He guides a team of four other volunteers at the garden on the premises, where they grow vegetables which are given to vulnerable families in the neighbourhood and also used in cooking classes that the organisation holds for ex-offenders.
The 76-year-old said he used to be in the corporate world before retirement, and wants to try his hand at things he has never done.
“There were so many things that I wanted to do but I couldn’t do it. But as I’ve retired, I’ve had so much time and I just want to give back to society, and what better place to get back in rather than in this operation,” he said, adding that seeing other people happy motivates him.
But Mr Ong admitted that at his age, the role can be physically demanding, as he has to wake up at 6am to begin his tasks at 7.30am.
LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT ROLES
The study also urged social service agencies to understand their volunteer pool better, and suggested letting them fill leadership and management roles within the organisations.