Saturday, April 14, 2012

ENCORE CAREERS AT CHATTERS



I had lunch yesterday at a cozy, homely cafe tucked away in an obscure corner of the garden outside Parkview Square in North Bridge Road, Singapore.

What makes Chatters special is that it is run by staff all aged 50 and above with the exception of barista Kenster Yu, 31. "They need me to move heavy things around," he explains with a smile.

Chatters is managed by Silver Springs, a social enterprise founded by Helen Lim, 65, and her partner, Rowena Chin, 68. It opened its doors to the first customers in December 2009. Today, there are three Chatters outlets, including Chatters@Silver Circle that serves healthy food to the elderly at the Fenshan and Dakota Eldercare Centres and the latest Chatters@Ren Ci near Novena MRT.

Says Helen, a former human resource director and now a personal coach on encore careers, "We want Chatters to be a hub for seniors, a place where they can gather to network with other like-minded seniors. Silver Spring acts as a springboard for ideas that will bring meaning and fulfillment to seniors in their golden years."

Members of Silver Horizon were having a meeting when I dropped by yesterday.

Already one such idea has sprung into fruition. The newly registered Silver Horizon is the result of brainstorming sessions at Chatters. It is a cooperative founded by 19 seniors that seeks to promote active living and learning through customized travel programs for seniors. Membership is open to all Singaporeans and PR aged 40 and above. For more information, please email silverhorizon28@gmail.com.

From left: Charles, 62, Margarita, 64, Juanita 55, and Kenster, 31. Service with a smile, and a chat.

The next time you are in Singapore and looking for a place to eat, think of Chatters. You can be assured of good food, and friendly staff like Juanita and Margarita. It is obvious they enjoy working at Chatters. They find their days fulfilling and it makes them feel great to be productive at their age. "It's teamwork in action," says Juanita, "and PMA too - positive mental attitude", adds Margarita.

The outdoor garden. The staff may be seniors, but the customers come from all age groups.
The exterior of Chatters. The menu for the day is displayed on the board.

Seniors supporting seniors - if this theme resonates with you, do drop by for a meal at Chatters cafe.

  • Chatters@Parkview Square, 600 North Bridge Road (opp Bugis MRT). Tel: 6297 5703
  • Chatters@Ren Ci, 71, Irrawaddy Road, (near Novena MRT). Tel: 6254 9838
  • Chatters@Silver Circle, Fengshan and Dakota NTUC Eldercare Centers

2 comments:

lynda siew said...

Dear lily
Do we have an equivalent to chatters in kl or selangor? Then maybe i can apply for work there. Tq.

el-f said...

Unfortunately no. Would you or anyone be interested to start a similar business venture? Seniorsaloud could provide the consultancy services :-)