Collaborative initiative with 15 social welfare organisations promotes social inclusion
To celebrate 15 years of volunteer work with the community, Swire Properties’ Community Ambassador Programme kicked off the three-day carnival “LOVE’S TEAM" today at ArtisTree, Taikoo Place. Partnering with 15 social welfare organisations with an aim to promote social inclusion and community care, LOVE’S TEAM will be held between 14 and 16 October and features stalls selling handicrafts, experiential workshops and live performances. All proceeds from the anniversary event, together with additional matching funds from the Swire Trust, will be donated to the 15 partnering organisations to support their programmes.
Swire Properties’ Chief Executive Mr Guy Bradley hosted an opening ceremony today which was attended by guest of honour Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, Secretary for Labour and Welfare, as well as senior representatives of the co-organising NGO partners.
“Since its founding 15 years ago, the Swire Properties’ Community Ambassador Programme has always been at the heart of our company,” said Mr Bradley. “We are proud to say that the programme has not only grown in size, but also in its reach to the community and the variety of its tailor-made projects. Today marks yet another milestone and we are delighted to team up with 15 of our long-term NGO partners to showcase the programme’s accomplishments, and most importantly to promote social inclusion as a team.”
Guest of honour Mr Matthew Cheung said during the ceremony: “I am glad that more enterprises are responding positively to the Government's call to establish a caring society by sparing no effort in helping the disadvantaged and participating in poverty alleviation work. LOVE'S TEAM organised by Swire Properties is one of the role models. This also reflects that Hong Kong is undergoing a quiet social revolution in moving towards a more caring community. This is also borne out by the rising number of corporate volunteer teams and increasing acceptance of the concept of corporate social responsibilities.”
LOVE’S TEAM is the first cross-sector community event in Hong Kong initiated by a corporate and co-organised by multiple social welfare organisations. From conceptualisation and event organisation to venue decoration, the event thoroughly demonstrates the spirit of cooperation and teamwork amongst the participating charitable organisations. Evolving around the theme of “upcycling” and with the help of the event’s creative partner and co-organising NGO, St. James' Settlement Jockey Club Upcycling Centre, the charitable organisations closely collaborated on designing and producing original art pieces and handicrafts to be featured at the event. The Community Ambassadors and the 15 participating NGOs are each hosting individual stalls; either to sell their featured handicraft products or run experiential workshops to create awareness for their good causes.
The event also features a series of inclusion-themed performances, including crossovers between people with disabilities and celebrated musical artists, including Phil Lam, Hanjin Tan, Feanna Wong and Supper Moment. One of the highlights includes a fashion show featuring 30 representatives from social welfare organisations and Community Ambassadors, who will walk down the runway donning outfits designed by eco-friendly fashion designers. In addition, a series of short films starring celebrities such as Helena Law Lan, Hanjin Tan and Suki Chui were rolled out prior to the event on its official Facebook page (SwireLovesTeam) to spread the message of social inclusion to the wider community.
Guided by the philosophy of “building communities”, Swire Properties established its Community Ambassador Programme in 2001. The employee-led programme seeks to help the elderly, the disabled, children and disadvantaged families in the community, drawing volunteers from an ever-growing network of employees, their families and friends, business partners, tenants, customers and subsidiary companies of Swire. Swire Properties’ employees design and organise all of the programme’s activities, and contribute their skills, professional expertise and resources to support those in need. Over the past 15 years, the Community Ambassador team has grown from 40 to over 1,500 Ambassadors, who have contributed over 75,200 service hours and participated in over 650 activities to benefit more than 75,000 people in the community.