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Ocean Park x Sino Group Golden Age Volunteer Programme 2019 Finishes with Record Number of Participants


Latest survey shows programme participants more likely to take action to protect the environment than the average person

Ocean Park’s annual volunteer programme, the Ocean Park x Sino Group Golden Age Volunteer Programme, finished the 2019 edition with more retirees taking part than ever before, and a 75% surge in number of participants from one year ago. A survey conducted by the Park shows that programme participants are more likely to engage in environmentally friendly actions and show a higher awareness of conservation issues compared to the general population.
An Ocean Park survey of 74 Golden Age Volunteers (the programme group) and 108 people aged 45 or above (the public group) was held in June and July to gauge their behaviour, verbal commitment, attitudes and knowledge towards conservation and environmental protection endeavours. Results showed that the programme group scored better in all four categories. Some 90% of Golden Age Volunteers said they have stopped eating shark fin, compared to 59% of the public group. With regard to the call to go plastic straw-free, a movement advocated by different sectors in recent years, close to 90 per cent (87%) of respondents from the programme group said they will not take any straws when ordering iced drinks, compared to only 50% of the public group.
Apart from taking actions in a bid to contribute to conservation in daily life, Golden Age Volunteers are also notably more willing to share conservation messages with others. While 87 per cent of respondents from the programme group will promote sustainable seafood to others, just 43 per cent of the public group are willing to do so.  Meanwhile, an overwhelming 83% of Golden Age Volunteers are interested in joining environmental-friendly activities – 57 percentage points more than 36% of the public group.
“We are pleased to see that the Golden Age Volunteer Programme helps promote actions for conservation and an intent to spread conservation messages. The programme not only promotes volunteerism and caring for the environment, but also channels the skills of Hong Kong’s growing retiree population into a resource for conservation education,” said Matthias Li, Chief Executive of Ocean Park. “The first edition of the programme was launched in 2016 with just eight participants. The number has multiplied nine-fold to 74 participants in 2019, which is extremely encouraging. The Park has received many guest compliments on the rich knowledge of the Golden Age Volunteers and their passion for the environment. We plan to expand the programme and invite more retirees to join our conservation force via public recruitment.”
Sunny Yeung, Executive Director of Sino Group said: “This is our second consecutive year of participation in this meaningful programme. We would like to congratulate our partner, Ocean Park, on this multifaceted initiative. Through the programme, Golden Age docents can transfer their valuable knowledge and experience to younger generations, having a positive impact on the docents, park visitors and the broader community. We are impressed by the knowledge and commitment of the Golden Age volunteers, and touched by their passion and enthusiasm. We look forward to further opportunities for collaborations with Ocean Park to benefit more people.”
Sponsored by the Sino Group and Ng Teng Fong Charitable Foundation, Ocean Park x Sino Group Golden Age Volunteer Programme 2019 recruited 74 retirees aged between 45 and 73 as conservation ambassadors and narrators at Ocean Park with assistance from the Golden Age Foundation.  These Golden Age Volunteers contributed 9,871 hours of their time to promote animal and conservation messages at the Park, reaching over 110,000 visitors in total from September 2018 to June 2019.