New community space in Woodlands for non-profits to assist residents in northern S'pore

Education Minister Lawrence Wong speaks with a resident as she exercises at the Gym Tonic in SPACE @ Woods Square on April 23, 2021. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG
Education Minister Lawrence Wong try their hands at an experiential “ fishing” activity to get a sense of the difficulties faced by people who seek help. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

SINGAPORE - A new community space in Woodlands will bring together three non-profit organisations so that they can more effectively partner and help Singaporeans in need who live in the northern part of the country.

The new 21,500 sq ft Space @ Woods Square was donated by the developers of integrated commercial development Woods Square - Sekisui House, Far East Orchard and Far East Organization.

The community space was unveiled on Friday (April 23) by Education Minister Lawrence Wong, who is also an MP for Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC.

The three non-profit organisations - Care Corner Singapore, New Life Community Services and World Vision Singapore - will be able to partner one another in providing collaborative and complementary services that will benefit and empower the community, said Care Corner Singapore in a statement.

"It's so important that while the government does more, we also strengthen that spirit of mutual help, support and fellowship within the community," said Mr Wong, also a patron of Care Corner Singapore.

He added: "This new space will indeed enable (the organisations) to serve people in need in a more effective way, especially for beneficiaries in the northern part of Singapore, and to expand their outreach to new volunteers more effectively."

Care Corner's integrated youth service pilot, meant to provide mental health screening and basic support for youth with mental health issues, will operate out of Space. The non-profit's senior services team will also run strength training gym Gym Tonic, funded by philanthropic organisation Lien Foundation, for elderly beneficiaries at the space.

New Life Community Services plans to use the space to expand its flagship literacy and children mentoring programmes, as well as run holiday activities and camps, said its executive director, Mr Steve Kon.

World Vision intends to use the space to continue providing youth with service learning opportunities with its partners Youth Corps Singapore and Ngee Ann Polytechnic.

The three organisations will also be using the space as a training hub for volunteers, said Care Corner Singapore.

From hotline counselling, befriending, mentoring training to youth community projects, an estimated 2,000 volunteers will be trained annually in the premise.

Care Corner Singapore chief executive officer Yap Poh Kheng said that the new space is a result of collaborative efforts across the community, as well as the public and private sectors.

He said: "What we have done at Woods Square is a microcosm of what we hope to achieve across our spectrum of work for the marginalised in Singapore.

"We cannot and should not be doing it on our own."

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