'Friends of Our Heartlands' network set up for all HDB volunteers

The launch of the HDB Community Week at Punggol Town Square by Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance.
The launch of the HDB Community Week at Punggol Town Square by Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

SINGAPORE - Volunteers of the Housing Board's (HDB) community programmes will now all fall under a common network that consolidates all of the agency's existing, but separate, volunteer and community building programmes.

Announcing the change at the launch of the HDB Community Week 2017 on Saturday (May 27), Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said this will allow volunteers to meet more regularly and better share their ideas with one another.

This new network, named "Friends of Our Heartlands", aims to make it easier for volunteers to try different programmes, as their experience, skills and interests may change over time.

"We will also be able to provide more opportunities for them to volunteer and contribute to the community," said Mr Wong.

Under this new network, volunteer and community building programmes will now fall under three different tracks.

The first is aimed at young or new volunteers who are dipping their toes into volunteering through outreach programmes, such as through sharing tips on neighbourly behaviour and eco-living.

The second track is for more experienced volunteers who want to initiate their own community projects, while the third is aimed at those who wish to facilitate conversation among residents in the community on town improvement features.

Those who want to join the network as volunteers can sign up online via the HDB InfoWEB website.

Volunteers will also receive training in areas such as communication, facilitation and project management to equip them with skills to perform their roles effectively.

To date, about 130,000 members of the public and school students have been volunteers in various HDB programmes, such as the Heartland Ambassador Programme, Project SPHERE and the Good Neighbours Project.

At the launch event of this year's Community Week, Mr Wong also gave out Good Neighbour Awards to 14 individuals and two schools for enriching the community.

The HDB Community Week 2017 will run till to June 2 at the Punggol Town Square, near Punggol MRT station and Waterway Point.