Firms chip in to give charity’s building a free makeover

Firms chip in to give charity's building a free makeover

The Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped is to get a much-needed makeover – with its termite-infested carpets torn up and brighter, energy-efficient lighting installed.

In the first joint social-responsibility effort by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and the Singapore Contractors Association Limited (SCAL), the 46-year-old building is getting a new set of carpets, along with new ceiling boards and partitions.

Kind-hearted local companies are donating materials and manpower worth around $30,000 for the project. SAVH is not bearing any of the cost.

The group’s Toa Payoh Rise headquarters is made up of four buildings which are used for activities such as art and crafts, and workshop training, in which companies employ visually impaired residents to carry out jobs. The 62-year-old association benefits more than 3,300 visually impaired individuals.

Work on the centre began on Wednesday, involving more than 40 BCA employees and 10 workers from SCAL member companies. It will be completed on Saturday.

The SAVH has been unable to carry out renovations due to a lack of funds, although it has benefited from corporate social responsibility schemes, including one which saw the donation of furniture from French fashion label Louis Vuitton. However, this is the building’s most extensive makeover in the past decade. Termite- infested plasterboards and carpets will be changed along with ceiling boards while brighter lighting will help those with sight problems navigate their way around more easily.

“Our building is very old. After this makeover, the environment will be more hygienic,” said SAVH skills development manager Leow Chee Tsai, who has been with the organisation for 35 years.

BCA deputy chief executive Lam Siew Wah said: “We are happy that more companies are coming in to donate materials and manpower.”

Source: The Straits Times