Wednesday 15 February 2012

North East CDC extends hours to serve needy residents

Channel NewsAsia, 13 Feb 2012 

Some residents seeking assistance at North East Community Development Council (CDC) have problems with their scheduled meetings with CDC officers during office hours.

A study found that 1 in 35 needy residents that CDC staff meet at their community clubs within the district had struggled with their schedules.

These include those who work odd jobs or are daily-waged, as well as single parents who are working.

The CDC said exceptions are made for such residents.

Its staff work beyond the official operating hours, often early in the morning or after office hours. 

The CDC noted that some needy residents had to take time off from work or rush during their lunch hour just so that they can meet CDC staff for assistance.

Similar feedback had been received by local advisers of grassroots organisations, as well as grassroots leaders in the district.

To help them overcome these problems, the North East CDC is looking into extending its operating hours beyond its usual office hours. 

It'll try this out as a pilot project from 1 March at Kovan Community Club (CC).

Three staff will be on duty from 7pm to 9pm every Thursday.

Mayor of North East CDC Teo Ser Luck said: "It can be very challenging for some of these residents who are already struggling to keep their jobs, to take time off to meet CDC officers to get assistance. 

"Single parents who are sole breadwinners also have to really juggle their schedules to fix a meeting during the CDC's operation hours. 

"With a pilot carried out in Kovan CC, we hope to reach out to this group and more out there, who face similar situations where coming forward to seek CDC assistance is still a challenge."

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