Volunteer Spotlight: In Volunteering, We Give and Receive

Every Saturday, a group of individuals volunteer their time at AWWA Personal Care Service (Disability Plus) (AWWA PCS (D Plus)), where they interact and engage with our clients. With the aim of enhancing the quality of life of persons with multiple disabilities by reducing social isolation, AWWA PCS (D Plus) organizes centre-based activities and monthly outings. Our volunteers have taken our clients on excursions to various places like Changi Airport, Science Centre Singapore, National Gallery and Gardens by the Bay. The interaction between the volunteers and our clients have proved to have helped many of our clients in their social skills.

We interviewed a few of our volunteers at AWWA PCS (D Plus) and they shared how they got started on volunteering, their thoughts and experiences. Eliezer Neo Boon Ngiap, a volunteer with us for one and a half years, found out about AWWA through one of the events organized by his church ministry and now he organizes, plans and lead the events together with AWWA staff which makes him feel like part of the AWWA family. Through interacting with our clients, he has built a great rapport with them. He shared that during one of the craft activities, where the clients had to write down a name of a person or things that they were thankful for and the client wrote down his name. He was so pleasantly surprised! He said “volunteering has made me appreciate the little things and people in my life.”

Ms Goh Yu Qing, an investment product specialist, volunteers regularly with her sister Goh Yu Ying, a senior architectural designer. Prior to this, Yu Qing did not have any experience with volunteering with persons with disabilities but she learned along the way and received tips from our AWWA staff. She said “I’ve seen progress for some clients that I’ve worked with, which is always very heart-warming to witness. Many of them are just looking for some social interaction, and time was the least I could give.” In volunteering, Yu Qing has come to realise that in bringing joy to others, she brings joy to her own day-to-day life and she’s also learnt how to be thankful for simple things in life which she used to take for granted.

Yu Ying, on the other hand, had already been volunteering when she was overseas and was looking to volunteer on a long-term basis. She noticed that as time went by, the clients got comfortable with the volunteers and loved the activities together. In line with the objective of AWWA PCS (D Plus) of providing respite for caregivers, Yu Ying hopes that by her little contribution, caregivers will be able to take some time off their caregiving duties to recharge. During the time she spends volunteering, she also gets to enjoy some sisterly bonding time with Yu Qing. Volunteering has also helped her in her work as a senior architectural design. She said “volunteering has made me more acutely aware of the requirements for barrier free design.”

Volunteering not only allows you to make a difference in a person’s life but it also allows you to learn from the person you’re helping. Every individual brings different things to the table. For our volunteers, the time spent interacting with our clients has enriched and fulfilled their lives in many ways.

Volunteerism may seem like a big word for many and maybe you’re thinking, perhaps in the future, but in the words of John F. Kennedy “If not us, who? If not now, when?”

Here are some tips from our volunteers to anyone thinking of embarking on a volunteering journey:

“Always be open to new experiences, no two persons are alike. Each of the clients have their own needs and have their own unique stories to share. There are different lessons to be learnt from each and every one of them.”Mr Liang Xian Loong, Volunteer, AWWA PCS (D Plus)

“I think the most important thing is to embark on a volunteering journey where you think of your clients as friends. Once you have that mindset, I think it’s easier to start seeing things from their perspective and build a strong relationship with them.” Ms Low Sheau Fong Mabel, Volunteer, AWWA PCS (D Plus)

“Don’t procrastinate, and just do it! There’s a warm fuzzy feeling you get from helping others. In the process, I’ve met others who are filled with so much kindness and compassion. A little kindness and love is all that’s needed to make a difference in this world.”Ms Goh Yu Qing, Volunteer, AWWA AWWA PCS (D Plus)

For more information on AWWA PCS (D Plus), click here

For enquiries on volunteering opportunities, please email volunteer@awwa.org.sg

Skip to content