More seniors wanted to give their time as volunteers

President Halimah Yacob noted that seniors are likely to be able to volunteer more frequently and over a longer period of time as they may have fewer duties and responsibilities at home.
President Halimah Yacob noted that seniors are likely to be able to volunteer more frequently and over a longer period of time as they may have fewer duties and responsibilities at home.PHOTO: RSVP SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE - Baby boomers, you're wanted.

As the newly appointed national centre of excellence in senior volunteerism, RSVP Singapore, wants to rope in more people in their mid-50s to 60s to encourage them to volunteer at local charities and hospitals.

RSVP Singapore will also work with other organisations to offer these seniors more opportunities to be volunteers.

President Halimah Yacob said this in a speech at the RSVP Singapore's 20th anniversary charity dinner at the Marriott Tang Plaza hotel on Wednesday (Oct 31).

Madam Halimah noted that seniors are likely to be able to volunteer more frequently and over a longer period of time as they may have fewer duties and responsibilities at home.

"They really are a very important and rich source for us to tap to do volunteerism in Singapore," she said.

Currently, about 60 per cent of RSVP Singapore's 2,500 senior volunteers are in their mid-50s to 60s, said RSVP Singapore's chairman, Mr Koh Juay Meng.

The organisation will have to tailor their programmes to better suit this group of new volunteers, as they have very different needs and wants from the previous generation, said Mr Koh.

"They are likely to be more IT-savvy, higher educated, and have a more stable income, so they will come in with a different perspective of volunteerism; what we need to do is curate different programmes to suit this group of people," he noted.

Some volunteers at the event welcomed the news and said it would help attract more seniors to volunteer.

A long-time volunteer, Ms Marie Mattar, 75, said: "As the percentage of seniors is getting higher, I think it is very important that we get more of them to volunteer.

"We don't want them to retire and do nothing at home. Our aim is to get them to come out and continue to be part of society and the best way to do that is to volunteer."