Getting back on his feet
When the previously strong and healthy Mr Ang suffered a stroke last June, his world came crashing down. The 58-year-old production soundman had to quit his job, and was grappling with medical bills and paralysis on the right side of his body.
Without a source of income, he was dipping into his savings set aside for family expenses and his two children’s university education. He was on a wheelchair, and had a speech impairment that left him frustrated. Despite his will to get well, costly treatments set him back.
One morning in late 2016, Mr Ang and his wife passed by MWS Senior Activity Centre (SAC) – Teck Ghee Vista, a joint initiative of Methodist Welfare Services (MWS) in partnership with Ang Mo Kio Methodist Church. After enquiring about the Gym Tonic exercise-rehabilitation programme, he signed up as a member. For a six-month centre membership fee of $20 and gym membership fee of $40, he was given unlimited access to affordable and effective therapy.
He started working out on Gym Tonic’s Hur machines every morning, and with sheer determination and the centre physiotherapists’ help, he learnt to stand and walk again within two months. He even made it to his daughter’s recent university graduation ceremony. Currently, he is able to perform simple daily tasks such as going to the toilet, brushing his teeth, and dressing himself.
Initially aloof, Mr Ang has also opened up to a new circle of friends at the SAC. Their support and positivity drew him out of his shell. He is now hopeful about recovery and going back to work again.
Saving is her dream come true
Never in Madam Noorridah’s (above) wildest dreams could she imagine she would one day see savings in her bank account. The 38-year-old single mother works six days a week at a fast food outlet, but has always struggled to support her two children and a sister with disabilities.
While her 11-year-old daughter is healthy and coping fine in school, her eight-year-old son suffers from mild intellectual disability and frequent seizures. He attends a special school and needs constant monitoring. Also living in the family’s rental flat is her older sister, who has severe scoliosis and speech impairment.
Mdm Noorridah knows the importance of being thrifty, but saving money has been virtually impossible, until now.
After more than a year of being on the debt-matching component of the MWS Family Development Programme (FDP), Mdm Noorridah ‘graduated’ to the dollar-for-dollar savings-matching component in March 2017. She was able to save $20, and was ecstatic to see a total of $40 in her bank account. She has also managed to save continuously every month since, an achievement which she is very proud of.
Although Mdm Noorridah has been on various types of welfare assistance in the past, MWS FDP’s help is a breakthrough. Beyond assisting her with daily living expenses and her children’s school-going needs, the programme also provided her with befriending support from Trinity Methodist Church volunteer Ms Josephine Lim. In addition to financial counselling, Josephine also taught her debt-management and asset-building skills. Mdm Noorridah now feels a greater sense of independence, and has hope for a better future for her family.
By the Methodist Welfare Services Communications Team
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Photos courtesy of the Methodist Welfare Services