87 volunteers recognised for service to the community

Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Mr Chan Chun Sing (middle, in white) mingling with guests at the Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay.

SINGAPORE - 87 volunteers were honoured the at the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports' (MCYS) Volunteer Awards 2012 yesterday evening.

The appreciation event was held at the Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay and was themed "Rays of Hope".

Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Mr Chan Chun Sing who was guest-of-honour at the ceremony praised the volunteers' dedication towards helping the disadvantaged and the vulnerable in the community.

Addressing the guests, Mr Chan said their efforts have "provided comfort and relief, and illuminated the lives of the less privileged, the disadvantaged and the vulnerable".

The ceremony honoured volunteers who had served in many different capacities.

59 people received their long service awards, 24 individuals received recognition as "Friends of MCYS" and three recipients were crowned "MCYS Outstanding Volunteers".

One of the winners for "MCYS Outstanding Volunteers" award was Mr Tan Heng Huey who has served as a Volunteer Probation Officer for 31 years.

Mr Chan shared with the guests how Mr Tan's patience and care has helped numerous young men and women to turn their lives around.

The highlight of the ceremony was the award for "MCYS Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer Award" which was presented to Dr Sylvia Goh for her lifelong efforts to provide a comprehensive network of services to foster children and foster parents.

The minister said that Dr Goh's 45 years of dedication to these people "has been exemplary".

Her efforts contributed to the fostering scheme which grew to include catering to abandoned babies and to the setting up of a specialised Fostering Unit.

Under the scheme, more children were able to receive foster placements. A support group and a 24-hour support hotline for foster parents were also established.

In his speech, Minister Chan also reminded the guests that MCYS will be restructured to become Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) with effect from Nov 1, 2012.

With this change, Mr Chan said that the ministry will put even more emphasis on families and social issues.

wjeanne@sph.com.sg

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