NTUC FairPrice to raise staff volunteering hours

Singapore’s largest supermarket chain operator NTUC FairPrice aims to raise its staff volunteer hours to 2,300 hours by 2016.

Last year, its volunteers clocked a total of 200 hours through ad-hoc projects.

NTUC FairPrice also plans to increase the number of volunteering activities from 12 in 2011 to 75 by 2016.

To drive this initiative, CEO of NTUC FairPrice, Mr Seah Kian Peng, appointed 13 volunteer leaders to develop a structured staff volunteer programme.

Mr Seah said: “We also hope that by doing this, we can encourage more, other corporates, to also play their part to create a bigger impact for the community.

“This we believe is our way – in being a big employer… we should lead, in terms of creating a bigger social impact and helping to build a better community.”

FairPrice will also work with YMCA and voluntary welfare organisations, such as Food from the Heart, Ren Ci Nursing Home and Society for the Physically Disabled.

66-year-old Chew Eng Huay is thrilled whenever NTUC volunteers visit her at the Ren Ci Nursing Home.

She said: “There are many NTUC volunteers who come during Chinese New Year to toss ‘yusheng’ (raw fish salad) with us. It makes us happy as we sing and dance.”

Data from the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre, released last September, show that volunteerism fell from 23 per cent among 20 to 24 year olds to 16 per cent among those aged 25 to 29.

Research has also shown that volunteer activities organised by employers will attract more volunteers. They will also entice those who have stopped volunteering due to work commitments to pick it up again.

25-year-old human resource executive Chantal Ong used to volunteer when she was studying in university, but stopped when she started working.

She said: “I think it’s the time factor – because as a fresh grad, I will want to spend more time on my career, and then slowly adapting to the company and the work processes. So actually when FairPrice has this initiative, and I’m being nominated as a volunteer leader, I was quite happy to take it up.”

This article was first published in CNA