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Keppel pledges S$500,000 over 3 years to strengthen SPD's sheltered workshop

Local charity SPD will also get a boost with volunteers from across Keppel Corp's units

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President Halimah Yacob (seated) at SPD's sheltered workshop programme on Tuesday. Looking on (left) is Keppel Corporation chairman Lee Boon Yang.

Singapore

KEPPEL CARE Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Keppel Corporation, has pledged S$500,000 over the next three years to support a sheltered workshop programme run by local charity SPD.

This partnership was launched on Tuesday morning by President Halimah Yacob at an event held in conjunction with the annual United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

The workshop began operating back in 1967 to provide supported employment for those with disabilities who have difficulties finding jobs in the open market.

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Currently, there are 150 persons with disabilities of varying ages and skill levels enrolled in the workshop, many of whom are receiving vocational and community living skills training.

Keppel said that it will also help enhance the workshop through skills-based volunteerism and by organising various activities to engage SPD's clients.

Keppel Corporation chairman Lee Boon Yang said: "A team of young leaders from across Keppel's business units will work with SPD over the next two years to improve the efficiency and financial viability of the sheltered workshop. Keppel volunteers will also organise befriending activities and life-skills workshops for SPD's clients."

Keppel's support also includes funding kerb-to-kerb transport for trainees who have difficulty commuting between the workshop and their homes due to the severity of their conditions. SPD president Chia Yong Yong said that the partnership with Keppel enables the charity to put in place a new apprenticeship programme.

This initiative will see experienced craftsmen involved in the grooming of new talents among the other trainees to increase their potential, and to enhance the sustainability of the artisanal craft services and products.

Five apprentices have been identified so far for the programme, and they will pick up new skills and contribute more effectively at the sheltered workshop.

"(The partnership with Keppel) is a good example of how companies can work with charities in an impactful way to support persons with disabilities. We hope this is the start of a long-standing partnership that will motivate and inspire others to contribute in any way that they can," said Ms Chia.