The fifth wave of pandemic was severe. Cheung Hong Community Day Rehabilitation and Residential Service was under shortage of manpower after multiple confirmed cases. Henry, a social worker from Tak Tin Community Day Rehabilitation Service, was one of the colleagues who came to help. After experiencing the difficult situation in his own workplace during the previous wave of pandemic, Henry understood what Cheung Hong was facing and he accepted the deployment to Cheung Hong without hesitation. ‘It is hard to work without enough manpower. I understand it very well, so I came to help the moment I heard the situation of Cheung Hong.’
Once he joined the team of Cheung Hong, Henry took up frontline duties such as feeding, cleaning places and assisting trainees to perform daily self-care tasks, working under a very busy schedule with other colleagues to maintain the operation of the Residential Service. ‘It is not easy to put on this full body protective gown, so we do not take it off without good reason. In the six hours from the start of work to the lunch break, we did not go to washroom or drink water, just to avoid taking off the gown and reduce the chance of inflection.’ This harsh condition was not something Henry, who has been working as a social worker for nearly 30 years, could imagine before the pandemic.
Despite the heavy workload of his team, Henry did not forget the needs of trainees. ‘They had to stay in their rooms and were not able to do things they usually do. It could be very boring, so I used the smartphone and played the music they requested, so they could hear the music they liked.’ Besides taking care of trainees’ basic needs, he also wanted to send them some positive energy through songs, and hoped the trainees could have some peaceful moments when immersing into the music.
Henry joined The Salvation Army in 1994. Started as a welfare worker, he has been serving people with special needs since then. This time he stepped in an intense environment and supported colleagues and trainees out of the strong sense of belonging to the Army and, most importantly, the devotion to serve those who are in need. No matter who and where, if conditions permit, he is always willing to offer help and support.