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[Our Chairs for Community campaign has ended on 31 Mar 2021. If you wish to make a donation to our upcoming Admiral Hill campus, please visit: bit.ly/rcspaces]

When you walk into a room full of people and there is no seat left for you, how do you feel? When a seat is too low, too small, or too unsafe, don’t you wish for another chair?

Chairs are powerful pieces of furniture. A humble chair can make a difference in community building and inclusion. The right chair can help us feel better, function better, even communicate better. It could even help us to belong and be included in a conversation, and in society.

Through our Chairs for Community campaign, we share how every chair tells a story of inclusion for our clients. We invite you to support our campaign by donating towards the building and equipping of our upcoming campus which opens its doors in 2023.

Chairs for Community is part of our Building for Community fundraising campaign. We are raising $5 million for our new campus Admiral Hill Campus in Sembawang for 300 students with autism for learning and inclusion in community.

Follow our Chairs for Community campaign across the weeks here and on Facebook for more on how the right chairs in the right settings can empower us!

Every chair tells a story

The garden bench

“Grandpa and I love our walks. Along the way, we look forward to rest at the next bench. Sometimes, an uncle or aunty I don’t know comes and sits beside us, and when I say hello they give me a big smile!

I heard there will be lots of greenery at our upcoming campus at Admiral Hill. I can’t wait to take a seat there to enjoy it all!”

The design of public spaces — and seating — can extend a warmer welcome to everyone, regardless of age or ability. 

Pull up a chair and join our community!

Handcrafted for stability and smiles

“As a furniture maker, we think of the user. This time, the users are very close to our hearts. My son Andrew is a student at Rainbow Centre, and producing a customisable chair for them could help him and his friends.

Working with the occupational therapists, we developed a chair that can support the students to sit and learn better. It won’t topple easily, yet is light enough and has grips and wheels for portability. It is adjustable for greater postural support and many features do double duty. 

There were smiles when the students first saw their new chairs. We call it the Rainbow Chair by Essa Grace.” 

Students with involuntary movements or less posture control need seating that offers greater stability and a better fit to their size and abilities.

Pull up a chair and join our community!

Putting a bounce in our steps

I love our bright blue gym ball. I sit on it to firm up my core muscles while I work. I also do floor exercises with it. I wish I had it in my office too!

Sharing the same gym ball with my daughter Ashley is great for bonding. We always pretend to fight over it. She loves bouncing on it, sometimes to calm herself down. Her occupational therapist taught me to prop Ashley up on it to train her sense of balance and postural control.” 

When used by our students in therapy, the benefits of gym balls extend beyond fitness. Creating slow, rocking movements can calm them down while faster movements can increase their alertness.

Pull up a chair and join our community!

His chair helps him to make friends

“Morning greetings are a noisy affair in my class! Some students look away and I have to catch their attention with our special song. Steve would sound his greeting through his iPad before we transfer him from his stroller to the Rifton chair.

With a therapy chair that offers good support for his body shape, Steve can participate more actively in class by reaching out for objects, playing, and developing his fine motor skills; he’s learning to feed himself too. 

His classmates take turns to push him from spot to spot when we switch up our activities. These days, Steve can also lower his iPad in such a way as to let his classmates tap a few icons themselves. They get such a thrill communicating with him in the same way he does!” 

Many of our students with physical disabilities benefit from chairs that allow for better posture and alignment of the spine, and achieve greater range of motion. These are not wheelchairs but chairs for therapy.

Pull up a chair and join our community!

Shake off the blues on my Hokki stool

“When I’m in class, I feel the urge to move around. I can’t help it. Sitting still overwhelms me.

But sitting on my favourite Hokki stool always calms me down. I can wobble back and forth on its rounded base, and pay better attention to what my teacher is saying. The shape of the seat also makes me sit up straight, which Mummy says is good for me. And of course, it’s fun!

When I’m free to move around, it helps my mind to settle down.” 

Some of our students with autism experience difficulties with sitting still and movement actually helps them to relax and focus.

Pull up a chair and join our community!

My Favourite Chair

Chairs for Community is part of our Building for Community fundraising campaign.

Rainbow Centre is building a third campus to cater to the growing demand for special education programmes in Singapore. When it is completed in 2022, this new campus at 21 Admiralty Lane will serve 300 students with autism, aged from 7 to 18 years old.

In conceptualising the design for our new campus, we envision a school where learning can take place everywhere, where our students will have ample opportunities to participate in community life on campus, thanks to its “social town” concept which incorporates vocational, recreational and retail spaces into the campus grounds. 

Our educational programmes aim to nurture and develop our students so they will lead thriving lives in inclusive communities. We believe that a firm step towards greater inclusion is through the sharing of spaces, and we want to extend an invitation to you as members of our community to contribute and share in those spaces. 

In our fundraising efforts for our Rainbow Centre Admiral Hill campus, we are building more than just a new campus. We are building for community. 

The first phase of our Building for Community campaign will run from 10 October 2020 to 31 March 2021.

Join us in #buildingforcommunity!

Donations made from now to 31 March 2021 can attract dollar-for-dollar matching funding up to $250,000 from the Tote Board under its Enhanced Fund-Raising Programme.