Taman Jurong residents to get help and friendship in community outreach effort

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam inspects railings installed by ITE College West student, Muhammad Ridwanbin Abdul Rais (left), and his coursemates in the washroom of a lower middle-income family during the launch of the Adopt-A-Precinct
Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam inspects railings installed by ITE College West student, Muhammad Ridwanbin Abdul Rais (left), and his coursemates in the washroom of a lower middle-income family during the launch of the Adopt-A-Precinct programme at Taman Jurong. South West Community Development Council is extending a helping hand to more isolated and lower-income residents, with the launch of its third Adopt-A-Precinct programme in Taman Jurong on Sunday. -- ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

South West Community Development Council (CDC) is extending a helping hand to more isolated and lower-income residents, with the launch of its third Adopt-A-Precinct programme in Taman Jurong on Sunday.

Forty households will receive a handful of weekend visits every month from volunteer befrienders from ITE College West.

The volunteers will also help plan group outings, festive celebrations and health screenings, and install safety features like bathroom grab bars in homes of the elderly.

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, an MP for Jurong GRC, spoke at the launch and said that the scheme was "all about community, volunteers and unity".

This latest effort follows similar programmes started in Hong Kah North and Choa Chu Kang since last July. Over the next three years, the Adopt-a-Precinct programme will be rolled out to all 18 divisions in South West CDC.

Resident Mr Lin Tse Hong, 77, said that he tries to visit the nearby NTUC Eldercare Centre three times a week to chat with others, but added that many other senior citizens in the estate were isolated by comparison.

"Their social circle is limited," he said. "It's tough for them to take the initiative to approach people."