ABOUT NEW LIFE
Opening of The Wellness Centre (Sham Shui Po)
The Wellness Centre (Sham Shui Po) commenced operation on 1 October 2010 at the premise of the ex-New Life Building Training and Activity Centre. With support from the Social Welfare Department, a sum from the Lotteries Fund was granted to convert the Centre into a home-like environment and increase its accessibility to Sham Shui Po residents. The application of the recovery-oriented practices was realized in four pathways: “Self-determination and Participation”, “Promotion of Well-being”, “Learning and Sharing from Lived Experiences” and “Establishment of Peer Support Network”. It was worth noting that a family recovery group was co-developed by the social workers, people in recovery (PIR) of mental illness and carers referenced to the evidence-based family resilience framework.
The Centre was officially opened on 18 April 2015 by the Guest of Honour Mr. Fong Kai Leung, Assistant Director (Rehabilitation and Medical Social Services) of the Social Welfare Department. We were also honoured to have Mrs. Helen Kwok, District Social Welfare Officer (Sham Shui Po), Social Welfare Department; Mr. Jimmy Kwok, Chairman of the Sham Shui Po District Council; Mr. Mickey Wai, Assistant District Officer (2), Sham Shui Po Office, Home Affairs Department; Dr. Kwong Po Keung, Consultant Psychiatrist and Chief of Service, Division II, Kwai Chung Hospital, Hospital Authority; and Dr. Lee Chi Chiu, Chairperson, Community Services Committee of the Association, as our officiating guests. Over 100 guests joined the Opening Ceremony and visited the centre where the guests were impressed by the recovery pathways introduced and experienced.
Opening of Jockey Club iREACH Social Competence Development Centre
Individuals living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are believed to possess unique strengths and potentials beyond the challenges they face, the Association has for several years been striving to initiate various pioneer projects to support social development and integration of these high-functioning adolescents and young adults. With a generous grant of HK$7,390,000 from The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, the Association established the Jockey Club iREACH Social Competence Development Centre in September 2014. The Centre aims to provide lifespan support for persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder (PWA) spanning various developmental stages, facilitating their integration to the community. Adopting a systemic perspective, the services were designed to strengthen the social competence, self-independence and interpersonal relationships of these individuals through multiple service modalities such as professional assessments, individual and family counselling or coaching, interest cultivation programs, group training and peer networks. Through contacted with the community, public understanding and acceptance of persons challenged by ASD were sought to increase.
The opening ceremony of the Centre was held on 29 March 2015, with about 100 guests participating to share the joy. It was our honour to have Mr. Stephen Sui Wai Keung, JP, Under Secretary of the Labour and Welfare Bureau; Mr. Lam Ka Tai, JP, Deputy Director (Service) of the Social Welfare Department; Ms. Imelda Chan, Executive Manager, Charities, The Hong Kong Jockey Club; and Professor Fanny Cheung Mui-Ching, OBE, JP, the Chairperson of the Association, to be our officiating guests. Participating guests were impressed by PWAs’ great performance and sharing from the caregivers. Besides, Participants expressed their appreciation to the exhibition of photos, drawings and written passages prepared by PWAs. A press conference was held prior to the opening ceremony, aiming to enhance public awareness of the possibility of change among individuals challenged with ASD. During the press conference, an adolescent and his mother jointly shared their stories with the media.
Apart from direct services, the Centre strived to build collaboration with local stakeholders and international partners. In this regard, the Centre received a group of parents from a parents association in Thailand in December 2014, and co-organized a music workshop with Music For Autism International (MFAI) in January 2015. The Association and MFAI built goodwill to further develop a long-term partnership, and to cultivate PWAs' interest and musical talents. Locally, a seminar co-organized by The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Chinese Christian Literature Council Limited and the Association would be held in June 2015.