Tote Board gave $418m to a variety of causes

The Tote Board's grants help causes like Caregivers Alliance. The grants enable the charity, which runs programmes to support caregivers of the mentally ill, to provide its services for free, said Caregivers Alliance chairman Chew Sutat. PHOTO: CAREGIVERS ALLIANCE

Singapore's biggest giver of funds, the Singapore Totalisator Board (Tote Board), has handed out $418 million to a wide range of causes.

The key projects include the Tote Board Mental Health Initiative and Enabling Masterplan, the national blueprint for disability services.

The grants handed out are from its last financial year, which ended in March this year.

Mr Chew Sutat, chairman of Caregivers Alliance, a charity that runs programmes to support caregivers of the mentally ill, said the Tote Board's grants help the group to provide its services for free.

Noting the stigma attached to mental illness, he said: "By keeping our programmes free, we are able to get more caregivers to come."

About one in eight adult residents, comprising Singaporeans and permanent residents, has experienced a mental illness, according to a 2010 Singapore Mental Health Study.

Since the Tote Board was set up as a statutory board in 1988, it has given out more than $8 billion.

The money, from lotteries, horse races and other games, is given to causes ranging from the arts to education, and social services to sports.

The latest distribution figure is lower than that in the last two financial years - $542 million was given in the 2014 financial year, and $579 million a year later.

During those two years, it supported big-ticket items such as the development of the Sports Hub and National Gallery, as well as various community events like the Chingay Parade and National Day Parade.

It also gave an additional $125 million to the Care and Share@SG 50 Movement, out of the $250 million in grants pledged by the Government to match donations raised by charities and the Community Chest.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 24, 2017, with the headline Tote Board gave $418m to a variety of causes. Subscribe