In urgent response to the fifth wave of COVID-19, The Hong Kong Jockey Club announced today (3 March) a new round of pandemic relief initiatives, including the provision of rapid antigen test kits to eligible NGOs and support for the expansion of community pharmacy services operated by NGOs.
True to its commitment to the betterment of our society, the Club is standing strong with the community. On top of its continuing support for a broad range of community needs, the Club has approved over HK$1.7 billion in additional funding over the past two years to address the impact of the pandemic, including HK$209 million announced today and over the last two weeks in response to the fifth wave. Cumulatively over three million people have benefited.
“These are extraordinary times and they call for extraordinary fortitude. Hong Kong has gone through many challenges in the past but each time we have prevailed through our optimism, pragmatism and ‘can-do’ spirit. The Club is doing its utmost and I believe that together we will overcome the pandemic,” said Philip Chen, Chairman of The Hong Kong Jockey Club.
Mindful of the significant challenge of the fifth wave, The Hong Kong Jockey Club is working closely with NGO partners to roll out the following initiatives in early and mid-March.
500,000 Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) Kits for NGOs
The Club will support the Hong Kong Council of Social Service in providing more than 500,000 COVID-19 RAT kits to eligible NGOs, helping front-line workers monitor their heath condition and meeting urgent community needs.
Expansion of services provided by NGO-operated Community Pharmacies
To meet the demand for community pharmacy services, Aberdeen Kai-fong Welfare Association, Health in Action, and Lok Sin Tong Benevolent Society, Kowloon have received funding support from the Club to expand their drug dispensing services, pharmaceutical care services and support services for nine months.
Production of additional interactive educational learning kits
With schools again affected by the latest wave of the pandemic, the popular “Keysteps@JC Wonder Boxes” and “Jockey Club STARt-up Resource Kits” will be provided to a further 145,000 kindergarten and primary school students via the Hong Kong Christian Service and The Education University of Hong Kong.
Installation of high-efficiency air purifiers and HEPA filters in residential care homes
The “Jockey Club Facilities Enhancement Scheme for Preparedness at Residential Care Homes” will be expanded in collaboration with the Social Welfare Department to support residential care homes for the elderly, residential care homes for persons with disabilities, and nursing homes with residents/staff members associated with preliminarily positive/confirmed COVID-19 cases to install additional high-efficiency air purifiers and HEPA filters.
Expansion of the Jockey Club Food Assistance Programme
To support the food insecure, including those affected by quarantine measures due to the pandemic, the Club is expanding the scope of the Jockey Club Food Assistance Programme.
Apart from the above initiatives, the Club is in discussion with NGO partners on two programmes to address the unmet social and healthcare needs of vulnerable individuals:
- Affordable access to general outpatient services in the community in view of the conversion of some of the Hospital Authority’s General Outpatient Clinics to designated COVID-19 clinics.
- Caring calls, home visits, delivery of daily necessities, and health supports through NGO partners, supported by the Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Details of both the above programmes will be announced in due course.
The Club’s support for these pandemic relief initiatives, like all of its charity donations, is made possible by its unique integrated business model through which racing and wagering generate tax and charity support for the community.
On top of its continuing support for a broad range of community needs, the Club has approved over HK$1.7 billion in additional funding over the past two years to address the impact of the pandemic. Adopting a ‘speedy’, ‘targeted’ and ‘innovative’ approach it has provided fast-track funding to meet urgent needs and collaborated with partners to devise new ways to reach out to and support the most vulnerable:
- First wave – meeting urgent needs of the disadvantaged, including through the launch of the COVID-19 Emergency Fund to provide fast-track grants to NGOs offering essential services; the distribution of anti-pandemic pack and care packs; and the provision of data plans and SIM cards to underprivileged students to support online learning during school closure periods.
- Second wave – preserving diversity and sustainability in the social, sports and arts sectors through the launch of the Community Sustainability Fund and support for the Hong Kong Arts Development Council’s Arts Go Digital Platform Scheme.
- Third and fourth waves – helping the community cope with the prolonged impact of the pandemic through the launch of the Jockey Club Facilities Enhancement Scheme for Pandemic Preparedness at Residential Care Homes; a food assistance programme for the food insecure; a talent development initiative to support first-time job seekers; and programmes targeting students, elderly singletons and doubletons, low-income families and ethnic minorities.
Please refer to the Appendix for the highlights of the Club’s COVID-19 relief measures over the past two years.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club
Founded in 1884, The Hong Kong Jockey Club is a world-class racing club that acts Founded in 1884, The Hong Kong Jockey Club is a world-class racing club that acts continuously for the betterment of our society. The Club has a unique integrated business model, comprising racing and racecourse entertainment, a membership club, responsible sports wagering and lottery, and charities and community contribution. Through this model, the Club generates economic and social value for the community and supports the Government in combatting illegal gambling. In 2020/21, the Club returned a total of HK$29.4 billion to the community. This included HK$24.9 billion to the Government in duty, profits tax and Lotteries Fund contributions and HK$4.5 billion in approved charity donations. The Club is Hong Kong’s largest single taxpayer and one of the city’s major employers. Its Charities Trust is also one of the world’s top ten charity donors. The Club is always “riding high together for a better future” with the people of Hong Kong.
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