HDB Launches Broom It! Day – Creating lnclusive Communities in the Heartland

http://www.hdb.gov.sg/fi10/fi10296p.nsf/PressReleases/EFFE90E8AC18483A48257D3900100FFE?OpenDocument

HDB has launched Broom It! Day under Project SPHERE (Students, Singapore Pools and HDB Enriching and Reaching out to the Elderly) on 19 August 2014. Close to 200 students and staff volunteers will take part in spring cleaning sessions, held concurrently at 18 HDB rental blocks, across five zones islandwide.

Beyond building flats, HDB’s mission is also to build active and cohesive communities. Broom It! Day is the latest initiative to encourage the formation of inclusive communities. It aims to promote the spirit of volunteerism among the younger Singaporeans to care for the elderly. At the same time, it helps to bridge the gap between the young and old, through the students’ interaction and engagement with the elderly, in various activities.

Through Broom It! Day, HDB hopes to generate interest and raise awareness of Project SPHERE, so that more schools and industry partners will come on board to support this programme, and make a difference to the lives of elderly residents living in rental blocks.

On Broom It! Day, a total of five spring cleaning sessions will take place concurrently in 18 HDB rental blocks in five different zones in Singapore. HDB will be partnering five schools for Broom It! Day – St Patrick’s Secondary School (South East Zone), Chestnut Drive Secondary School (North West Zone), Dunman High (Central Zone), Nan Chiau High School (North East Zone) and Hua Yi Secondary School (South West Zone). A total of about 150 students from these five schools and at least 20 Singapore Pools volunteers will be participating in the spring cleaning session.

About Project SPHERE

In line with HDB’s overall strategy to build community-centric towns, Project SPHERE aims to help students develop a stronger commitment to serve the community and engage the elderly residing in their school’s adopted rental blocks. Students from participating schools actively organise spring cleaning sessions for the needy elderly in these blocks, helping them with housekeeping and simple household repairs.

Project SPHERE is a joint initiative between HDB, the Ministry of Education, Singapore Pools and Tote Board. Since its inception in 2002, Project SPHERE has benefited about 88,000 elderly residents from over 103 HDB rental blocks. About 117,000 students have participated and organised close to 3,000 activities for the elderly. Major supporters Singapore Pools and Tote Board have contributed more than $1 million since the start of Project SPHERE.

Participants also organise activities to help the elderly strengthen their cognitive and social skills, as well as their physical abilities. Common activities organised by the students include art and craft workshops, memory game sessions, karaoke sessions, outings to places of interests and dancing/singing sessions. There are also customised activities such as photography sessions, scrapbook-making, and competitions that are pitched to the interests and the capabilities of the senior residents.

On top of the activities organised by the schools, in Jul 2011, Project SPHERE introduced spring cleaning sessions where students and volunteers from Singapore Pools would jointly carry out spring cleaning of rental flat units. Since then, more than 15 Spring Cleaning Sessions have been organised, involving the participation of some 450 students and 112 Singapore Pools volunteers. More than 150 needy elderly have benefitted from these sessions.

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