Remarks by Chairperson and Chief Executive
The year 2022-23 was full of ups and downs. Hong Kong was ravaged by the fifth wave of COVID which dealt a severe blow to the economy and people’s livelihoods. Fortunately the pandemic was finally brought under control, and the city resumed its road to recovery in early 2023. HKCSS and social service organisations had staunchly maintained their watch, mobilizing different sectors to provide assistance to Hong Kong people by launching extensive economic and supportive service projects.
In particular, within a very short time we had marshalled social service organisations and collaborated with healthcare professions in launching the “Door-to-Door Vaccination Service”, under which outreach teams visited homes to provide vaccinations to elderly people with mobility problems and people with disabilities. In addition, we continued recruiting nursing & healthcare students to support residential care homes, provided financial assistance to the unemployed and persons with disabilities, subsidized grassroots citizens emotionally disturbed by the epidemic to receive psychotherapy services, and aided social service units affected by the epidemic. All these efforts helped alleviate Hong Kong people’s urgent needs and contributed to the battle against the epidemic.
In the long shadow of the epidemic, the Council persevered in implementing many key programmes and prepared diligently for resumption of normalcy. Our second modular social housing project “Cheong San 1” and third project “Yip Shing 6” welcomed residents this year, while “Nam Cheong 220”, the first one in Hong Kong, concluded successfully, not only providing suitable housing and support services to the grassroots, but also marking a momentous milestone in the development of transitional housing in Hong Kong.
The “Gerontech and Innovation Expo cum Summit 2022” once again showcased a wide range of products, services, and solutions from all over the world, improving the public’s understanding of gerontechnology and provided an opportunity to over 23,000 visitors to experience smart living, ageing in place and rehabilitation at home. We also launched the “Telepractice Platform” to enable therapists to provide online consultation and rehabilitation training to service users.
Furthermore, through a series of advocacy initiatives, programmes and activities, we led the community to explore numerous far-reaching issues, including support for carers, concern for adolescents’ mental health needs, development of district-based primary healthcare services, support for “care food” for dysphagia patients, and crossboundary elderly care in the Greater Bay Area.
All these endeavours and achievements were made possible through cross-sectoral collaboration, and the Council’s network of strategic partners continued to expand as well. A record high of 4,408 enterprises and organisations were awarded in the Caring Company Scheme last year, and over 30% of them had been continuously lauded in the Scheme for more than a decade.
To build the capacity of the social service sector, over 50 public and in-house training programmes were hold this year to address manpower development needs of the sector, with a total of about 1,400 participants from over 180 organisations. In particular, we organised the “Certificate for Newly Promoted Supervisors in NGOs 2022” to enhance the self-efficacy and leadership skills of newly promoted executives.
To mark the 75th anniversary of the HKCSS, we hosted the “Co-creation for a Better Society – HKCSS 75th Anniversary Symposium” and the “HKCSS Convention cum Social Service Expo 2023”, which brought together our partners from the social service sector, the government, business and professional sectors, and charitable foundations to discuss strategies and collaborative solutions on a wide range of social issues. The Expo also showcased a wide range of services from social service organisations and social enterprises and attracted over 5,000 visitors.
We have adopted co-creation, tech-enablement and talent development as HKCSS’s strategic directions for future development, in order to create higher social impact and strive for the sustainable development of the society of Hong Kong.