SPD Ability Walk 2017 – Speech by Ms Chia Yong Yong

Mr Desmond Lee, Minister, Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Home Affairs and Second Minister for National Development

Our partners, sponsors and volunteers

Participants of the SPD Ability Walk 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen

 

Introduction

1. Good morning and a very warm welcome to the SPD Ability Walk 2017, SPD’s second walk. I hope you are all enjoying your morning!

2. First and foremost, I would like to thank you all for coming down and joining. I am really happy to see the massive turnout for this year’s walk and I want to thank each and every one of you for supporting us.

 

Objectives of the Walk

3. The National Council of Social Service conducted a study last year on the quality of life of vulnerable groups in Singapore and found out that while they feel accepted in society1, a majority of people with disabilities, as well as those recovering from mental health issues, do not feel socially-included.

4. One of SPD’s focus has been to promote inclusion. As we help to enable people with disabilities through our programmes so that they can integrate back into society, we must also encourage Singaporeans to be ready to accept and include them.

5. The SPD Ability Walk started last year and was conceived to provide an opportunity for persons with and without disabilities to walk together and interact with one another, building inclusion one step at a time.

6. We also rely on events like this to raise funds so as to be able to continue running programmes and services that enable and empower people with disabilities of all ages, allowing them to be more independent and self-reliant. One group whom we support, and where the funds raised today would also be channeled to, are children under 6 years old from this very neighbourhood, Jurong. Many of you may be aware that we have a satellite centre here in Jurong, opened in 2012. In the last five years, SPD@Jurong has been running our Building Bridges EIPIC Centre and the Development Support Programme for 250 children on average every year. These are early intervention programmes that provide therapy sessions as well as learning support for children with special needs to help them in their development.

7. I would like to take this opportunity to thank residents of Jurong, the schools around here and the various grassroots organisations for welcoming us into your community, and for supporting our work, the children and their families.

 

Notable Mentions

8. Those of you who walked the 3km trail would have seen Mr Nordin Bin Mohd Syed performing on his guitar. Mr Nordin sustained a spinal cord injury through a work-related accident more than twenty years ago. The 67-year-old enrolled into SPD’s programmes such as the Assistive Technology Centre and the NTUC Daily Needs Programme shortly after. A wheelchair-user, Mr Nordin believes in following his passion and became a professional busker. Today, he has joined us as a volunteer, entertaining us with his beautiful music.

9. Apart from Mr Nordin, I’m also very happy to see that several of our clients and scholars have volunteered to help, and a handful has signed up as participants. They have each chosen to give back to the cause in their own ways. So, thank you, Mr Nordin, and all our clients and their families who have joined us today!

 

Conclusion

10. We take this opportunity to thank our Guest-of-Honor Mr Desmond Lee for gracing this event and doing us the honour of flagging off the walk. We are very grateful to TechnipFMC, Jurong Port, Phillips 66, Zodiac Aerospace Services Asia, Eureka Campaign Associates, That Marketing Guy, and the rest of our sponsors, donors, volunteers, friends and supporters for believing in our mission and working hand-in-hand with us to ensure the success of today’s event. Without your generosity and support, we would not have been able to pull this off.

11. We thank you all of you once again for coming out this morning in support of our cause. We hope you will continue to stay connected and engaged with us. Do please stay on to enjoy the carnival, and the many other activities that are in store for you.

12. Thank you.

 

 

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