Balances in Law Enforcement Series IV -
Bring Comfort and Wisdom to Others
Officers assume more active roles in voluntary work

1 Photo

As more and more members of the Force are engaged in voluntary work in their spare time, two officers are assuming increasingly active roles in this respect. Inspector Kwok Chi-sing from Marine Region Headquarters and Sergeant Lam Hok-chim from New Territories North Emergency Unit have been working for the Secretariat of the Police Volunteer Service Corps (PVSC) for the past two years, in addition to their own volunteer work for a church and the Agency for Voluntary Service respectively.

Having devoted countless hours of their leisure time to volunteer work over the years, the two officers are now using their related experiences in helping the PVSC motivate more Force members to engage in the work. And they are well qualified for their mission - IP Kwok has been engaged in volunteer work for his church for over 30 years while SGT Lam has been an active member of the Agency for Voluntary Service since 1998.

During an interview with Staff Relations Group, IP Kwok described the PVSC Secretariat as "an invisible information platform" for volunteer work. His main duties are liaising with the organisations requiring the assistance of police volunteer workers, putting all related information on POINT, such as the nature, place and date of the voluntary service required, and the number of police volunteers required, etc. Then he will follow up with e-mails and phone calls to the 41 plus volunteer service teams within the Force.

On the other hand, SGT Lam's main roles at the Secretariat are assisting in logistics, recruitment and promotion.

Higher-level participation

Both officers share the view that their jobs with the Secretariat have taken their involvement in volunteer work to a higher level. Explained IP Kwok: "We've a big 'army' of police volunteer workers, so our volunteer services may be comparatively bigger in scope and scale."

Said SGT Lam: "For me, it's not just participation; there are quite a few other things to do both before and after a project. For example, before the project starts you've to take care of planning, publicity, recruitment and liaison, etc. After the project, the jobs will be to review the outcome and make arrangements to thank the parties concerned."

Apart from helping the PVSC Secretariat, both officers continue participating in their own voluntary work arranged by church and the Agency for Volunteer Service.

As what he has been doing for the past 30 odd years, IP Kwok now regularly visits the elderly suffering from chronic diseases in hospitals, with peers from his church in Tsuen Wan.

Commenting on his hospital visits, he noted: "Those elderly looked so helpless, and wanted care and love so badly. They were so happy to have someone to talk to. The visit meant a lot to them!"

Though being a frontline officer for most of his 20-year career, SGT Lam still manages to devote much of his spare time to voluntary work. In 1998 he joined the Agency for Voluntary Service, playing a more and more active role. At the outset, he took part in a variety of volunteer work, and later helped train up newly recruited voluntary workers.

Like IP Kwok, volunteer work has brought SGT Lam into contact with many people who badly require such service. In particular, he is so glad of having helped children suffering from cerebral palsy. "These kids treasured life and opportunities, and wanted to show they could take part in any activities as a normal person. Seeing them enjoying so much everything you did for them and seeing their smiling faces brought me a lot of satisfaction."

Win-win situation

Speaking of SGT Lam's satisfaction with voluntary work, IP Kwok said: "It's a bit different from job satisfaction. Offering voluntary services will bring a win-win situation, where you'll get a great spiritual satisfaction and the other party is so happy with and appreciate so much everything you've done for them. Your feelings will be spontaneous and direct."

Besides bringing a sense of satisfaction, voluntary work has also broadened the officers' social circles.

"I've built up friendship with a lot of people from different social strata, such as social workers, teachers, doctors, other professionals, students and even housewives. This is another good thing of voluntary work," said SGT Lam.

Both officers pointed out that voluntary work has not affected their family lives. As the work "brings no pressure and is something you can do only when you've time", they need not make any big adjustments in life.

In fact, they have had the full support of their families - IP Kwok's wife is also an active church volunteer worker, sharing a common vision with his husband, and SGT Lam's wife and two children often join him in volunteer work. For SGT Lam's children, it is also an early education in civic responsibilities and community services.

In conclusion, both officers hope that more Force members would support the PVSC's endeavours, pointing out that officers, given their professional training, are capable of making a big contribution. And they are certain that voluntary work is fast becoming another fine tradition of the Force.

Comments by Psychological Services Group

An old Chinese proverb says: "Helping Others Is the Source of Happiness". IP Kwok and SGT Lam actively participate in volunteer work, I believe they are happy people. Apart from these two living examples, a lot of psychological research findings have proved the truth in this Chinese proverb. For instance, it was found that volunteers, through their regular participation in volunteer work, would (1) have an increased sense of purpose in life and less likely to be bored; (2) feel good about themselves for having the ability to help others; (3) have high sense of satisfaction because of the appreciation and gratefulness shown by their service receivers, and (4) have a greater appreciation of their own lives through exposure to people who are less fortunate. All these factors contribute to bringing happiness to volunteers.

As IP Kwok has mentioned, volunteer work brings a win-win situation. Not only the service receivers benefit. When delivering their care to others, volunteers also are rewarded unintentionally with a lot of "invisible benefits" - the wisdoms of happiness in life.

Seek advice and help from the PSG: 2866-6206 (5th floor, 111 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay).

(All cases will be kept in strict confidence.)

Both IP Kwok (right) and SGT Lam call for more support for PVSC

<<Back to Features>> <<Back to Top>>