“Hello! What’s your name? What’s your favourite food? What are your hobbies?” asks Max excitedly while waving to staff volunteers whom he is meeting for the first time. These are some questions that special needs trainees like Max are taught at the TOUCH Centre for Independent Living (TCIL) during their personal social skills class to break the ice when meeting new people.
As part of TOUCH’s 30th Anniversary celebrations, staff volunteers got the opportunity to facilitate lessons run across three days at TCIL.
What does a normal day look like for a special needs trainee at TCIL? Through lessons like financial planning, housekeeping, personal social skills, snack-making and more, trainees learn functional knowledge and skills to equip them to live independently in the community.
Trainees learning about values like gentleness and patience during their personal social skills class.
From discussing their favourite football club to sharing about where to find the most delicious Western food in Bukit Merah, the trainees and staff volunteers soon warmed up to one another. “I was initially worried about engaging the trainees as I’ve never volunteered with them before. When the lessons started, I realised my worries were unfounded as they were all so friendly and easy-going,” shares Chloe Chng from the Communications team.
Guiding trainees as they learn how to make a simple snack with cornflakes during their snack-making class.
Staff volunteers took on a supervisory role, watching over the trainees as they carried out activities like vacuuming and cleaning their classroom during their housekeeping class. During music and expression class, trainees took turns to showcase their dance moves as they sang along to Disney classics and old-school hits from the Beatles.
Learning the importance of communication through a game of broken telephone charades.
Shermaine Chua from the Communications team shares, “The volunteering experience was enriching and has made me understand that daily activities which seem normal might be a challenge for the trainees. However, with patience, kindness and understanding, the trainees are able to carry out these activities independently. I'm glad for the opportunity to volunteer with persons with special needs!”
It was a fruitful three-days of volunteering with the trainees at TCIL and our staff volunteers look forward to the next time that they can head down again!
For more information about our 30th anniversary, please visit www.touch.org.sg/30yearswithtouch! If you'll like to volunteer at TCIL, please drop an email to [email protected] to find out more.