Drop-in centre for young people

Young people in the eastern part of Singapore can go to a new centre to take part in activities with family and friends.

VOX @ Singapore Children's Society was opened officially on Thursday, and is the society's third community-based drop-in centre for young people.

Located at 44 Chai Chee Street near Bedok, the centre aims to serve young people aged 13 to 18. Its name - VOX, which means "voice" in Latin - was selected after a poll of young people, and the centre hopes to be a platform for them to voice their ideas.

Mr Koh Choon Hui, chairman of the Singapore Children's Society, said: "At VOX, we want to hear the voices of youth and put their aspirations and experiences at the centre of discussion. From the design of the centre to the programmes, youth were engaged and polled."

The centre has an al fresco area at the entrance for young people and their families to bond over activities. It also has an open kitchen and bar, a counselling room, and office space for counsellors and social workers. Activities offered include basketball and soccer.

Mr Koh said the centre hopes to cater to the needs of young people in Kembangan-Chai Chee.

The charity's other two community-based youth drop-in centres are the Jurong Youth Centre and RoundBox @ Singapore Children's Society in Toa Payoh.

It has a total of 11 service centres, including some catering to children in primary school.

To date, the VOX centre has reached out to 80 young people. It hopes to serve over 100 each year. Social and Family Development Minister Tan Chuan-Jin was the guest of honour at the official opening. For more information, go to www.facebook.com/vox44cc

Priscilla Goy

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 05, 2015, with the headline 'Drop-in centre for young people'. Print Edition | Subscribe