- Final event of the year’s programme featured guiding beneficiaries how to shop for groceries; and a group lunch to foster social interaction skills
- Breaking Barriers, started since 2020, has benefitted over 260 SPD clients and involved over 130 Certis volunteers
Certis concluded this week the third season of the Breaking Barriers initiative - its corporate social responsibility programme developed in partnership with SPD - with a day’s outing to the mall with SPD’s beneficiaries. Over 30 Certis staff joined the 15 beneficiaries for a grocery shopping activity at VivoCity and a group lunch.
The programme was aimed at emphasising the importance of integrating people with disabilities (PwDs) into society by creating opportunities for them to learn and practise community living skills. Comprising a series of learning, recreational and engagement activities, the programme encourages the participation of PwDs in public spaces and raises awareness of disability amongst members of the public. For the first two events under this edition, Certis staff brought beneficiaries on visits to public libraries.
The finale event was also the first time the beneficiaries had gone on a grocery shopping activity together with volunteers from Certis. The beneficiaries were given five recipes to choose from, including smoked salmon sandwich and fruit salad, which they selected and purchased ingredients to bring home. The groceries were sponsored by Certis. The event also included a group lunch in a restaurant within the mall.
Impacting Lives Since 2020
Breaking Barriers was incepted in 2020 to inspire hope and positivity across the community by empowering and engaging PwDs through a series of engagement activities and suitable employment placements. Concurrently, Breaking Barriers also seeks to enrich the knowledge and competencies of Certis staff in engaging and communicating with PwDs through disability awareness training sessions.
Over the three years, Breaking Barriers has supported SPD through employment and upskilling initiatives for its beneficiaries, as well as engagement activities including virtual fitness sessions during the pandemic and in-person events since 2021. A total of 260 SPD beneficiaries and over 130 Certis volunteers took part in various programmes since the partnership began. In addition, Certis has also donated $80,000 to SPD over three years in support of Breaking Barriers.
Certis Group’s Senior Vice President and Head, Group Communications & Marketing, Mr Robin Goh, said: “We are pleased to conclude Breaking Barriers 3.0 with yet another meaningful event, which was a great opportunity for our friends from SPD to explore and navigate everyday activities we take for granted, such as shopping and having a meal in the community.
“I am delighted to see the continued support of our colleagues for our beneficiaries at SPD, even as we conclude the third edition of the Breaking Barriers programme. It was indeed a most meaningful and enjoyable time spent together that I am sure will be a fond memory for both our beneficiaries and our volunteers alike,” Mr Goh added.
One of the volunteers for the event, Group Human Resources Manager, Melissa Tay said: “Breaking Barriers has given me a better understanding of how these beneficiaries navigate through daily activities, which we take for granted. Seeing it from their lens gave me a renewed perspective of how I can do more to make our world more inclusive for those around us. I will continue to do my part for the community, to uplift and bring joy to those in need.”
SPD Director of Community Partnerships, Ms Katherine Sng, said: “We are grateful for Certis’ continuous support towards our cause, not only in empowering our clients with disabilities to be self-reliant and confident through organised outings to the community, but through those interactions also providing opportunities for the larger community to understand and be more aware about disabilities. We hope the conclusion of yet another successful Breaking Barriers programme will encourage more to step forward to do their part in creating an inclusive society that supports persons with disabilities.”