Central Singapore CDC to look beyond helping the needy: Mayor Denise Phua

SINGAPORE - To keep up with the times, the Central Singapore Community Development Council (CDC) must look beyond its traditional role of helping the needy, Mayor Denise Phua said on Saturday at the appointment ceremony of the 8th Council.

And to help find out where their efforts are needed, the CDC will conduct needs analysis for various age and income groups.

Ms Phua said: "I think the landscape in which CDCs operate has changed. There are now many other players as well."

These include social service offices, family service centres and voluntary welfare organisations.

With these other "helping hands" around, the CDC still has to look at helping the needy but must move beyond that as well, said Ms Phua. "I believe the scope will be larger than before and will not be as traditional than before."

There will be a greater focus on helping people to bond and connect, as well as more support for special interests, ranging from the environment and healthy living to arts and culture, she said.

To find out what is needed, the CDC will analyse the needs of different communities: children; youth; adults including professionals, managers, executives and businessmen (PMEBs); and seniors, including those in the pioneer generation.

The CDC will conduct focus groups and consult community partners such as family service centres and grassroots organisations.

Ms Phua hopes to "complete some basic analysis" within the next 100 days, which will give a better idea of what projects to embark upon.

The CDC will then look for partners and funding to develop signature programmes.

Some initial plans are for improved versions of its existing schemes for children from needy families and seniors, and outreach efforts to PMEBs and other adults through inspirational talks.