Grassroots NPC deputy Yu Mei endeavors to turn community into warm home for residents

Photo shows Yu Mei, a grassroots deputy to China’s top legislature, the National People’s Congress, cutting hair for a 95-year-old resident who has no family. (Photo/People’s Daily Online)

On the last weekend of February this year, Yu Mei, a community-level deputy to the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislature, was still working in a service center for members of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the people of Lishuyuan residential community in Xincun neighborhood, Zhushan district, Jingdezhen city, east China’s Jiangxi province.


“There’s no matter that can be taken lightly in community work. Community workers need to forge close bonds with residents and foster unity in the community, so as to make it a warm home for everyone,” Yu said.


Yu, who is also head of the Lishuyuan residential community committee and secretary of the CPC committee in the community, knows the importance of community work too well from her own experience.


Yu has been working on the front line of the country’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic during the past year.


In February last year, Yu set up a temporary Party branch and an emergency response team for the prevention and control of the COVID-19.


Members of the temporary Party branch and emergency response team have been assigned different tasks according to their ages, specialties, and health condition, such as online emergency psychological counseling, working in shifts at the anti-epidemic checkpoints of the community, as well as delivering drugs and daily supplies for people with chronic diseases and special groups.


“Our community workers and volunteers have tried their best to lead residents in fighting the pandemic with solidarity,” Yu said.


One day, Yu received a phone call from a 95-year-old woman surnamed Pan in her community, who has no family and is usually taken care of by a nanny. The elderly woman mentioned over phone that since the barbershops were closed due to the pandemic, her hair had grown too long and started to make her uncomfortable.


Yu and a volunteer then came to Pan’s home to wash and cut her hair. “She held my hands and thanked me again and again that day,” Yu recalled, saying that she and the community volunteers are like Pan’s children, and have grown a close affinity with her.


During her work over the past more than one year, Yu has been particularly touched by residents’ enthusiasm for volunteer work as many residents have applied to become a volunteer after seeing the recruitment notice.


Liang Xinmin, a senior resident in the Lishuyuan community, had repeatedly tried to persuade Yu to agree to his request for joining the volunteer team.


“Although I’m an old man now, I’m still in good condition. As an old Party member, I have always wanted to do something for the people,” Liang stressed in his messages sent to Yu.


At last, Yu included Liang in the emergency response team of the community, and made him one of the volunteers in charge of publicity-related work for the COVID-19 fight.


Last September, Yu was awarded the honorary title of “national role model in the fight against the COVID-19”, which she considered as the best recognition she can get for her work in the fight.


In order to better solve problems for residents, Yu has established several dedicated platforms and channels to make it easier for people to seek and receive help, and set up a service team with the support of Party organizations in the community and public welfare social organizations.


One of the platforms named “Yu Mei’s workroom” has recruited more than 100 public-spirited volunteers in the community, and provided help and services for residents for several thousand times.


“‘Yu Mei’s workroom’ has become our signature now, which inspires me to spread our motto of serving the people diligently and earnestly among more community workers,” Yu said with a happy smile.


As a grassroots NPC deputy, Yu has reflected the issues she encountered and ideas she had during work in her proposals and suggestions submitted to the annual session of the NPC.


Her proposals submitted to this year’s annual session of the NPC, which kicked off on March 5, are also closely related to community work and social governance, and her suggestions cover such issues as accelerating and promoting the cultivation of new social governance capabilities, speeding up the development of the integration of Internet into old-age care undertakings, and carrying forward the volunteer spirit.

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