Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong


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YMCA 2022 October Perspective



Cover Story
YMCA Wins Two Straight ESG Impact Report Grand Prizes

Hot on the heels of winning the Platinum Award for outstanding ESG performer of the year at the ESG Achievement Awards 2021/2022 in August, Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong (the Association) received twin honours at the Hong Kong ESG Reporting Awards: Best Sustainability Report for a Non-listed Company and the Excellence in Social Positive Impact award. Mr Karl Lau Chun-chuen, General Secretary of the Association, received the trophies on 20 October at the awards ceremony.


Since committing to ESG principles in 2019, the Association has published two ESG Impact Reports. The winning report, from 2020-2021, covered sustainability aspects of the Association in terms of health, physical and psychological well-being, education and employment, rehabilitation services and social enterprises.



The latest report included details on three new focus areas:


1. Closing the digital divide and embracing digital inclusion

Online webinars and learning sessions became part of people's daily lives during the pandemic. Based on the ESG concept of “social sustainability”, the Association combined community services with digital technology to improve our reach, with one example being arranging for young people to visit seniors and teach them about smart phones and social media. Activities like these narrow the digital divide between older and younger generations, and advance digital inclusion.


2. Tearing down walls to create social inclusivity

The Association regularly provides international cultural exchange opportunities designed to nurture young leaders, allowing them to learn from their peers overseas so as to make a positive impact on Hong Kong society. We also connect young people with older people via volunteer work, bringing them closer together and nurturing intergenerational relationships.


3. A broader reporting framework

The Association's social enterprises and rehabilitation centres, including YM Balloon, YM Fleur, Y's Men Centre for the Deaf, the Home of Love Sheltered Workshop, and the Yung Shing Sheltered Workshop, have been putting ESG concepts into practice for years. To increase transparency, this year's report included these services for the first time.


We also reported on our efforts to prioritise energy and resource efficiency to fight climate change and reduce the environmental impacts of our operations – like how our Kowloon Centre has taken part in green building and energy saving schemes since 2019. Changing demography has also prompted a solution to ageing population that increases work productivity and brings physical and psychological health to our members, such as a three-year Jockey Club Mapperthon Sports Project beginning in 2020. YMCA has undergone digital transformation to increase digital resources and knowledge among service users in education, youth and elderly services, hence a more inclusive digital world. A good example is using electronic wristbands in creative physical education at Chinese YMCA College.


For more details on our ESG initiatives, click here to view the full ESG Impact Report.


What’s New
Over a thousand volunteers recognised at YM Volunteer Awards Ceremony

Despite the uncertainty created by the Covid-19 pandemic, our YM volunteer team has persisted in helping needy people across society. To honour their exceptional service, on 16 October, the Association held our YM Volunteer Awards Ceremony 2021-2022, recognising a record 1,214 volunteers. Officiating guests at the ceremony included the Undersecretary of the Labour and Welfare Bureau, Mr Ho Kai-ming, JP; The Rt Rev Dr Thomas Soo Yee-po, JP, representing the Association's Service Development and Member Affairs Committee; and Mr Karl Lau Chun-chuen, our General Secretary.


Since 2017, the YM Volunteer Award Scheme has recruited volunteers of all ages, and from a broad diversity of backgrounds and industries, encouraging them to join forces to become engaged with people in the local community. The ceremony’s theme was “Happy Volunteering Never Ends”, expressing our hope that volunteer numbers will keep rising in terms of headcount, frequency and service hours. This year, the number of registered volunteers rose to 10,246, who collectively gave a record 84,175 service hours.


As well as recognising the scheme’s achievements, we also announced a new initiative, “YM Volunteer@SCHOOL”, which aims to encourage schools to organise a volunteer movement and align it with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This initiative will help students learn more about ESG and SDGs and how to put them into practice to improve local and global wellbeing. Participating schools will be expected to commit no less than 100 hours of relevant volunteer service per academic year. At the ceremony, a long-serving volunteer was invited to talk about how she became a frequent helper at our recreational and sports service centres when she was a young teen; now that she is a mother, she has passed this spirit on, involving her son in a volunteer programme that serves seniors.


Featured Programme
Heritage Vogue‧Hollywood Road


Heritage Vogue‧Hollywood Road, organised by the Commissioner for Heritage's Office of the Development Bureau on 20 November 2022, is a showcase of Hong Kong heritage buildings and YMCA’s Bridges Street Centre is one of the selected few. Completed in 1918, Bridges Street Centre in Sheung Wan, used to be named Central Building, was Hong Kong’s first indoor recreational and sports facility featuring a sports hall, swimming pool, suspended circular running track, grand hall, gym room, canteen and hostel. In 2009, the architecture was listed as Grade 1 historic building by the Antiquities Advisory Board.


We will open Bridges Street Centre to the public at the exhibition and arrange guided tours to let visitors experience the centennial history of this heritage architecture and uncover YMCA services. Hosted by our trained guides, this walking tour will take you to visit Hong Kong’s first heated indoor pool, the one and only hundred-year suspended circular wood track and the grand hall where late literary writer Lu Xun spoke publicly. Learning the history of Bridges Street Centre will give you an understanding of how today’s YMCA evolves over the years from the past. Chinese Orchestra and Harmonica Orchestra, founded by Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong in 1969 and 1941, will also give performances at regular intervals at the front door of Bridges Street Centre.


You will also find a list of thrilling programmes blending history with culture and arts inside the 11 historic buildings in and across Central & Western district beyond Bridges Street Centre, including guided tour, exhibition, workshop, musical and dance performance, outdoor film fest, fire dragon dance etc. Each historic site is reachable by fee shuttle bus or on foot!


Heritage Vogue‧Hollywood Road 2022

Date: 20 November 2022, Sunday

Time: 12:00 – 20:00

Place: Bridges Street Centre and the rest of 11 historic buildings in Central & Western District

Cost: Free of charge


Please look out for more details in the official Facebook page of YMCA and Heritage Vogue. Hollywood Road.


Programme Highlights
Plastic-free Hong Kong 2022: “No Plastic; It's Fantastic!”

The Association’s Environmental Working Group and our Wu Kwai Sha Youth Village came together on 23 October to put on our Plastic-free Hong Kong 2022 event. This year’s “No Plastic; It’s Fantastic” carnival saw families get closer to nature, learn about the importance of plastic waste reduction at a plastic-free picnic, and play various games and fun-filled activities that taught them to “leave no trace”. Many visited the village and enjoyed a leisurely picnic with kids on the lawn, practicing green living habits.


Mr Issac Yeung, a Service Development Officer from the Association’s Knowledge Management and Strategy Section, said that the findings show the interviewees had a general awareness of the need to reduce plastic consumption. Still, half of the younger respondents were unaware of the air pollution, energy waste and health impacts of single-use plastics. Additionally, 80% of the respondents said they would bring their own bags, lunch boxes or cutlery sets to a picnic; children and younger adults prioritise convenience when considering the use of bring-your-own-eco-products, while parents were more concerned about food hygiene. The study also revealed that more than 50% of respondents thought that quitting single-use plastics would be a nuisance, while 23% of them who gave up on plastic reduction cast doubts on their ability to make a difference.


Mr Fan Yiu-chuen, Convenor of the Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong’s Environmental Working Group, suggested that parents should start building a family culture of reducing plastic use and eliminating single-use plastics while their children were still young, by bringing their own food containers and cutlery with them on picnics. Meanwhile, the Hong Kong government should continue appealing to the public to “go green”.


As for the less-than 20% of respondents who said they would refuse to bring their own food containers and cutlery due to accessibility and hygiene factors, he said, “We need to push the ‘leave no trace’ ethic, install on-site facilities where people can refill their water bottles, and provide incentives that will make people buy less and use less disposable plastics”.


Please see the detailed survey findings in the Press Release.


PAIN Kick Zone

Urban dwellers who often work overtime or in perpetual repetitive motion, are more susceptible to joint pain or sports injuries that affect their quality of life. Therefore, Health Care Professions Department has launched a regular monthly column and published short articles about self-care on arthritis, joint pain and self-healing. If you would like to acquire more health-related information, please visit our website or call 2783 3616 for inquiry.


Remedy for shoulder and neck pain (Part 1)


Working in front of computers and sitting for long hours are the norm of many office workers. If we sit with poor postures, like poking chin or rounded back, we are more likely to suffer from shoulder and neck pain.


Muscles of shoulder and neck are in great tension in order support of weight of our head, which turns out to be soreness and tender spots. Our thoracic spine is also pulled forward, becoming less flexible and even more rounded, worsening the muscle pain in a vicious cycle.


Apart from massaging over those tight spots, it is also a good idea to stretch out our tight chest and open up the thoracic spine. The following is a demo of an exercise we can do in our workplaces.


First, get a firm and stable chair. It would be ideal if the back rest just reaches your scapula, but not too tall. Then, support your head with your arm (as shown in picture 1). Lean your upper back on the back rest for 30 seconds and take a few deep breaths in to facilitate opening of your chest (Picture 2). You would feel a bit of stretch over your chest if you are doing correctly.




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