Imagine the chords of a piano filling the air in one of our HDB void decks. It may seem out of place but that is exactly what happened at Block 107 Yishun Ring Road at the end of December last year when a talented food delivery rider took a break from work to record himself playing the piano.

Widely shared on social media and subsequently featured in local newspapers, the event setting was none other than the communal space set up by Yishun Family Service @ Children’s Society just beside our centre.

Early days: The humble beginnings of our communal space in April 2022

The idea for the communal space started in April 2022. Our team at Yishun Family Service wanted to bring something different to the community and decided on music and books. Since the centre frequently receives walk-in and call-in donors who give books and other useful items, it was a good opportunity to set up the corner to allow community members to share the resources.

Seven months later: Our communal space grew steadily with more contributions by November 2022

Alongside the donated piano, we placed a foldable table decked with books to see how the community responded. Over time, more books poured in through donations and two bookshelves were added to the space.

Since then, the community members have been contributing a steady stream of books, toys, miscellaneous items and decorations. There are a few community volunteers who tidy the space every week. An elderly lady also pitches in to manage the exchange of books with other community libraries in Woodlands.

Kampung spirit: Residents like Mdm Ng and Alex volunteer their time
to tidy up the corner on a weekly basis

The corner was intentionally set up to encourage a sharing spirit among the community. We believe that everyone, regardless of their backgrounds, have gifts and talents that they can share and contribute. The recent piano performance by the food delivery rider was a perfect embodiment of this spirit.

Since the recent media spotlight, we have seen more donations pouring in – there are more books and other miscellaneous household items and even new decorations to make the space more inviting.

We welcome members of the public who can contribute their skills to tune the piano, organise the books or tidy the space to drop by in their own free time. We hope that this space will provide Yishun residents in the vicinity an opportunity to relax and get to know others in the community.

Click here to read the story in Chinese.

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