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 By Tan Tock Seng Hospital

A natural go-getter, Mdm Ang Bong Chee recalls being active since young. With her positive, can-do attitude, the jovial 70-year-old was quickly recognised by our Health Coaches during the “Rolling with Wellness” programme at MWS Senior Activity Centre, Teck Ghee Vista. Mdm Ang was then invited in September 2019 to become a TTSH Peer Support Leader under an intiative that has since been rebranded to Centre for Health Activation Peer Support Leaders (CHAPS) Club.

Launched in June 2019, CHAPS Club aims to develop Peer Support Leaders with the skills, knowledge and confidence to lead and empower their peers to achieve a healthy lifestyle, in partnership with TTSH Health Coaches and Community Partners. CHAPS function as activated lay extenders to lead and sustain programmes and activities for their peers in their own communities.

Demonstrating her leadership qualities, Mdm Ang conducts exercises every Friday at MWS Senior Activity Centre, Teck Ghee Vista to help peers stay fit and healthy. She is also an active participant at community-based programmes, frequently reminding her peers to sign up and cajoling them to participate. Going one step further, Mdm Ang helps fellow seniors by sharing her digital expertise, such as showing them how to use Zoom. This knowledge helps engage and empower her peers to stay relevant and connected, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic. Needless to say, Mdm Ang has been able to build strong trust and rapport quickly among her peer groups by going above and beyond her role as a CHAPS.

She shares: “Instead of enjoying exercising on my own, I like to share this joy with others. When I see the seniors benefit from it, I’m very happy. Furthermore, I can make many friends and not be disconnected from society”. As the saying goes, a joy shared is a joy doubled!

CHAPS such as Mdm Ang are central to a successful community-enabling initiative. They are an excellent source of motivation, verbal encouragement and social support for their friends and neighbours. It is also easier for seniors to emulate desirable qualities when they see their peers role modeling it for them.

Mdm Ang was one of the 28 CHAPS who were recognised for their contributions at the Singapore Patient Action Awards 2020, under the Community Engagement Initiative category

Mdm Ang leading group exercise sessions outside MWS Senior Activity Centre, Teck Ghee Vista for her peers

Mdm Ang was invited as a speaker for the annual Singapore Patient Conference 2021 fringe activity 'Let's CHAt! A Journey of Wellness' to share on her experience as an activated member of the CHAPS Club alongside our Health Coaches.

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