Striding up to SPD’s 50th Anniversary Celebrations Kick-off and the Opening of SPD@Jurong

Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam at the opening ceremony

Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam at the opening ceremony

The sun shone bright as a crowd of 200 partners, clients, caregivers and staff of SPD witnessed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam officially open SPD@Jurong on 10 May 2014.

Photo of Children Performers

The centre began operating in July 2012 to provide easy access to early intervention support for children staying in the western region of Singapore and who have special needs. Located at Jurong East Avenue 1, SPD@Jurong has since served close to 160 children with special needs.

Photo of Mr Thurman interacting with the children

“There was a need for early intervention services on this part of the island and we responded. By bringing services into Jurong, we hope to establish stronger ties with grassroots organisations so that we can work together to extend adequate care and support to our children and their families. We want to make SPD a truly community-based organisation, where everyone has a role in helping people with special needs integrate into the community,” said Ms Chia Yong Yong, President of SPD.

The Early Intervention Programme for Infants and Children (EIPIC) and Development Support Programme (DSP) are the two programmes offered at SPD@Jurong. With early intervention, children with special needs get a boost in their foundation years which go towards helping them maximise their potentials when they grow up.

Photo of the participant before the commence of the Night Walk

In conjunction with the official opening of SPD@Jurong, about 200 SPD staff, clients, donors as well as sector partners and supporters participated in an overnight walk the night before. The “Journey to the West” walk was flagged off by Mr David Ong, Member of Parliament for Jurong GRC, at SPD’s headquarters in Tiong Bahru at midnight and ending the 20km walk at SPD@Jurong in time for the opening celebrations in the morning, signifying SPD’s service outreach into the western regions of Singapore and showing solidarity in the community for the disability cause.

Photo of Participants of Night Walk

The overnight walk and official opening of SPD@Jurong also marked the start of SPD’s year-long 50th anniversary celebrations. Officially registered with the Registry of Societies on 27 November 1964, SPD is planning a series of events from now till March 2015 to celebrate half a century of working in partnership with people with disabilities and their caregivers to develop their potential to the fullest so that they can be self-reliant and independent.

Photo of participant at part of the Walk