Established in 1902, Children’s Aid Society is amongst Singapore’s oldest, secular philanthropic organisations supporting disadvantaged children, youth, and families.
Through Children’s Aid Society’s two services, Melrose Home (35 Boon Lay Avenue) and Melrose Care (Blk 557, #01-63, Woodlands Drive 53), the Society aims to provide a holistic range of residential care, counselling and other specialised therapies to support the most vulnerable in our community through their challenges of adverse family circumstances, family violence, and child neglect.
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With a heritage
With a heritage tracing back to the era of British colonial rule in the late 1880s, Children’s Aid Society is among the oldest philanthropic organisations in Singapore. The organization was originally established as St Nicholas Home before developing into Children’s Aid Society in 1902, through the efforts of a group of civic-minded men and women from the British Colonial Government, major European companies, and religious organisations.
These included the Society’s first president
These included the Society’s first president, Hon. W.R. Collyer (Attorney General of the Straits Settlements), Sir Cecil Clementi (Governor of Singapore, 1930-1934, picture on right), and Sir Thomas Shenton (Governor of Singapore, 1934-1942).
In 1930, the Society rented a large colonial bungalow at 29 Tomlinson Road and named it “Melrose Home”. It was run by European matrons who sought to give the Home a family environment, providing warmth, care, and emotional support while seeking to instill good moral values in the children.
After Singapore’s Independence
After Singapore’s independence, the European matrons retired and local Singaporeans took their place to provide a more local setting to the Children’s Aid Society. In the late 1960s, the high cost of maintaining the old Tomlinson bungalow and the need for a bigger boarding house led to the purchase of a property, set along a hillock along Clementi Road. Our honorary architects, 'James Ferry & Partners' designed and built a double storey boarding house with facilities to cater fully to the needs of the residents.
On 31st October 1969, the wife of our first president, the First Lady, Puan noor Aishah, officiated at the Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony of the new Melrose Home at 503 Clementi Road.
In April 1970
In April 1970, The children and staff moved from Tomlinson Road to their beautiful new home and in the following year of 1971, Mrs Benjamin Sheares, the First Lady then, officially opened Melrose Home. In 1972, Mr T.S. Zain became the first Singaporean Chairman of the Children’s Aid Society, heralding a new era.
In 2002, Children’s Aid Society celebrated 100 years of caring for children and launched our centenary book, which highlighted our dedicated service to the community from 1902 to 2002.