In a bid to flatten the curve and control the spread of the COVID-19 virus within the community, Singapore entered into an unprecedented two-month ‘circuit breaker’ period from April to June 2020. Under the circuit breaker, the public is required to stay home where possible and practice safe social distancing at all times.
This means people are only allowed to leave their homes for essential purposes such as buying groceries, exercising, seeking medical attention and other necessities. Schools and non-essential businesses have closed and many workplaces have implemented work-from-home arrangements, leaving Singapore’s usually bustling and high-density city almost void of human traffic - we’re ranked #3 on the list of the world’s most densely populated countries!
Unfortunately, it’s not just human traffic that has come to a halt. Donations and volunteering numbers have also dropped significantly since the onset of COVID-19. As the country focused its attention and resources on battling the pandemic, there was also an urgent need to uplift the most vulnerable in our community who are among the hardest hit by this situation.
The Invictus Fund
The risk of infection through close contact meant social service agencies would have to adapt to new ways of service delivery quickly. Recognising this, Singapore’s National Council of Social Service responded by setting up The Invictus Fund to ensure continuity of critical social services for vulnerable individuals and families amid these challenging times.
Vishnu Shahaney, Head of South East Asia, India and the Middle East at ANZ says “many of our staff expressed how they wish to play a part in something meaningful and impactful, which triggered our fundraising effort in support of The Invictus Fund.
“It’s been heartwarming but not surprising to see that many feel a personal responsibility to help those whose livelihoods and wellbeing are being impacted by the current disruption. Our purpose at ANZ is to shape a world where people and communities thrive and we knew we would be able to make a larger positive impact if we combined all our efforts,” he says.
Going the extra mile to rally support from his team mates, David Arms, Head of Trading and Product Desk Risk Management at ANZ, pledged to cycle 300km on his stationary bike in support of The Invictus Fund and sped past the virtual finishing line after 11 grueling hours.
“When ANZ Singapore decided to support The Invictus Fund, it was already aligned to my thinking. I decided to do my bit to try and make a difference. I was thinking of those people, for who this strange reality we find ourselves in, is actually their normality. Whether they’re sick, disabled or the elderly, they need our help every day,” David says.