SPD’s First Charity Show Aims To Create Greater Public Awareness For People With Physical Disabilities

Singapore, 20 June 2007 – For the first time, with the objectives of increasing public awareness of its services and on disability issues, in addition to raising funds, Society for the Physically Disabled (SPD) will be airing its first show, the SPD Charity Show on 15 July 2007 on Channel 8 at 7pm, with Mr Abdullah Tarmugi, Speaker of Parliament as Guest-of-Honour.

Currently, only 5% of people who donate to charity, give to SPD. Despite the high potential to donate to people with physical disabilities, many do not give to SPD due to the lack of awareness of the organisation and its services. A survey of 500 respondents showed that close to 60% of those who have heard of SPD are unaware of the services it provides.  In the same survey, it is found that 66% of the public are willing to donate to help physically disabled people, and five in 10 people were prompted to make call-in donations after watching charity shows.

Through the show and TV advertising campaign, we target to increase by 15% the awareness level of SPD as an organisation serving people with physical disabilities.

SPD will also be airing its first TV commercial showcasing the abilities of disabled people from 21 June onwards leading up to the show. Featuring three clients from SPD, the commercial will show that disabled people are as capable as normal people, with support from SPD and the community. The commercial will also include telepoll numbers to call to donate to SPD

Ms Chia Yong Yong, Chairman of the Charity Show and SPD Vice President said, “We hope that through the charity show, more people will be aware of SPD and the services that it provides in helping people with physical disabilities to realise their potential.  Each dollar donated does not end with that dollar spent. It is a ticket to secure the future and dignity of a fellow human being. It should not follow that a person who is disabled must always rely on charity.”

“I hope that through the show, more people will come to know about SPD. They have helped us a lot and I’m glad to be able to show my appreciation for them,” said Ms Sharon Sia, sister of primary 5 student Sia Jin Zhu, a beneficiary of SPD and client featured in the commercial.

SPD has targeted to raise $5 million for this financial year, which is double the amount from previous years. Out of this, it is targeted that $3.5 million will come from the show. The reasons for the increase are manifold – there is a need to meet and respond to new needs and demands, and the expansion of its services to serve people in the east.

A key reason for the increase in targets would come from the opening of the SPD@Tampines centre, which requires an additional $1.5 million to run. Providing paediatric services for children with development disabilities and adult rehabilitation services, it will serve an additional 160 clients. The opening of the centre would relieve the current caseload of SPD’s Tiong Bahru premises, which serves 1,800 clients. The forecast for the next financial year is to serve more than 2,400 clients in total

Other areas where the funds will go to include subsidies for IT training and assistive technology training, the additional transport costs to meet the increased client load, and increase in operating costs

As part of the publicity for the show, two roadshows featuring MediaCorp celebrities will be held at Hougang Mall on 24 June and Jurong Point on 8 July. Celebrities include Constance Song, Chen Tianwen, Darren Lim and Elvin Ng among others.