Tampines hub's first outreach event serves up festive fun

Mohd Hilmi Muhd Sanif riding in the train with Tampines GRC MP Cheng Li Hui. Hilmi was among 250 people at Our Tampines Hub's first community outreach event yesterday. The children were treated to a bowling session as well as play time at the arcade.
Mohd Hilmi Muhd Sanif riding in the train with Tampines GRC MP Cheng Li Hui. Hilmi was among 250 people at Our Tampines Hub's first community outreach event yesterday. The children were treated to a bowling session as well as play time at the arcade.ST PHOTO: FABIAN KOH

In all 10 of his years, Mohd Hilmi Muhd Sanif has never been to the arcade.

"We can't afford it," said the Tampines Primary School pupil.

The youngest in his family, Hilmi has five brothers and a sister, with the oldest at 26. His father is the sole breadwinner of the family and his mother is a housewife.

Yesterday, Hilmi was having fun at Timezone arcade, as part of Our Tampines Hub's first community outreach event.

Launched in August, Our Tampines Hub, Singapore's largest lifestyle hub, is aimed at reaching out to the community in the town. It boasts facilities such as swimming pools, a clinic and a library, among others.

Hilmi was among 250 people who gathered yesterday to celebrate the festive season. They also came from the All Saints Home (Tampines), Jamiyah Home for the Aged, Kheng Chiu Loke Tin Kee Home, Pertapis Children's Home and Yeah! (Youths Engaged At Heartlands).

The half-day event saw seniors taking part in activities such as cooking demonstrations and talks by health experts, while the children were treated to a bowling session as well as play time at the arcade. There was also a screening of the latest Star Wars movie.

Mr Suhaimi Rafdi, director at People's Association for Our Tampines Hub, said: "Today's community outreach project is a dedicated effort to bring the elderly, the marginalised and the vulnerable into our fold in OTH's DNA of all-inclusiveness."

Our Tampines Hub has averaged 1.5 million visitors monthly since its opening.

Mr Suhaimi added that yesterday's community outreach event would be an annual affair, with the number of participants expected to increase in the future as residents become more aware of its existence.

The basketball machine was Hilmi's favourite game at the arcade, and he also tried his hand at the claw machine and driving simulators.

He got a couple of mementoes after his first visit to the arcade, exchanging the coupons he had won in games for a lollipop and a mini USB lamp.

"It was really very fun, and I would like to come again with my siblings," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 22, 2017, with the headline 'Tampines hub's first outreach event serves up festive fun'. Print Edition | Subscribe