The People’s Association (PA) was set up to bring the Government closer to the people. Grassroots leaders (GRLs) are volunteers appointed by the PA to serve in various grassroots organisations (GROs). As at July 2016, there are about 38,000 GRLs.
GRLs help to bring the people and government closer, gather feedback from residents, implement the government’s social programmes and help to explain government policies to residents to the best of their ability.
Many people volunteer out of a desire to help others and contribute to the community. While they do not expect any returns, the Government offers GRLs some recognition to facilitate their community work and to better enable them to continue with their community service:
Primary One Registration under Phase 2B
Eligible GRLs with two years of continuous and active service in GROs can apply for Primary One registration for their children under Phase 2B in schools within the constituencies they reside in, together with others e.g. those who have served as school volunteers or are associated with the school. From 2016, the period of service will be increased to two years. The rationale for this scheme is to promote greater collaboration between the schools and the community. The experience and expertise of GRLs can be tapped by the schools to start community activities in their areas.
About 1% of GRLs apply per year and the majority of successful applicants continue serving in the GROs for many more years.
MND Grassroots Organisation Scheme
Eligible GRLs with three years of continuous and active service in GROs can apply for HDB BTO flats and Executive Condominiums under the Scheme. The rationale for the scheme is to tap on experienced GRLs to start new GROs and activities in new estates. This is important as residents in new estates do not know each other. Hence, the experienced GRLs can act as catalysts for community bonding.
Less than 1% of GRLs apply per year, and the majority of successful applicants continue serving in the GROs for many more years.
Car Parking at HDB Estates
This Scheme facilitates GRLs in performing their community service, such as visiting residents and organising events. GRLs who drive and live in HDB estates must first buy a valid HDB monthly season parking label. They may then apply for a special parking label, which allows them to park at designated car parks within the constituency where they serve, up to 11pm. GRLs who are non-HDB residents may apply to buy this special parking label at a concessionary rate as they are not expected to park overnight or most times of the day.
This article is accurate as of Feb 2015.