at HK$18,000 each, you will be acknowledged with a small donation plaque on the bed. Contact Joanne at gro.khccf@srebmemergnokgnoh to pledge your donation.
As the China Coast Community is a registered charity under the IRO Section 88, any donation would qualify for tax relief, in which case cheques should be made payable directly to China Coast Community Limited and can be sent to the FCC, c/o Joanne Cheung who will then process them with CCC.