Clement Yong, “Coronavirus: Unions to give out care packages to cleaners, healthcare workers”

The Straits Times, Feb 15, 2020

SINGAPORE – Thousands of care packages were being prepared on Saturday (Feb 15) for cleaners and healthcare workers on the front line of Singapore’s efforts against the ongoing outbreak of Covid-19.

One of the efforts, led by the Building Construction and Timber Industries Employees’ Union (Batu) and the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), will benefit 4,000 cleaners over the next few weeks.

Some 300 care packages – containing five surgical masks, a bottle of hand sanitiser, a bottle of medicated oil and two packets of green tea – were given out on Saturday to cleaners at Suntec City, Millenia Walk, Nanyang Technological University and those from cleaning company Spic & Span.

(Source)

Raise SG, “ PCSEA 2019 Social Enterprise Finalists for President’s Challenge Social Enterprise Awards,”

Youtube, Jan 24, 2020 

Jonathan Tan, “We Didn’t Come in from the Business Angle”

NTUC Labourbeat, Myskillsfuture, Oct 10, 2019

An economist by training, 30-year-old Benjamin Chua never expected to go into business, much less set up Spic & Span, a company specialising in supplying commercial cleaning services to offices in the Central Business District.

The turning point came back in 2015, when a friend working in a hotel called with news that seven older workers were being retrenched. The friend wanted to know if there was anything that he and Benjamin could do to help them. Recounting that seminal moment, Benjamin shared how they started a housekeeping company to help the workers find jobs as housekeepers in the various service apartments he got to know through his day job.

“I just took the step forward. We didn’t come in from the business angle. We came in simply because there was a group of people who needed a job and we wanted to do something. I had been volunteering for a while, but this was the first time where I felt that I could be directly involved in helping someone,” said Benjamin, who eventually left his day job in a venture capital firm to devote more attention to growing Spic & Span, which was set up in August 2015.

He also decided from the onset that the company, now a 50-strong Singaporean team, would have a social mission to help Singaporeans from marginalised backgrounds find sustainable employment. Spic & Span was also one of the participating companies during the recent Green Jobs Symposium event that took place at Our Tampines Hub on 9 February 2018.

(Source)

“A Cleaning Company Gives Marginalised Workers a Fresh Start”

Temasek, Sep 28, 2019 

Spic & Span, which provides cleaning services to clients including Temasek Shophouse, is showing how a company can transform the personal lives of its workforce through sustainable employment.

Booted out from his home in his 20s, Mr Yap had to stand on his own two feet. But with no formal education or the resolve to find work, the young adult was left destitute and homeless.

He sought refuge at a shelter run by the Catholic Welfare Services for the past decade. But even as job opportunities came by – from working part time in a gym or as a mover, he did not remain in any job for more than a few days.

“He may have been facing psychosis – it is a type of mental health condition that makes him feel inferior to others,” shared Mr Benjamin Chua, founder of Spic & Span, an inclusive company which recruits people such as ex-convicts and the mentally challenged.

Mr Yap’s transformative journey began when social workers at his home introduced him to Mr Chua, who gradually eased him into working life two years ago.

“We started by getting him to work one day a week. We then slowly worked with the social workers and put him on a two-day shift per week,” he said.

“It took us nine months before he (Mr Yap) finally said, ‘I think I would want to work for you guys’.”

This year, Mr Yap took another big step forward when he was promoted to team leader, managing a small team of cleaners at Temasek Shophouse.

“It was a very long courting and dating process. He started showing signs of responsibility. From his former dishevelled look, he bought new shoes, he bought new clothes, and he cut his hair,” recalled Mr Chua.

(Source)

“Company Of Good: Transforming Lives and The Cleaning Industry”

Channel News Asia, Sep 5, 2019

Employing the marginalised while introducing new technology to the cleaning industry – how Spic & Span makes an impact.

(Source)

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