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Ocean Park “Care For You” Award Offers 12,000 Tickets to Hong Kong’s Most Caring Students


HKU findings reveal a caring culture has positive impacts on students' mental health

Ocean Park today commended 6,000 secondary school students for demonstrating a caring attitude towards their peers and actively helping their schools establish a caring culture at the “Care For You” Award Presentation Ceremony. To celebrate the achievements, the Park awarded the students with 12,000 admission tickets along with “Get Closer to the Animals” experience for ten “Campus Caring Ambassador” award winners.
In addition, The University of Hong Kong’s Department of Social Work and Social Administration (HKU) announced its latest research findings on the effectiveness of positive education programmes in secondary schools at the ceremony. The results showed that a caring school culture with empathy has a positive impact towards students’ mental health. A research was conducted by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention, HKU to understand whether positive mental health education programmes have a positive impact on students, especially on improving mental well-being of students in Hong Kong. The research study involves 12 secondary schools and over 1,400 student participants. During the academic year, half of the students took part in a teacher-led positive education mental health programme organised by HKU. The lessons focused on key topics such as gratitude, character strengths, emotions management, empathy and communication skills, etc. Preliminary results showed that students who were placed in the programme for a year were better in self-esteem, gratitude and empathy, compared to students who did not take part in the programme.
Professor Paul Yip Siu Fai, Department of Social Work and Social Administration, The University of Hong Kong said, “Our research showed that fostering an empathetic and caring school atmosphere had a positive impact on student’s mental health. In light of our findings we have been building and expanding a network to help develop positive attitudes and values in schools in Hong Kong. The ‘Care For You’ Award recognises students who go out of their way to show a caring attitude towards their peers in schools, and also helps improve students’ emotional well-being and mental health.”
Three Campus Caring Ambassadors shared their inspiring stories on stage at today’s ceremony. One of the students, Ng Hoi Ling, who attends HKTA The Yuen Yuen Institute No.1 Secondary School, was a new student who came to Hong Kong from the mainland a few years ago. She was once shy and worried about how she would fit into local school life. She became involved with the school’s “Dolphin Group”, which aims to help new comers to adapt to Hong Kong’s local learning environment, and made new friends. This boosted her confidence in the social circle and inspired her to reach out and help others.
Hoi Ling said, “I am very grateful to the school for setting up the “Dolphin Group” to help new students. The teacher assigned a senior student to be my mentor who provided me with counsel and assistance. I gradually assimilated into the school culture and environment, and felt that I was part of an extended family. Joining the group influenced me so much that I decided to become a mentor to help others in a similar situation. This led me to help a fellow student who was forced to move out of her home due to family problems. I invited both my teachers and other Dolphin Group members to support and help her move to a new flat – it was a meaningful and unforgettable experience! In addition, we make a promise every year that the Dolphin Group members will visit Ocean Park together, where everyone can get out of the school environment, relax, and get to know each other better.”
This is the fourth year that Ocean Park has collaborated with the Committee on Home-School Co-operation (CHSC) and HKU. This year, the “Care For You” Award Scheme presented students with 12,000 Ocean Park general admission tickets and 20 “Get Closer to the Animals” gift vouchers at a total value of more than HK$5.7 million. The response to the Scheme was very encouraging with close to 6,000 students from 310 secondary schools being nominated by teachers. Furthermore, ten most outstanding students were recognised as “Campus Caring Ambassadors”.
Matthias Li, Chief Executive of Ocean Park, said, “As Hong Kong people’s Park, Ocean Park cares about the education for our next generation and is committed to promoting holistic development of young people as well as their physical and mental health. This is the fourth year Ocean Park collaborates with HKU and CHSC to organise an award scheme, themed “Care For You” this year. I am delighted that as partners, we share the common goal of establishing and supporting a caring culture in schools, which also allows students to take this opportunity to relax and enjoy with their friends on our wonderful edutainment offerings, while learning at the same time.”
Henry Tong, Chairman of the Committee on Home-School Co-operation, said, “This year, the ‘Care For You’ Award Scheme targeted all secondary school students in Hong Kong. The purpose was to encourage students to show care for other students and establish an emotional support network among their peers. We were happy to see that the students joined a range of caring culture-related activities, which benefited themselves and their schools. We also learned a lot from the short essays and films submitted by students who wanted to be ‘Campus Caring Ambassadors’, and better understood the proactive actions students took to help their peers. We hope that the ‘Campus Caring Ambassadors’ will continually and actively promote a caring culture and enjoy a pleasant school life in the future.”