Reporter's take

A helping hand and an avenue to engage with community

Today's stories focus on enterprises that help two groups sometimes overlooked in society: Seniors who have difficulties finding a suitable job and former convicts trying to reintegrate with society.

The Social Iron provides work for elderly beneficiaries who can iron clothes from home for a fee, while Acorn Quest helps former convicts with issues they may face, such as family acceptance or finding a job.

Both causes believe that by helping others, you help yourself.

Acorn Quest not only provides counselling, but also encourages its clients to take part in community work, such as playing games and singing karaoke with old folk, giving the former convicts a chance to contribute back to society.

In the same way, by providing the ironing service to customers, beneficiaries of The Social Iron earn a steady, if small, income and receive regular visits from deliverymen.

Its founder Darren Wong said they are working with government agencies to formalise ironing as an income-generating skillset so that other groups of people who have difficulty finding jobs can learn it.

To the beneficiaries, these seemingly humble initiatives are significant.


Besides adding purpose to their lives, they provide engagement with the wider community.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 07, 2017, with the headline 'A helping hand and an avenue to engage with community'. Print Edition | Subscribe