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In The Force

Realising his dream of joining the Force through volunteering

As part of the Citizens on Patrol (COP) volunteer scheme, Mr Shamshul Haniz Selamat plays a vital role in championing community safety.

TEXT AND PHOTOS: HOME TEAM VOLUNTEER NETWORK

After an injury derailed his aspirations of joining the Singapore Police Force, Mr Shamshul Haniz Selamat found a new avenue to serve his community – by volunteering with the Citizens on Patrol (COP) scheme.

His journey is an example of how determination and a passion for service can shape one’s path in life. “Joining COP was as close as I could get to being part of the Force,” shares the 35-year-old portering senior supervisor, who had first learnt about COP while he was on reservist. “It caught my interest by offering me an alternative way to contribute to crime prevention and public education.”

BUILDING A SAFER COMMUNITY BEYOND PATROLLING

As a volunteer with the Home Team (Punggol NPC), Mr Shamshul takes to the streets for two-hour patrols around the neighbourhood once a month. However, his responsibilities extend beyond routine surveillance. His role is pivotal in enhancing the well-being of his community through awareness and engagement. “It’s about ensuring safety and educating the public about rising crimes as well as crime prevention measures,” he explains.

A father of three, Mr Shamshul derives a sense of accomplishment from contributing to a safer environment as well as fostering a sense of security and reassurance among the residents in his community.

FORGING CONNECTIONS AND OVERCOMING CHALLENGES  

A key aspect of Mr Shamshul’s responsibilities as a volunteer is to engage with and educate the community.

Mr Shamshul’s experience in COP is filled with memorable encounters, such as inspiring a fellow resident who expressed interest in joining the patrol team.

He recalls one particularly meaningful interaction during a home visit in his first year with COP. “A resident was happy to see us doing our rounds and gathered every member of her household to listen to what we had to share. Moments later, she was spreading the word through WhatsApp, urging her relatives and friends to pass on the information to protect their loved ones before they fell victim.”

Such interactions not only help to strengthen community bonds, but also highlight the significance of the COP scheme. “The community is appreciative of our presence, and is keen to listen and very attentive,” says Mr Shamshul, who adds that he has observed fewer complaints and incidents within the communities he patrols.

KNOWLEDGE IS KEY TO NATIONAL SECURITY

Mr Shamshul believes in the collective impact of volunteerism to build a stronger community.

Mr Shamshul believes his role significantly contributes to Singapore’s safety by educating the public about current crimes and scams. Through his work with COP, he relays essential information from the Neighbourhood Police Centre’s Officer-in-Charge to his personal and community networks.

He shares a key insight from his experiences: “Working with COP has taught me the importance of adapting our means of communication to suit different preferences. Some people respond better to personal interactions and visual aids, rather than solely on oral communication.”

During his patrols, Mr Shamshul always prioritises a friendly approach when engaging with the public and introducing his team and COP’s purpose – an effort that has proven effective in rapidly disseminating important updates within the community.

In this way, he plays a key role in crisis management and information sharing, reinforcing the tenets of Total Defence with every interaction.

RALLYING TOGETHER TO KEEP SINGAPORE STRONG

Mr Shamshul encourages those who have been contemplating volunteering with the Home Team to “do it with an open heart and mind”. Emphasising the broader impact of such volunteer work, he adds: “Our efforts help in raising awareness, which is integral to Total Defence.”

A testament to how a positive attitude can lead to meaningful contributions within the community, Mr Shamshul’s story also serves as a reminder of how every individual’s effort counts towards the collective strength and resilience of Singapore.

To get to know him better, we had Mr Shamshul play a game of “Would You Rather?”.

Here are his answers and the reasons why:

1. Power of flight – “To respond quickly in urgent situations.”

2. ⁠Only watch comedy films – “After a long day’s work, some laughter is what you need.”

3. ⁠Time travel 100 years backwards – “To understand lessons of the past and look at what could have been done better”.

Join the Home Team Volunteer Network and make a difference in your community today! Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to learn more about our 11 different volunteer schemes and how you can contribute.

 

Like our stories? Subscribe to our Frontline Digital newsletters now! Simply download the HomeTeamNS Mobile App and update your communication preference to ‘Receive Digital Frontline Magazine’, through the App Settings.

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Shape Up

7 Fun Ways You Can Keep Fit And Healthy This Lunar New Year

Make time amid your busy visiting schedule to enjoy activities such as bowling and laser tag with your family.

PHOTOS: HOMETEAMNS; NATIONAL PARKS BOARD; FLICKR USER NOVA;

TEXT: BEATRICE BOWERS

According to CNA, most people consume 39% more calories than usual during festive seasons, and nearly 45% of them gain an average of 1.7kg during the Lunar New Year. While indulging in food is done in the spirit of the season, it’s still important to look after your health and fitness, especially if you’ve got a busy schedule visiting relatives and going to parties.

Here are seven things to do — both indoor and outdoor — to help you stay fit despite consuming copious amounts of pineapple tarts, including family-friendly activities to maximise your bonding time.

1. Head to the bowling rink

Burn calories and work out your muscles while having fun with your loved ones at the bowling alley. We’d recommend knocking down those pins at SuperBowl located at HomeTeamNS Khatib or StarBowl at HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok (open daily till midnight) — both of which will be open throughout the Lunar New Year. Public holiday rates start from $3.50 per game, so you can play to your heart’s content.

BONUS: HomeTeamNS members enjoy a 10% discount on games at SuperBowl (Khatib) and 15% discount on games at StarBowl (Bukit Batok).

2. Book a laser tag session

Laser tag, which combines the games of Hide-and-Seek and Tag, is an excellent way to get a solid cardio workout. Dodging laser beams, darting to hiding spots and rushing to ambush your opponents will quicken your heart rate and get your blood pumping. Book a game at HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok’s Laser Quest — open throughout the Lunar New Year — which features atmospheric lighting and pulsating beats to keep your energy level high. This is also a great team-bonding activity to consider if you’re planning a Lunar New Year company event.

BONUS: HomeTeamNS members enjoy exclusive member rates at S$4.07 per game for Laser Quest.

3. Go on a hike

This festive period is a great time to escape the traffic and embark on an invigorating hike with the fam at one of the many parks and nature trails around Singapore. Head to the Southern Ridges, which comprises 10 km of green, open spaces that connect Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park, HortPark, Kent Ridge Park, and Labrador Nature Reserve. Here, stroll through the architecturally-stunning Henderson Waves and spot wildlife such as the Greater Racket-tailed Drongo and Brahminy Kite.

4. Head to the gym

It’s easier said than done, but visiting the gym is already half the battle won. If you don’t have time to stick to your usual workout regime, don’t fret. Just make the most of your time by working up a sweat with brisk treadmill walks, a 20-minute High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) session, or peddling a stationary bike for 15 minutes at any of HomeTeamNS’ Fitness Workz gyms. We especially recommend the Fitness Workz Garage at HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir, which boasts a state-of-the-art functional training zone equipped with a customised multi-functional octagon training frame rig featuring battle ropes, a punching bag, and a cross-core system.

BONUS: HomeTeamNS members enjoy special rates starting from $262.41 for a 12-month membership.

5. Organise a healthier potluck

Organising a healthy potluck for your reunion dinner is a delightful way to celebrate without compromising wellness. Encourage participants to embrace traditional flavors with a nutritious twist, opting for lean proteins, whole grains, and abundant veggies. Try these healthier recipes and encourage your guests to bake their own  goodies using almond flour or coconut sugar for less-guilty indulgences. 

6. End the day with yoga

Yoga promotes physical strength, flexibility, and balance while enhancing mental well-being through stress reduction and improved focus, contributing to overall holistic health. This will help you start the Year of the Dragon on the right foot. Squeeze in a 10 to 15minutes workout guided by YouTube tutorials from the comfort of your own home, or join an outdoor class by the Yoga for Peace and Balance group, which may include gentler movements to warm up, followed by more challenging standing poses, balances, inversions, and peak poses.

7. Go for a swim

Swimming provides a full-body workout that helps burn calories and improve cardiovascular health, which is especially important when you’ve been indulging in rich foods. Cool off from that relentless February heat at any of the HomeTeamNS clubhouse pools, including the 50m, six-lane infinity pool overlooking the reservoir at HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir. Your little ones will love splashing about at HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok’s kids’ pool, which features slides and installations inspired by Singapore Police Force (SPF) and Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) vehicles.

BONUS: HomeTeamNS Ordinary, Associate, Family, and Corporate Members get to enjoy free pool access.

How to stay healthy this Lunar New Year

1. Drink green tea

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine principles, consuming ‘heaty’ food in excess,such as those eaten during the Lunar New Year,can cause symptoms such as fever, sore throat, mouth ulcers, acne, excessive thirst, redness of the skin, and irritability. Drink green tea, which is unfermented and rarely oxidised, and thus believed to have a cooling effect on the body — besides being rich in antioxidants.

2. Stretch after every meal

Once you’re done eating, get up, take a quick walk around the space, and stretch your muscles. Stretching after a heavy meal can aid digestion, alleviate discomfort, and promote relaxation, contributing to overall well-being and reducing the potential for post-meal sluggishness.

3. Eat before visiting

Don’t go visiting hungry, because you’ll tend to overeat. Instead, have a high-fiber, nutritious snack before going to see your loved ones, and you’re more likely to make better snacking choices.

Like our stories? Subscribe to our Frontline Digital newsletters now! Simply download the HomeTeamNS Mobile App and update your communication preference to ‘Receive Digital Frontline Magazine’, through the App Settings.

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