Social interaction is critical, especially in one’s later years, as it generates a sense of belonging and wellbeing. The Outing for the Elderly Fund was started by Mr and Mrs William Bird in 2009 to enable home-bound seniors to enjoy being out and hopefully reduce their sense of social isolation.

Through the Community Foundation of Singapore, the Birds had visited some beneficiaries and found it a “humbling and enlightening experience”. “From our visits, we realised how little contact many of these elderly had with the outside world because of their medical conditions or immobility, or in some cases the total absence of any attention from family members of friends. Their loneliness and quiet despair were palpable.”

Managed by CFS, the fund enables charitable organisations to bring frail seniors – many wheelchair bound – on regular, organised excursions to attractions such as museums, Gardens by the Bay, the Singapore Flyer, River Safari or even supermarkets. The fund covers admission costs as well as transportation and refreshments and all charities taking care of the elderly are eligible to apply for it.

This initiative has since expanded from a donor-advised fund to a community impact fund. Showcasing the power of collective action, the fund has brought over 7,300 seniors from some 60 eldercare centres and homes on more than 500 outings.

Grant application for Outing for the Elderly Fund

The grant application for the Outing for the Elderly Fund 2017/18 is now open. All registered charities with IPC status may apply for the fund. Guidelines for application are available here. Application forms are available here and here. Closing date for applications is 14 November 2017. For more information, write to oef@cf.org.sg.