New volunteer centre in Geylang to bring partners together

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong and CareLibrary participants Oon Siew Eng (right), 87, and Phua Ai Lien, 92, at the SG Cares Volunteer Centre @ Geylang yesterday. CareLibrary is a programme t
Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong and CareLibrary participants Oon Siew Eng (right), 87, and Phua Ai Lien, 92, at the SG Cares Volunteer Centre @ Geylang yesterday. CareLibrary is a programme to help seniors at risk of cognitive impairment.PHOTO: MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION

The social needs of residents in Geylang could soon be better met, with the launch of a new centre that aims to grow volunteering efforts, and to bring together partners to collaborate and mobilise resources.

Yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding which appoints the Care Community Services Society (CCSS), a charity, as the operator for the SG Cares Volunteer Centre @ Geylang.

He was accompanied by Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong and MacPherson MP Tin Pei Ling, and others.

The centre, located at 103 Lavender Street, is one of at least eight volunteer centres that have been set up across Singapore since 2018.

The SG Cares office, a unit under the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY), will support CCSS in its efforts to collaborate with community partners and coordinate resources in Geylang, said Dr Ang Hak Seng, deputy secretary at MCCY.

In a Facebook post, Mr Heng noted that while the pandemic has disrupted lives, especially for those who are disadvantaged, he is heartened that many have stepped up to help the vulnerable.

"Indeed, this is the spirit of Singapore Together, where we pull together our energy and resources, to help the vulnerable among us," he said, adding that Singapore must rally more citizens to play a more active part in contributing to society to emerge stronger.

This latest volunteer centre, Mr Heng said, will add to Singapore's efforts to galvanise communities to action.

In the recent Budget, he unveiled measures such as a two-year extension of the Business and IPC (Institutions of a Public Character) Partnership Scheme, which will encourage more corporate volunteerism.

"I hope that the measures that I announced at Budget 2021, to encourage giving and support for our social sector agencies, will bring even more people to donate and volunteer," he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 24, 2021, with the headline 'New volunteer centre in Geylang to bring partners together'. Subscribe