Our staff members who are manning the Tinkle Friend operations have been very busy of late. This is due to an increase of calls and chats we have been receiving since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To cope with the increased demand, five more staff members from Student Service @ Children’s Society and The Fort @ Children’s Society were roped in to support the online chat operations. Presently, there are 10 staff members who are supporting both the helpline and online chat service, on top of Tinkle Friend volunteers who have recently resumed their support for operations.
While our staff members and volunteers listened to and empathised with children about their anxiety, fear, sadness, and unhappiness regarding the COVID-19 situation, the children reciprocated the kindness by asking after them.
“One of the most memorable moment was when children shared their issues and problems that they are facing and yet they still have the capacity to think of others and check in with Tinkle Friend about how we are feeling and reminded us to take care of ourselves during this difficult period,” said Taufiq, Senior Counsellor at Student Service @ Children’s Society.
It may be a trying period for the team as they have to engage more children during this period. However, nothing gives more satisfaction than being able to provide a listening ear to the children, said Lewis, Social Worker at Student Service @ Children’s Society. “The fact that I can provide some support and hopefully make their day gives meaning to what I am doing.”
Tinkle Friend is a national toll-free helpline and chatline for all primary-school-aged children in Singapore that provides support, advice, and information to lonely and distressed children, especially in situations when their parents or main caregivers are unavailable.