Meet Mr Goh
Mr Mike Goh, a 74-year-old retiree, first learned about the Caring Commuter Champion initiative from a focus group discussion held by the Caring SG Commuters Committee on the topic of public transport inclusivity. His passion for working with Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) propelled him to join the initiative to build his confidence in approaching commuters in need of help.
Having observed the interactions between commuters while on his public transport journeys, Mr Goh remarks, “I can tell that Singaporeans have good intentions, but they do not know how to properly approach commuters to offer a helping hand.”
He notices commuters often hesitate to give up their seats to others, perhaps unsure if the other party needs the seat. Sometimes, they are also “too shy” to approach senior commuters or people with disabilities to ask if they need help.
Seniors can offer help
After attending the Caring Commuter Webinar in December 2020 and the subsequent online training for Champions, Mr Goh has learned how to identify, approach and assist commuters who may need help . These could be commuters with physical disabilities or who are more elderly. He is now more confident and empowered to help other commuters on public transport.
“I can now put the skills I have learned into practice, because I can better identify commuters who are in need,” he says.
Mr Goh related how he had once given up his seat to an elderly commuter who appeared older than himself and noticed the younger commuters following suit.
He shares, “While it might be more difficult to move around as I grow older in age, I’m still capable of offering help to others.”
Building a caring commuter culture
Mr Goh recognises the importance in inculcating a caring commuter culture.
He believes that being a Caring Commuter Champion is more than just helping commuters in need. It is also about encouraging others to take the first step, show kindness and make small but impactful gestures in their daily lives.
“It’s like being a role model. As a senior, you have a lot of knowledge to pass down if you’re interacting with the next generation... So, why not volunteer as a senior?”
Mr Goh believes that the way Champions are taught to approach others to extend a helping hand can inspire the public to play their part.
“I hope to be able to encourage more retirees like me to come out of their comfort zone and volunteer.”
About the Caring Commuter Champion
The Caring Commuter Champion is a volunteer programme that aims to educate commuters about the possible challenges faced by commuters in need.
Volunteers are encouraged to step in to help by following the 3As framework of Assess, Ask, then Assist.
Sign up to be a Caring Commuter Champion here!