35 ways to be good neighbours

A team from the Tampines Arcadia Residents' Committee organises monthly events to promote healthy living, and also help neighbours get to know each other better. The project is one of 35 Good Neighbours Projects that will be showcased at this year's
A team from the Tampines Arcadia Residents' Committee organises monthly events to promote healthy living, and also help neighbours get to know each other better. The project is one of 35 Good Neighbours Projects that will be showcased at this year's HDB Community Week, which runs from today(24may) till June 1 at HDB Hub. -- PHOTO: HOUSING AND DEVELOPMENT BOARD

HDB project attracts creative ideas such as putting up a photo wall

Getting to know your Housing Board neighbours could involve creating artworks together, gardening or learning how to lead a healthy lifestyle.

These are among 35 Good Neighbours Project activities featured in this year's HDB Community Week, which begins today.

"We want to keep the old kampung spirit alive in the HDB heartland," National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said in a blog post yesterday.

The Good Neighbours Project aims "to encourage residents to come up with creative ideas on how to better bring their neighbours together", he added.

It is organised by the HDB and the Singapore Kindness Movement and supported by the People's Association, and had its first call for projects late last year, drawing 78 proposals.

Of these, 35 were shortlisted and put into practice in March and April this year. Teams could apply for funding of up to $1,000.

Students from Siglap Secondary School, for instance, held traditional games and a kite-making session, while a team from ITE College West collected photographs of past and present Choa Chu Kang for a photo-wall, encouraging residents to reminisce.

Such activities have reached out to about 3,400 residents.

The teams will share their experiences at the Good Neighbours Showcase at the HDB Community Week 2014 exhibition, which runs from today till June 1 at the HDB Hub in Toa Payoh.

Awards will be given to the top three teams in four categories: primary, secondary and post-secondary students, and residents. Winners will get plaques and up to $2,000 cash.

The public can vote for the Most Popular Project in each category, with winners getting a plaque and up to $1,000. The prizes will be presented to the 16 winning teams on May 30.

In the running is Mr Daryl Tan's team from the Tampines Arcadia Residents' Committee.

"We often visit the coffee shop together, and we noticed that the people there are getting older," said the 52-year-old, who works in shipping.

So his team decided to hold monthly events promoting a healthy lifestyle, giving these seniors a chance to mingle too.

Said Mr Tan: "We hope they can also find support among residents in the same block."

janiceh@sph.com.sg