Joint Press Release – Public Service‑Wide Initiative to Champion Volunteerism
JOINT PRESS RELEASE BY PUBLIC SERVICE DIVISION (PSD) AND MINISTRY OF CULTURE, COMMUNITY AND YOUTH (MCCY)
Public Service-Wide Initiative to Champion Volunteerism
The Public Service will collectively adopt at least 50 charities in the coming year, to enhance staff volunteerism in all public sector agencies.
A senior officer in each ministry will be appointed to champion and sustain volunteerism among officers in the ministry and its statutory boards.
To further support this commitment, with effect from 1 January 2016, civil servants will be able to take one day of volunteer leave per year, to volunteer at any Institution of Public Character of their choice.  This is to encourage civil servants to expand their volunteering efforts beyond agency-led initiatives.
Head, Civil Service, Mr Peter Ong, said, “A culture of volunteerism is essential for fostering a caring and cohesive society in Singapore. The Public Service is playing our part by supporting and encouraging more public officers to volunteer. We believe that the adoption of different charities will allow for sustained commitment among public officers who will build meaningful relationships with their adopted charities.”
Please refer to Annex for examples of volunteerism undertaken by civil servants in the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY), Singapore Customs and the Public Service Division (PSD).
About Public Service Division (PSD)
PSD aims to build a first class Public Service for a successful and vibrant Singapore. To deliver excellent public services and enable an effective government, we develop strong leadership and engaged officers, build future-ready organisations, and promote good governance. For more information, please visit www.psd.gov.sg.
About Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY)
MCCY seeks to inspire Singaporeans through the arts and sports, strengthen community bonds, and promote volunteerism and philanthropy. Since its inception in November 2012, MCCY has been actively engaging the arts, heritage, sports, community and youth sectors. The Ministry aims to bring into sharper focus the efforts to build a more cohesive and vibrant society, and to deepen a sense of identity and belonging to the nation. MCCY will work with its stakeholders to create an environment where Singaporeans can pursue their aspirations for a better quality of life and together, build a gracious and caring society we are proud to call home.
Examples of Volunteerism by Public Service agencies
Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth
The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) has adopted Stamford CareHut since 2013. Stamford CareHut is a school-based student care centre providing affordable after-school care for children from low-income and/or single-parent families. MCCY officers conduct weekly KidsRead sessions for the Primary 1 and 2 children at the centre. The Ministry has also separately established an Aspiration Fund (with funds contributed by staff) to support children at the centre who exhibit potential and talent in areas such as arts and sport.
Riding on MCCY’s programmes in arts and sports, MCCY also exposes the children to relevant opportunities, such as visiting the museums during Children’s Season, and witnessing the 28th SEA Games Singapore 2015.
Last year, the MCCY leadership team collaborated with Stamford CareHut on a ‘VolunTeaming’ initiative. The centre needed a fresh coat of paint and the children were invited to develop a few designs. The leadership team tapped on these ideas to paint a wall mural for the centre.
This year, MCCY embarked on a mission to makeover the flat of a child from the centre. Officers spent two days spring cleaning, fitted in new furniture, and painted the flat, so that the child has a clean and safe house to return to after school.
Singapore Customs has adopted the Bishan Home for the Intellectually Disabled since 2001. Singapore Customs officers regularly volunteer as Outing Buddies and have brought the residents to various places of interests in Singapore, including the S.E.A Aquarium and Gardens by the Bay. Singapore Customs also takes part in Bishan Home’s annual anniversary events and helps to raise funds through the annual sale of vegetables planted by the residents of Bishan Home.
Singapore Customs officers also volunteer at other organisations such as Edible Gardens, National Kidney Foundation, Social Creatives, Food from the Heart, and Dignity Kitchen, to offer different volunteering options to their officers.
Public Service Division
The Public Service Division has partnered Lion Befrienders on community service for more than five years. PSD officers meet seniors from Lion Befrienders regularly to celebrate key festivals, such as Chinese New Year, Mid-autumn Festival, Dumpling Festival, and Christmas.
In addition to regular blood donation drives, PSD also joins MCCY officers for the weekly KidsREAD programme with Stamford CareHut. In August this year, PSD officers participated in the Community Chest Heartstrings Walk at Marina Bay.
In 2014, PSD organised two key events – Sports Fiesta with Youths, and Tourguide Tuesday, where we engaged youths in our community. The former saw youths from Siglap CC Homework Café taking part in bowling and zumba. For Tourguide Tuesday, officer volunteers led youth participants through guided tours of the Singapore Kindness Gallery, The Civil Defence Heritage Gallery, and the Singapore Philatelic Museum.
 Civil servants are currently able to apply for unrecorded leave beyond their annual vacation leave for a variety of approved purposes such as parent care and marriage, up to an annual cap of 14 calendar days. Volunteer leave will be included as another approved purpose from 1 January 2016.