SINGAPORE: A new community volunteering network has been set up to bring together existing HDB community-bonding programmes and volunteers into a single network.
Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong announced the launch of the new Friends of Our Heartlands network on Saturday (May 27), at the start of HDB Community Week 2017.
Existing programmes such as the Heartland Ambassador Programme, Project SPHERE, Good Neighbours Project, and Friendly Faces, Lively Places Fund will be consolidated under three new tracks under the new overarching network, according to a HDB press release.
"This new network will provide a continuum of volunteering opportunities across different tracks, opening up more ways for volunteers to deepen their involvement and capabilities, as their experience, skills and interests evolve over time," said HDB in the press release.
The three new tracks - "Cultivate", "Activate" and "Facilitate" - will enable volunteers to choose how they wish to contribute to the community, the press release added.
Under the "Cultivate" track, young or new volunteers can start out by participating in outreach events to share tips on neighbourly behaviour and eco-living, to encourage positive behaviours for better HDB living.
As they become more active in the community, volunteers can go a step further under the "Activate" track to initiate their own projects, facilitated through the HDB Friendly Faces, Lively Places Fund.
The third track - "Facilitate" - offers opportunities for volunteers to facilitate conversations among residents in the community and build consensus on local estate renewal plans that will improve residents’ day-to-day living.
Training in ares such as communication, facilitation and project management will also be provided to "equip volunteers with skills to perform their new role effectively" HDB said. "In the long run, they will be able to build up a rich reservoir of knowledge, skills and experience in facilitating community conversations, which could be applied in other areas, beyond housing."
During the launch of Community Week 2017, Mr Wong also gave out Good Neighbour Awards to individuals who had gone the extra mile to enrich their community with acts of care.
The HDB Community Week will run from May 27 to June 2 at the Punggol Town Square, located near Punggol MRT station and Waterway Point.
Members of the public can visit an exhibition showcasing stories from the community, enjoy musical performances by local talents, and take part in workout sessions, craft workshops and other activities.