New volunteer centre in Tampines to better coordinate programmes to help community

The new SG Cares Volunteer Centre @ Tampines collaborates with 35 social service agencies and community groups. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Tampines residents now have a one-stop centre for volunteering opportunities with the new SG Cares Volunteer Centre (VC) @ Tampines launched on Saturday (April 24).

The centre, which has been operating since November last year, is run by Brahm Centre, a charity that focuses on promoting mindfulness programmes to reduce stress.

Over 1,400 Tampines residents have benefited from these programmes, art and exercise classes and community care services in the past six months.

The new VC in Tampines will coordinate and collaborate with social service agencies, ground-up initiatives and grassroots to share resources and cater to the different needs of the community.

It will also help to grow volunteerism and build volunteer management capabilities.

Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for Health Masagos Zulkifli, who was the guest of honour at the opening ceremony, said: "Our SG Cares VCs are key enablers in creating a caring community and in uniting our society.

"They help to channel the good-spiritedness and generosity of Singaporeans to where they are most needed in the community."

He added: "For Singapore to continue to succeed, we must be relentless in our pursuit of building a caring society. At the heart of this is the spirit of care and volunteerism."

Last Saturday (April 17), Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat and Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong also said volunteerism by the youth and building social bridges were vital to Singapore's society.

Mr Heng had said: "We can do more, where everyone puts in a little bit of effort, and we make a difference."

Mr Masagos, who also co-chairs the SG Cares Steering Committee, witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Dr Ang Hak Seng, deputy secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, and Ms Angie Chew, the chief executive and founder of Brahm Centre.

Ms Chew said the Tampines centre, located at Block 473 Tampines Street 43, collaborates with 35 social service agencies and community groups, and aims to partner 80 organisations by June.

She started Brahm Centre in 2012 to provide free health education and befriending and counselling services. The Tampines centre is its third and largest centre.

Residents interested in volunteering can reach out to Brahm Centre or do so through the website.

Since November 2018, community-based organisations have been appointed as SG Cares Volunteer Centres as a key initiative under the SG Cares Movement to strengthen ties between government agencies and community organisations to better coordinate their various programmes.

To date, 14 such centres have been launched in places like Yishun, Ang Mo Kio, Geylang and Boon Lay.

The centres have engaged more than 10,000 volunteers and have served over 71,000 beneficiaries. They are expected to be established in all 24 towns across Singapore by March next year.

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