National movement Singapore Cares to encourage more sustained volunteering

SINGAPORE - More Singaporeans are volunteering but many are doing it on a one-time or event-based basis.

The Government is now trying to encourage volunteering over a more sustained period of time.

It's one of the aims of Singapore Cares, a national movement led by the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) and the National Council of Social Service (NCSS). Apart from encouraging more Singaporeans to volunteer, it also wants to help organisations and volunteers to achieve greater impact through their social causes.

An NVPC survey showed one in five people volunteered in 2014, up from one in 10 in 2000.

"For the social service sector, which requires sustained support, the focus will be on bringing on-board organisations and building partnerships. It needs organised groups, from families, schools, companies and grassroots organisations, who can commit time and service for a longer and regular period," said Ms Ng Ling Ling, NCSS' Assistant CEO.

She added that NCSS will coordinate and structure more group volunteering opportunities by causes to serve the needs of social service organisations.

Apart from encouraging more sustained effort, NCSS and NVPC will also help to bring people and organisations together, and provide them with information and partnerships needed for their social causes.

"Our role should be to support and empower the caring instinct in Singaporeans," Melissa Kwee, CEO of NVPC.

Singapore Cares will be officially launched next year (2017).

Companies, social service organisations, schools and grassroots organisations, will come together to design ways in which they can contribute to causes that they believe in.