To acquire a comprehensive picture of volunteering and develop sustainable volunteerism in the city, The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust has supported Agency for Volunteer Service (AVS) to organise a symposium on Volunteering towards Community Building in a Maturing Society.
Today (7 December), the Club’s Manager, Charities, Imelda Chan joined Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs Raymond Young, Legislative Council Chairman Tsang Yok-sing, United Nations Volunteers, UNDP Beijing Programme Manager Henny Ngu, and AVS Chairman Lee Jark-pui to attend the symposium.
Ms Chan said she was heartened by the survey findings by AVS earlier this year, which found the number of hours Hong Kong people volunteer was increasing, with more and more people, especially the younger generations, spending more time in volunteer work.
“The Hong Kong Jockey Club understands how important volunteer work is to the local community, and we have been a staunch supporter of AVS since the 70’s. Today’s symposium is a major component of a Study Project on Volunteering towards Community Building in Hong Kong. We granted funding to this project in 2008, with the aim of providing the government and the public with a better understanding of the trends and challenges of volunteering in Hong Kong,” she noted.
Mr Lee thanked the Club’s Charities Trust for its support and stressed that the symposium had to address the society’s development, as well as its future needs and trends. Everybody, in particular, the industrial, commercial, education and social services sectors have to work together and create an environment suitable for volunteer work to further develop.
During the symposium, a number of local and overseas experts and volunteers shared their experiences and views. Keynote speaker Mr Young shared his views on the topic of “Volutneering and Community Building” and The University of Hong Kong Centre for Civil Society and Governance Associate Director, Prof Joseph Chan revealed the findings and observations of the survey research on volunteering in Hong Kong, while United Nations Volunteers, UNDP Beijing Programme Manager Henny Ngu and Australia’s People First – Total Solutions Chief Executive Officer Martin J Cowling shared their experience with participants. Forums and open discussions were also held to outline appropriate directions for future volunteer development.
The Club-funded Volunteering in Hong Kong Survey in 2009 found the total number of volunteer hours contributed that year was 87 million, and the total economic value of volunteering in Hong Kong was HK$5.5 billion, equivalent to 0.34% of Gross Domestic Product in 2009 or 41,500 full-time jobs.
As a long-standing supporter of volunteer development, the Club’s Charities Trust has donated some HK$880,000 in 2008 for the AVS Study Project on Volunteering towards Community Building in Hong Kong. It has been supporting AVS in establishing a volunteer database, the Jockey Club Volunteer Talent Bank, since 2005. The Club also partnered with AVS in The Hong Kong Jockey Club 2009 East Asian Games Volunteer Programme. In addition, the Club established its own volunteer team, CARE@hkjc, in 2005, to encourage staff and retirees to participate in volunteer work. Currently, the team has some 800 members, and they have served the community for more than 20,000 hours.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club
Founded in 1884, The Hong Kong Jockey Club has become one of Hong Kong’s best known and respected organisations, providing the public with world-class sporting entertainment as well as being the city’s major non-Government community benefactor, now donating more than HK$1 billion a year to charitable and community projects. It has been a part of Hong Kong through good times and bad, sharing the city’s growth and development with its people, and is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for future generations.
The Club's Manager, Charities, Imelda Chan says the Club understands how important volunteer work is to the local community, and has been a staunch supporter of AVS since the 70!|s.
AVS Chairman Lee Jark-pui thanks the Club's Charities Trust for its support and stresses that the symposium has to address the society's development, as well as its future needs and trends.
Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs Raymond Young delivers a keynote speech of "Volunteering and Community Building" at the symposium.
(From right): Legislative Council Chairman Tsang Yok-sing; the Club's Manager, Charities, Imelda Chan; AVS Chairman Lee Jark-pui; Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs Raymond Young; United Nations Volunteers, UNDP Beijing Programme Manager Henny Ngu; and AVS Vice Chairman and Task Force on Symposium on Volunteering towards Community Building in a Maturing Society Chairman Tang Kwai-nang at the symposium.
AVS Chairman Lee Jark-pui (left) presents a souvenir to the Club's Manager, Charities, Imelda Chan.