AMK gets 4 new social support centres

Four new centres providing a range of social support services to residents in Ang Mo Kio were officially opened by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday.

Family Services @ Yio Chu Kang is the first centre to be piloted and funded by the Ministry of Social and Family Development as part of its branch model, which aims to extend counselling services and support programmes to more residents .

Family Services @ Teck Ghee will support people facing marital, financial and child-related issues.

Comnet Cluster Support, which covers the Ang Mo Kio-Bishan area, will help vulnerable seniors, while Youth Infinity caters to young people aged between 11 and 21. The latter has programmes that target first-time young drug offenders and children with parents in jail.

The centres are part of the 18 "touchpoints" islandwide that come under AMKFSC Community Services (AMKFSC), which first started out as the Ang Mo Kio Social Service Centre.

"AMKFSC pioneered this model of bringing all the services together to make a one-stop neighbourhood centre in 1978, almost 40 years ago," said Mr Lee, who is also an MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC and AMKFSC's patron.

Chief executive officer Vincent Ng said that since the centres started operating last year, social workers have seen a 20 per cent increase in their case load.

"This shows that the centres are creating awareness and people are coming in," he said. Last year, AMKFSC served more than 8,500 individuals and families.

Social and Family Development Minister Tan Chuan-Jin, as well as Ang Mo Kio GRC MPs Darryl David and Koh Poh Koon were also present at the event. They later joined Mr Lee in touring booths showcasing a new initiative to encourage healthy eating. Named Project Pilih Pilih (Malay for "choosing"), it allows beneficiaries to pick fresh food produce donated by Mayflower Market in Ang Mo Kio every month.

Mr Lee also presented four beneficiaries with the Sparks of the Community Award for their contributions to society despite facing various life challenges.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 26, 2016, with the headline 'AMK gets 4 new social support centres'. Print Edition | Subscribe