Q1) Can you introduce yourself and tell us what you do?
Hi, I am Hiok Keat currently the director of Flour Power. Prior to taking rein of Flour Power, I was the founding team of Project Dignity, an award-winning social enterprise headquartered in Singapore that specialises in a range of unique experiences including cooking classes, and community-focused events. Combining innovative business solutions with empowerment, I helped transform the street food industry with Dignity Kitchen™, Asia’s first social enterprise food court run by differently-abled and disadvantaged. Through my efforts, Project Dignity won the Best Social Enterprise of the Year 2015 under the President’s Challenge Award and the world first food court to be awarded ISO 22000.
Q2) What is Flour Power and what does Flour Power do?
Flour Power is a training centre with a focus on using the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework to educate both employer and learner to create an inclusive workplace. We hope through education, we can give special needs and the marginalised a dignified life. We run a bakery as a platform to further our cause.
Q3) What are some of the misconceptions that people have about people with special needs or those who are recovering from mental illnesses?
The most common misconception is that they cannot do much than there is a need for large resources to accommodate them in the workplace. Here at Flour Power, we are consistently working with our trainees on way to redesign the work processes and economical tools to help them perform the task. One of our strength is workplace redesign that balance between business needs and accommodation needs for special needs.
Q4) Have these misconceptions caused any difficulty in running Flower Power?
We see these misconceptions as an opportunity to understand and educate the employer and co-worker.
Q5) What is the best part of running Flour Power?
I think the best part is I get to learn and try out new concepts and tools to support the people we work with. I am always on the lookout for new ideas/ways to improve our work. I get joy through these interactions with different stakeholders and understand their viewpoints. This is important as we cannot just have a narrow view as our work involve the community at large.
Q6) Is there anything you want the public to know about people with special needs or those recovering from mental illnesses?
They are actually very easy to work with, you don’t have to go through a boring workshop or complicated training to understand/ integrate them into the workplace. All we need to is to improve on our mindset, and we have a program that does it and it can be applied to anyone, not just persons with special needs.
Q7) How can members of the public support Flour Power?
You can order some of our bakes like cookies, cake and muffins. Our favourites are Almond cookies, Chocolate chip and Chocolate Walnut muffins.
You can find them at https://www.flourpower.sg/menu
Q8) Lastly, what is your favourite bake from Flour Power? Why is it your favourite?
My favourite is the Pineapple Ball, it is also our best seller during CNY. It is special because the recipe is contributed by a colleague who is a caregiver to a dementia patient. It shows that anyone can be at their best if the environment is right.
Do support Flour Power and the work they do! You can find them at:
(All images are from Flour Power's website and social media platforms)