SPD Gives Back to the Community

It was the first time that five Microsoft YouthSpark scholarships were awarded to outstanding young Singaporeans with disabilities in a single year.

Our organisational excellence journey takes us to other voluntary welfare organisations this year, giving us the opportunity to give back to the community that has given to us so much, and reigniting the passion we have for our work.


Community Partnerships @ HCA Hospice Care
Staff from the Community Partnership (CP) division visited the HCA Hospice Care on 8 May where they took over the kitchen at HCA Hospice Care and cooked up a storm for 85 day care and stay-in patients.

HCA Hospice Care provides comfort and support to up to 850 patients with life-limiting illnesses at any point of time. The CP team started the day early with a trip to the wet markets and it was a flurry of activities in the kitchen after that to get the food ready to the table for lunch. For them, this culinary experience helped to reaffirm their passion for the social service sector.

Organisational Development division @ Peacehaven Nursing Home
Staff from the Organisational Development division brought much joy to the elderly residents of The Salvation Army’s Peacehaven Nursing Home as they spent a fruitful afternoon on 15 July accompanying the residents on a shopping trip to a hypermarket followed by lunch.

Willing Hearts
A number of SPD teams took turns to volunteer at Willing Hearts, a non-profit organisation which runs a soup kitchen to provide 4,500 warm meals every day for those in need of help.

Therapists and admin staff from our Rehabilitation Centre and SPD Therapy Hub volunteered at the kitchen on 16 July. With sacks of potatoes and bags of vegetable before them, both teams were all smiles as the staff took it in their stride to prepare meals. They were also quick on their feet as they knew not to cause any delays that would keep the beneficiaries hungry.

Cally Gwee, administration executive of SPD Therapy Hub, said: “It’s a meaningful experience and an eye opener for me. I realise now the effort needed to prepare the meals. It’s really not easy and requires passion to serve the community!”

Staff from SPD@Tampines too worked hard in the kitchen on the morning of 29 July before the baton was passed to Building Bridges EIPIC Centre at HQ as they scurried in the kitchen in the afternoon to prepare what were needed for the next meal.

Ten staff from the Corporate Services Division spent the morning of 21 August cleaning and preparing more than 50 cartons of vegetables for cooking. It seemed like a daunting task for the team of ten but their enthusiasm made the work they faced look much easier.

SPD@Toa Payoh @ Canossaville Children’s Home
Staff from SPD@Toa Payoh spent the afternoon of 23 July at the Canossaville Children’s Home to get the venue ready for an activity organised to help bond the children and their family.

With a lot of hard work needed to clean, decorate and remove furniture in the multi-purpose hall, the occasion allowed the team an opportunity to work together for the benefit of the children of the home. The volunteers also donated more than $500 worth of necessities to the home.

June Yeo, an administration co-ordinator at SPD@Toa Payoh, said: ‘This meaningful activity provides another platform for our team to work together and contribute our little effort to the community.”

Sheltered Workshop and Employment Support Programme @ Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
Having decided on a nature-related activity, the Sheltered Workshop and Employment Support Programme team of 23 headed to the great outdoors at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on 24 July afternoon with a plan to remove invasive plant species to prevent them from encroaching the habitat of our native plants. Not only did they learn about the various wildlife at the reserve, they also found the ‘tug-of-war’ with the vines to be a great workout and team bonding activity.

“It was a cathartic activity which also lent much-needed exercise to me but best of all, it was wonderful to see everyone working shoulder-to-shoulder as we braved the heat to play our little part for local biodiversity conservation,” said employment support specialist Camy Boey.

SPD Day Activity Centre @ AMK-THK Community Hospital
The Day Activity Centre (DAC) team spent the afternoon of 24 July engaging the patients of AMK-THK Community Hospital in flower-making and beads activity. It was a wonderful experience for the team who interacted with the clients and guided them in the activities.

Ritesh Sinha, who oversaw the centre, said: “Though all of the patients who participated in the activities had some disabilities, their level of commitment towards what they are doing made us believe that one’s positive attitude towards life is very important to bring the best out of it. This positive attitude was reflected in our conversation with one of the patients who commented that if he believes he could do something, he would surely be able to do it.”

Community & Social Service Department @ Lentor Residence
Social workers, case management officers and admin staff from the Community & Social Service Department were at Lentor Residence on 28 July where they spent the afternoon befriending the elderly residents.

The home provides care and residential facilities to create a holistic lifestyle for the elderly. A simple activity of vegetable printing was a novel and effective ice-breaker, which thoroughly intrigued the residents. A repertoire of evergreen songs kept the rapport going, building wonderful memories that balmy July afternoon.

Specialised Assistive Technology Centre @ Mutts & Mittens
Our furry friends from Mutts & Mittens have been providing much joy to our DAC clients for many years through the pet therapy programme. The tables were turned on the afternoon of 30 July when staff from the Specialised Assistive Technology Centre (Specialised ATC) chose to visit the animals at their home instead.

Dedicated to animal welfare, Mutts & Mittens has about 100 rescued dogs, cats and rabbits under their care. While the team spent the day caring for and cleaning up the older animals that needed medical care, they received so much more in return.

“It was a very good learning experience as most of us have never been to a home for rescued animals. It is heart-warming to witness the dedication the centre’s staff put in at Mutts & Mittens,” said senior occupational therapist Tan Chuan Hoh.

Advocacy, Outreach & Training division @ Breast Cancer Foundation
The Breast Cancer Foundation (BCF) organises its signature “Wear the Pink Ribbon” campaign in September/October in conjunction with the Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October each year.

Eight staff from the Advocacy, Outreach & Training (AO) division were at BCF on the afternoon of 11 August to help prepare the donation boxes for the campaign, in the process proposing ways to improve the process. They were happy to contribute towards BCF’s awareness effort and valued the opportunity to bond as a team.