Understanding the challenges faced by the people we help starts with walking the ground. To that end, our social workers from Yishun Family Service @ Children’s Society (YFC) organised a Community Walk for our volunteers on 25 February 2022.

While safe management measures limited the volunteer group size to four, the two-hour walk was both enlightening and inspiring. It allowed our volunteers to experience, first-hand, the day-to-day interactions and challenges faced by both social workers and beneficiaries, and the significant role volunteers play in supporting both groups, said Mr Fang Xinwei, Deputy Director of Yishun Family Service @ Children’s Society.

On the move: Volunteers exploring the Yishun community

The walk started at YFC, with an overview of the centre and the beneficiaries it works with. The group then set off for a walking tour of Chong Pang, one of the neighbourhoods the centre serves.

A walk to remember: Deputy Director, Mr Fang Xinwei (centre), sharing the history of the Chong Pang estate

“We got to learn about the area’s history, the types of homes and communities here, and the kinds of challenges they might face,” said one of the volunteers. 

Food on demand: The Food Pantry 2.0 vending machine set up by the Food Bank automatically dispenses emergency food aid 24/7 to those in need

They also saw how the needs of these communities are collectively met by social service agencies and other ground-up initiatives such as the TOUCH Senior Activity Centre and Thye Hua Kuan (THK) Social Service Hub.

The walk ended with a stop at one of the rental flats in Chong Pang, where the volunteers got to know two long-time Yishun residents. They shared their memories about the estate, and the challenges they faced, which were exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. “It was a struggle. We earned less money and had to adjust to a new way of life,” shared one of the residents.

Sessions like this greatly benefit our volunteers and help them better understand the needs of our beneficiaries.

Do keep a look out for our future volunteer engagement sessions, and contact the Community and Volunteer Relations team at cvr@childrensociety.org.sg for more information on volunteering with the Society.