PICTURES

Shopping trip with a difference for those with special needs

Uniqlo takes 24 special needs students from MINDS and 4 adults with intellectual disabilities for a shopping trip as part of its ongoing CSR efforts at its outlet in Suntec City on Mar 27, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Uniqlo takes 24 special needs students from MINDS and 4 adults with intellectual disabilities for a shopping trip as part of its ongoing CSR efforts at its outlet in Suntec City on Mar 27, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Uniqlo takes 24 special needs students from MINDS and 4 adults with intellectual disabilities for a shopping trip as part of its ongoing CSR efforts at its outlet in Suntec City on Mar 27, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Uniqlo takes 24 special needs students from MINDS and 4 adults with intellectual disabilities for a shopping trip as part of its ongoing CSR efforts at its outlet in Suntec City on Mar 27, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Uniqlo takes 24 special needs students from MINDS and 4 adults with intellectual disabilities for a shopping trip as part of its ongoing CSR efforts at its outlet in Suntec City on Mar 27, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Uniqlo takes 24 special needs students from MINDS and 4 adults with intellectual disabilities for a shopping trip as part of its ongoing CSR efforts at its outlet in Suntec City on Mar 27, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Uniqlo takes 24 special needs students from MINDS and 4 adults with intellectual disabilities for a shopping trip as part of its ongoing CSR efforts at its outlet in Suntec City on Mar 27, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Uniqlo takes 24 special needs students from MINDS and 4 adults with intellectual disabilities for a shopping trip as part of its ongoing CSR efforts at its outlet in Suntec City on Mar 27, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Uniqlo takes 24 special needs students from MINDS and 4 adults with intellectual disabilities for a shopping trip as part of its ongoing CSR efforts at its outlet in Suntec City on Mar 27, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Uniqlo takes 24 special needs students from MINDS and 4 adults with intellectual disabilities for a shopping trip as part of its ongoing CSR efforts at its outlet in Suntec City on Mar 27, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

A clothes store at the Suntec City mall was the scene of a shopping trip with a difference on Thursday.

A group of 28 students and adults with special needs, from the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (Minds), was given $100 vouchers to choose and buy clothes.

Each of them was accompanied by a Uniqlo employee volunteer and participants were equipped with calculators.

"This in-store shopping experience teaches them important social and money skills, like how to crunch numbers and how to make choices based on what they need," said principal of Minds' Lee Kong Chian Gardens School Sharon Ng. "They also get to interact with their shopping buddies."

The school specially selected needy students for the trip, ranging from seven to 18 years old, as they "do not get much of a chance to get out" other than for weekly"travelling lessons", to places such as nearby supermarkets, or attractions such as Gardens by the Bay.

Student Mohamed Idris Noor, 17, who was the first to finish, bought two shirts, a pair of blue jeans and a pair of sunglasses.

"I like the colour of the items, and I learnt to choose clothes, count money and make payment," he said.

The shopping event is Minds' first such partnership with Uniqlo, which funded the event. The Japanese retailer, which has 16 outlets islandwide, said it hires 19 intellectually disabled staff, most of whom handle backroom operations such as folding, packing and stocking.

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