by Lianne Ong on

While most of us were staying indoors during the circuit breaker, more than 250 employees from Cycle & Carriage Singapore (CCS) and its parent company, Jardine Cycle & Carriage (JC&C) were out and about on a week-long challenge from 18 to 24 May to raise money for REACH Community Services Society.

The two-part initiative, titled “Staying United, Giving Hope”, was simple; it was (literally) taking a step to raise funds. The staff, divided into more than 51 teams of five each, were challenged to clock as many steps as possible, and the company would top up the amounts they raised with an additional donation.

The target number of steps per team was 100,000, or about 5.1 million steps overall.

More than 19 million steps were clocked within that week.

And through the team challenge and from personal donations from employees, more than $83,000 was raised for REACH.

Mr Ben Birks, group managing director of JC&C, said, “This initiative provided an avenue for employees to give hope and give back to the community, while staying connected with their fellow colleagues and keeping fit at the same time.”

He added that there was an “outpouring of support” from employees who went above and beyond their personal donations and made the tremendous effort to clock extra steps to reach the target.

The top team, led by C&C technician Aw Mun Choon, clocked a staggering 898,612 steps for the charity during circuit breaker

Caption: Aw Mun Choon (above) and his team took their fundraising a step further by volunteering to deliver food to the elderly.

The top team, led by C&C technician Aw Mun Choon, clocked a staggering 898,612 steps. Their secret? Aw and a fellow team member volunteered to distribute lunch to the less privileged, which skyrocketed their daily step count. To be considered reasonably active, a healthy adult should be taking about 10,000 steps a day.

Aw’s team of Singaporeans and Malaysians work in CCS’s Eunos branch as technicians and sales staff.

“One of my team members suggested that we help deliver food to the needy during the circuit breaker period. We got in touch with a volunteer organisation that was facing a manpower shortage in food distribution,” Aw told The Pride.

Due to the circuit breaker measures, only two members were able to carry out the food distribution as the rest lived too far from where the volunteers were working.

The two of them would pick up the packets of food from a nearby hawker centre before walking to distribute the rations to the elderly beneficiaries, said Aw.

He admitted: “The challenge was a little physically demanding for us. For some of us, the daily walks were a new activity…However, as time went on, we got more used to the physical activity and aimed to increase our distance each day. We motivated each other and pushed ourselves to eventually exceed the target we had originally set.”

Within the team, Aw clocked the most steps, 257,340.

Even though it was tiring, it was easy to keep themselves motivated, said Aw.

He said: “We recognised that there were people in Singapore who were less privileged than us and we wanted to do our part to help those in need. In addition, the challenge provided an avenue for us to keep active in a responsible manner and kept our team spirits up even though we were apart during the circuit breaker period.”

The daily physical goal also helped them appreciate their neighbourhood even more.

“Our daily walks around our respective neighbourhoods became something we looked forward to as we explored different areas near our homes that we had never seen before. We also motivated each other virtually by sharing our daily steps count at the end of the day and keeping close track of the tally.”

Mr Ho Siew Cheong, CEO of REACH Community Services said, “Covid-19 has plunged us into a season of disruption and uncertainty. Seniors grapple with social isolation, individuals and families who lost their jobs are worried about …their next meal…and households are strained by constraints and stresses of the pandemic. Through their contribution, JC&C and CCS have become our Beacons of Hope, allowing us to be resourced and better enabled to continue helping the community.”

Through the donations, REACH Community Services will continue to serve the mental health needs of seniors in the community, as well as distressed youth, individuals and families so that they can receive counselling therapy. Individuals can also contribute here.

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