For Singapore, By Singaporeans

Aug 16, 2019   |   Natasha Razak

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“We are living the dreams of our pioneers, and we are now pioneers of the future.” PHOTO: Natasha Razak

To commemorate Singapore’s bicentennial, this year’s National Day Parade is themed “Our Singapore”. The six acts in the second half of the parade paint a picture of Singapore from past to present and finally, the future.

Since 2000, Heartware Network has been recruiting and training volunteers for hospitality management in the weekend parades. These volunteers take on different roles namely – Youth Planning Committee, Sector Overall-in-Charge (SOICs), Leaders, General Volunteers, Logistic Volunteers and Media Volunteers. Through the different roles and leadership tiers, our volunteers honed their leadership and interpersonal skills while forging new friendships.

Our volunteer guiding spectators to their seats at the Padang seating gallery. PHOTO: Natasha Razak

“This experience allowed me to understand the challenges of organising a large-scale event. Being exposed to a wide spectrum of volunteers and members of the public from different walks of life gives me a better understanding of our society too.” – Low Yuan Shen, Blue Sector SOIC


Padang Cordon volunteers distributing fun packs to members of the public as they start streaming in once the gates open at 4pm. PHOTO: Natasha Razak

 For one Heartware volunteer, the skills he learnt at the Padang Cordon, while distributing funpacks and ushering members of the public, comes in handy when he applied for his job as a waiter at Machan’s Kitchen.

Heartware volunteer Raj Kiran packing the funpacks neatly to ensure that the funpack distribution process would be smooth once members of the public start streaming in. PHOTO: Ain Halim

“During our trainings, I learnt how to calm spectators down if any issues arise. The scenario-based learning has also allowed me to develop my people skills which has helped me when I started my job as a waiter in July this year. Heartware is my training centre that prepares me for my job.” – Raj Kiran, Padang Cordon General Volunteer

Outer cordon volunteers ushering spectators from the Esplanade Drive to the Padang. PHOTO: Peh Hao Lun

This year, 563 volunteers joined us in the National Day Parade Hospitality Management. They stood strong against the scorching hot sun throughout the one combined rehearsal, three national education shows, two previews and one final parade!

Our volunteers played different roles including, but not limited to:

  • Way-finding for spectators coming from all across the island to the Padang;
  • Distributing fun-packs when spectators enter the parade venue;
  • Packing spectators at the seating gallery quickly to prevent human traffic jams;
  • Ensuring spectators are comfortably seated at their designated areas;
  • Assisting spectators with special needs throughout the parades;
  • Ensuring the safety of Primary 5 students attending the NE shows.

An army personnel who interacts regularly with Heartware volunteers is 2LT Chan Juun Kit.

2LT Chan Juun Kit interacting with a yellow sector general volunteer, while advising her on how to usher the crowd. PHOTO: Natasha Razak

“In the morning before deployment, I’m the liaison officer at the float. I ensure that things run smoothly there. In the afternoon and evening, I assist the yellow sector to usher the crowd at the seating gallery as well as during dispersal,” he explained.

Seeing the youth volunteers at Heartware step up and play a role in a large-scale event like NDP is heartening for 2LT Chan.

“It makes me feel that NDP truly is an occasion which brings together our nation and society from different walks of life, in celebration of a common goal.”

A first time Heartware volunteer described this year’s NDP as a wonderful experience for her.

“It is really heartwarming when members of the public give us a high-five and thank us at the end of the parade for spending our weekends volunteering.” – Ngo Nguyet Tran, Padang Cordon Leader

National Day Parade Hospitality Management 2019 has been a memorable platform for our youths to develop and prepare themselves for the near future. We are thankful for their invaluable contribution in making this parade a huge success!