Residential Life

Flour, fondant and friends

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Chew Jia Xuan, Year 1 Chemical Engineering student, lend a helping hand to children at a cupcake decorating activity.

24 December 2020

Christmas – a season of giving – is not merely to gift but also give back to the community. 10 PGP House volunteers (or PHolunteers) spared no effort to prepare a Christmas event for the children from Singapore Children Society (SCS). They jumped straight in working out the event details so as to ensure minimal disruptions to weekly engagement activities with 20 children aged seven to 12.

Project Director, Benjamin Lay, a Year 3 Business student gave his account of the Christmas celebration.


A recipe for success

Flour, fondant and friends. Voilà: a delightful Christmas cupcake decorating session for the children at SCS! While the children had a first-hand creative exploration of their five senses during the activity, PHolunteers enjoyed an engaging afternoon assisting them in the process.

The children were thrilled to come up with different ideas to decorate a cupcake for themselves; some of them even decorated cupcakes for their parents to share the love.

Ooi Zi Ying, a PHolunteer and third year student in Chemical Engineering commented: "It was a very fun session as kids got to do something different besides their usual studying session or reading time.”

Ooi Zi Ying guiding a boy to decorate their cupcake during the session

Our volunteers had to guide the younger children as they needed assistance decorating the cupcakes. The kids were cooperative and listened to the instructions given before starting to decorate. They were also responsible to clean up the creative mess after the session.

A warm gesture goes a long way

After the cupcake decorating session, the children surprised the group by singing us a Christmas carol. They thanked us for our efforts and time, and we were amazed and touched by their actions. It goes to show how warm our community is. While we had come to impact the children’s lives, we were touched by their warm gestures instead.  

Volunteering during the pandemic has restricted us to minimise face-to-face interactions with our beneficiaries. And during this unprecedented time, volunteering has become an activity more meaningful as we reach out and touch the communities-in-need. Through our actions, we can contribute back meaningfully to the society.

Through my volunteering journey, I have learnt to respect and better understand individuals I meet.  It allowed me to develop a deeper appreciation of what I have currently in my life – family, friends, a University education, the ability to give back etc. I am reminded to be grateful of the small things and to cherish moments in life.

With Singapore entering Phase 3, it is my hope to recruit and engage volunteers from PGP House to experience these life lessons and make a difference in the lives of others.


Writer: Benjamin Lay, Year 3, Biz