Founder, project 50 (P50)
Executive Senior Financial Planner, Great Eastern Life | Arrows Private Limited
(In her 50's)
Her story (in her own words)
I started project 50 (P50) with the help of meetup platform in beginning 2021 when I turned 50 years old. The objective of p50 is to create a community for my peers in the 50s to go further together, and to give back to society.
This generation weathered through much technological changes and transitions from pagers to mobile phones, from hard copy address books and slow mails to internet and emails. In these transitions and busy life seasons, we lost many of our childhood friends and also became too busy to make new friends with enough intentionality.
P50 gives this lost generation a platform to make new friendships to journey through the next 50 years of our lives. P50 has grown from the first 6 who met at Tras street to 370 today with more waiting to be accepted into the community. We went from holding a face to face meeting once a month to having at least two to three activities every month. This was possible as various ones rose up to support and run activities beyond Hazel. Activities such as retro nights and healthy walks sprung up, in addition to the core regular monthly meetups which focus on conversations.
P50 is like a revolving door, people can come and go whenever they are able to or not. We are chill yet committed to keep running for the next 50 years as we believe that we will have longer lives. Therefore, we want to ensure intentional health, wealth, relationships and purpose to go long as well. And when we are well, we will be able to give to others in the society such as the younger and the older ones.
By the time we hit our 50s and 60s, some of our decisions earlier in our lives would have eroded our relationships, health, wealth and purpose. However, with a community's support, we can become stronger and make better decisions for more effective, healthy and happy lives. Together, we can go further.
When you talk to various one in P50, especially the regulars, they will speak fondly of this community. Essentially they find this gives them a community which they hoped for, to grow old with in an organic and natural manner. There is a comfort in hanging out with our own generation as we understand each other's language and resonate with each other's stories.
It has also benefited me personally as I keep learning from the various people who turned up from their war stories of resilience, responsibility and courage.
Given that this generation is not after the spotlight and is hidden most times. We pragmatically and responsibly live most of our lives without drama as much as we can. However, we cannot escape the spotlight on us now as our society and nation look to us as leaders with the generation before us retiring. It is now our time to arise. It's our time to lead with courage and integrity. With great power comes great responsibility. We strive to make better decisions with the support of this community.
The intention was to create a safe space to talk through what we need to work on to make our 50s productive and inspiring, thereby making better life decisions. The premise is that when we are well, we will have the propensity to give back and pay forward to society (or simply to people around us), beyond ourselves.
I end off with the famous quote from the baseball movie Field of Dreams (1989) when Kevin Costner played the role as Ray Kinsella. The story follows Kinsella after a mysterious voice urges him to build a baseball field in the cornfield outside his house - If you build it, he will come. Despite protests from both his friends and family, Ray builds the field which summons the ghosts of former baseball players to play the game once again.
Such is the Project 50 community initiative - if you build it, they will come!
Grow a community for the 50s and 60s with Project 50 via meetup from scratch. First meeting of 6 on 7 Feb 2021 at Tras Street cafe through various Covid constraints till today at 380 members with 30 to 35 turning up for monthly meetings, walks, retro nights and more.
We are a generation in search of community, friendships and purpose, something that we may have lost in the transition of our busy lives in our first 50 years. Interestingly we are also called out and defined by Singapore government as young seniors, aka majulah generation.
With our past mistakes behind us, we trudge forward together with friends who understand our language and our past. We make better decisions from now and are poised to give back to society with our resources of time, energy, expertise and finance.
Biggest challenge thus far
When I run a public group like project 50 where strangers turn up, I do meet people from different walks of life and sometimes we may meet individuals who are less accepted by the group. In such cases, I have to balance between the needs of the majority and protect the dignity of those who are different socially. As a leader, I cannot just bend to the preferences of the majority without considering the needs of the minority. I am glad that my core team is respectful of my difficult decisions in this area. As a result, I do have such individuals thriving alongside others, giving them access to community like everyone else.
what judges say
The social aggregator and connector!
Hazel's dedication to creating a platform that promotes healthier and happier lives for the community is remarkable.