Operation Santa Claus

Warm Wellcome in store as children with special needs learn new skills

Supermarket visits offer 2,000 kids with special needs the chance to pick up some important skills - along with the groceries

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 December, 2013, 5:12am
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 December, 2013, 5:12am

Supermarkets are being turned into classrooms for children with special needs, as Wellcome opens its stores for them to learn life skills.

The supermarket chain has partnered with the Heep Hong Society for three years in a social adaptation programme for children with autism, dyslexia and other developmental problems.

The children, aged two to six, are given hands-on experience in skills such as selecting goods, paying at the cashier and using environmentally friendly bags.

More than 2,000 children have taken part in more than 100 sessions in various districts.

"The children and their parents enthusiastically joined in this year's activity, proving its popularity," Heep Hong Society director Nancy Tsang said.

"We hope Wellcome will continue to support us in the coming year to give children a chance to adapt to different social environments," she said.

The activity is part of the society's programme to equip its children with day-to-day living skills. It also includes visits to restaurants and the movies.

In the supermarket training sessions, the children first attend lessons at the society using baskets and trolleys provided by Wellcome.

They then go to a nearby Wellcome supermarket with their parents. Each is given a HK$50 voucher to buy gifts for their family and themselves so they can learn to plan and spend based on their budget.

Wellcome staff volunteer to help the children and their parents under its Wellcome Cares community service initiative.

"We're happy to provide a fun and effective learning platform for the Heep Hong children," said Julie Chiu Wai-ying, Wellcome's sales and marketing director.

"It also adds meaning to the daily work of our Wellcome Cares volunteers."

One of the parents, mother of five-year-old Law Yee-kuen, said: "The activity's theme was to have each child buy a gift for themselves, one for mum and one for dad. Yee-kuen brought an extra one for his little brother. It helps the children to learn about shopping and brings out the value of family relationships."

As well as supporting the society, Wellcome is also a major donor to Operation Santa Claus, a charity drive organised by the South China Morning Post and RTHK to support 18 local groups.


How you can give

  • Donate at an ATM or at any HSBC branch (account no: 502-676299-001 for SCMP Charities Ltd - Operation Santa Claus)
  • You can donate with a cheque payable to "SCMP Charities Ltd - Operation Santa Claus" and mail it to: Operation Santa Claus, Morning Post Centre, 22 Dai Fat Street, Tai Po Industrial Estate, New Territories
  • Donations of HK$100 or more are tax-deductible. If you would like a tax receipt, please send the completed donation form and original bank receipt, with your name, address and phone number, to the above address. Please call 2680 8159 or e-mail osc@scmp.com with any inquiries, or visit us online at osc.scmp.com