New centre for the intellectually disabled opens in industrial estate

ST VIDEO: CHEW SENG KIM

SINGAPORE - A new day activity centre for people with intellectual disabilities was officially opened on Wednesday (March 22). It is in an industrial estate - believed to be a first for such centres in Singapore.

The centre is the sixth one run by the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (Minds). It is on the second floor of Tradehub 21 in Jurong. Minds' five other day activity centres are in housing estates or community buildings.

These centres offer programmes that train the beneficiaries to improve their independent living skills and pre-vocational skills, among others.

Prior to the opening of the latest centre, Minds had only one similar centre in western Singapore, in Clementi. Minds said in a statement that the opening of the latest centre in Jurong "has been instrumental in alleviating the pressures of the growing waitlist for day activity spaces in the west". The centre in Jurong has about 50 places, and currently serves 39 people.

With the centre in a commercial property with light industries, there have been training opportunities for the centre's clients among its light industry "neighbours".

NTUC Learning Hub, which has a training facility on the fourth floor of Tradehub 21, has agreed to get its staff to take the Minds clients on morning walks whenever available, and will explore organising courses for the clients' caregivers. Sakae Sushi, which has a branch in the building, has run a sushi-making class for the clients and will run similar classes to develop work-readiness skills for the clients.

Minds said the centre opening also sparked its first collaboration to share vicinity resources with another sub-tenant: the centre uses the unit on weekdays, while Evangel Bible-Presbyterian Church runs its services and activities on weekends.

Minds has several facilities in Singapore - including special education schools and a support centre for caregivers. It serves more than 2,300 people.