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Meet the Team – Cyan Khoo, Volunteer Manager

To kick off our ‘Meet the CAL Team’ series for 2023, meet our Volunteer Manager, Cyan!

Her role involves managing relationships with our caregiver volunteers, such as onboarding, planning facilitation training and organising engagement activities for them. These volunteers have graduated from our Caregivers-To-Caregivers (C2C) training programmes, and look forward to give back to CAL and other caregivers like themselves.

Read more about her journey in CAL below:

What made you want to join the social service / mental health sector?

Honestly, I never planned to join the social service. I first learnt about mental health when a former schoolmate passed away from suicide. Subsequently, a few close friends started sharing their mental health struggles with me. As I had never supported anyone with a mental health condition and knew little about the resources available, I felt fatigued and burnt out, and started to withdraw from everyone.

Fortunately, I was able to find my grounding through volunteering with children and young women. It helped me learn more about myself, re-learn how to interact with others, and inspired me to work in a field that enables us to support each other as human beings.

How did you hear about CAL?

A close friend who works at CAL told me about the organisation. It was the first time I heard about an organisation that exists solely for caregivers. Curious, I signed up for the Caregivers-to-Caregivers training programme and decided that I wanted to be part of this meaningful organisation.

Mental health is a topic that many are unaware of, and a lot of stigma exists. CAL creates an open and safe space for caregivers to have open conversations about their journey, and to learn from each other.

What is life like as a Volunteer Manager at CAL?

Being a Volunteer Manager in CAL means so much.

My role involves onboarding, managing relationships with our caregiver volunteers, and organising training and activities for them. After caregivers graduate from the programmes, we follow up with them, try to understand where they are in their journey and ensure that they are supported. Some of them are inspired to sign up as volunteers to share their experience with other caregivers.

What are some inspirational stories you have heard from volunteers?

There are countless stories, as our caregivers regularly amaze me with their dedication to their loved ones.

One that stood out to me, however, was when I connected with one of CAL’s long-time volunteers. He is a caregiver to his friends, a role I had played previously.

Much more than just being a listening ear, I was amazed at the care and effort he puts into caring for his friends. He makes changes to his work schedule to support them better, stays in touch with their family members and conducts regular check-ins with them. I was also impressed by his passion to share his experience and constantly find ways to support more caregivers and persons-in-recovery.

What makes you want to keep going on?

Caregiving is a long, uphill battle. No one should have to go through it alone or in silence. I hope to journey with caregivers and help them find support and purpose. Through journeying with caregivers and helping them find support and purpose, I hope to also prepare myself to be a better caregiver to my loved ones.

About Meet the Team

“Meet the Team” is a series where we introduce some of our colleagues at CAL, and the ‘heart’ work they do here. For more of our stories:


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