Tote Board gives $418 million to various causes, particularly mental health

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 - 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 are 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 (2017).

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

Noting the stigma attached to mental illness, he added: "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 more than $8 billion.

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

The latest distribution is lower than the last two financial years, when $542 million was given in financial year 2014 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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