Profile and background

Profile and background

Established in 1993 by Wendy and David Nesbitt, The Nesbitt Centre is a key NGO in Hong Kong to provide an English educational programme aiming to maximize potential in adults with a wide range of cognitive abilities.

We focus on abilities, not disabilities. We encourage students to grow by providing opportunities to learn, experience and reach their full potential in life.

We create opportunities for life enrichment, through academic skill development, employment, sports and leisure, arts and music, social activities and community integration.

TNC operates two campuses on Hong Kong Island. Our main facility in Sai Ying Pun provides a range of training courses to support students’ individual Life Development Plan. Our residential facility in Chai Wan assists students to learn to live independently and develop their life skills in the community.

In 2013, TNC started to run two social enterprises The Nest and Café 8 to provide meaningful vocational training and employment opportunities for our students and those from our partner charities.

Life Development Programme

The Nesbitt Centre’s Preparation for Life Programme seeks to respond to changing community expectations, and those of our students, to assist them to raise competence and confidence levels.

It has at its core the development of skills and activities to help students live as independently as possible, as well as being able to care and advocate for themselves with minimal support.

Each student enjoys a full schedule of training to support his or her Preparation for Life Programme Plan. These plans reflect a close collaboration among students, their family members and TNC staff, and include an individual schedule of training work and leisure opportunity to support students’ desires and interests.

Our program is based on the following:

  • students will have access to a program designed to meet their individual needs
  • it offers an inclusive, outcome orientated, individual needs based program to everyone and prioritizes the skills needed for adult life
  • the development of the abilities, talents and interests as well as social and interpersonal skills enabling our students to be participating members of the community and to care and advocate for themselves.

Six Modules are selected to facilitate growth and development of the skills needed to successfully transition to adult life and for some a more independent life.

Life Skills
increasing self-confidence, promoting independence and independent living. Available to all our students covering a wide range of activities including Home Skills and Community Skills.
Independent Living
skills and activities such as Social Skills and Self Care to assist our students to live as independently as possible in the community and to care for themselves as individuals.
Recreation and Leisure
a wide range of both active and passive interests. Sports and recreational activities such as sports, arts and crafts, drama, music etc to enhance students’ gross motor skills, social and communicating abilities, as well as improve their overall health and well-being.
Vocational Education
provide the necessary skills to enable students to make realistic choices and develop the skills and behaviours required to deal with the complexities of the world of work.
Structured Workplace
provide workplace opportunities to assist students in making a successful transition from The Nesbitt Centre to open employment.
Planning for the Future
focuses on helping students to achieve their potential and to participate in activities with the least amount of support.

With the opening of the new Sai Ying Pun MTR station, our Sai Ying Pun Centre is able to provide extended learning time for students with the program now running from 9am – 4pm Monday to Thursday and 9am – 3.15pm on Friday. Extra-curricular activities are introduced in the early mornings and late afternoons, whereby students can explore new hobbies and interests such as keep fit, music, art and crafts and the fun of playing board and card games together.

TNC students are also engaged in other community activities to enrich their learning experience. These include assisting at the HKPGA competition in Fanling, Sailability Hong Kong’s sailing program, joining locally organized hikes and fun runs, Hong Kong Award for Young People, Hong Kong Games, Art Exhibitions and Projects, Talent Competitions, Musical events at St John’s Cathedral.

TNC Residence

From our facility in Chaiwan (Pamela Youde Hospital), we provide supported living for those students wishing to be more independent or for those families wishing to use it for respite. Students enjoy a high degree of autonomy including planning, shopping and cooking their own meals. Many resident students work in the community and utilize public transport to travel to work, or to our Sai Ying Pun centre for their Preparation for Life Programme.

At PY, students live within a safe, supervised environment and the training they receive helps them learn to take responsibility for their own lives and attain greater independence than many parents ever believed possible.

Social Enterprises

TNC students working in our social enterprises of Café 8 and The Nest are supported by job coaches, and receive on- going training and guidance in all aspects of the food & beverage industry.

They are taught to:

  • learn and develop important skills needed in the workplace
  • handle various tasks of the food and beverage industry
  • build their confidence and self-esteem from the work experience
  • develop their social skills through interaction with customers
  • prove their capabilities as potentially valued employees enabling progression to further employment opportunities
  • feel a sense of achievement and inclusion in the workplace and contribution to societ

The Nest

The Nest, the first of our Social Enterprises opened in early November 2013. It can be found in the Garden of St John’s Cathedral in Central and currently employs 6 people with learning disabilities on a part time basis.

Funded by Operation Santa Claus and with the help and support of other public sponsors, we were able to satisfy our dream of enabling our students to showcase their abilities to the local community and beyond.

Café 8

Opened in late 2013 Café 8 is a unique collaboration between the Hong Kong Maritime Museum and The Nesbitt Centre.

Situated at the Rooftop of Pier 8 in Central, Café 8 offers one of the most desirable views of Hong Kong and currently employs 16 staff with learning disabilities. The restaurant received an award this year from Social Welfare Department for the work we have done and continue to do at Café 8.