Ms Evelyn Lai has served in the social service sector for 15 years, both as a practitioner and a leader. With a strong belief in the strengths of every individual and the importance of families, Evelyn has worked with different groups such as children, youths, and families. Perceptive to community needs and with a forward-looking mindset, Evelyn has developed several innovative and impactful programmes to enhance their quality of lives. For example, she started the Project New Leaf, a programme to help ex-delinquents re-integrate into mainstream education and the larger society through supportive casework. She also started a few community medical social services, integrating health and medical support, to help families with members suffering from long term medical conditions to continue to live meaningful and active lives in the community.
Evelyn assumed the leadership position of Viriya Community Services in 2008, just four years after her joining the sector as a counsellor fresh from university. She rose to the challenge of being a young leader with conviction, courage and commitment As the Executive Director, she has led her team to develop the agency into a strong learning organisation with good practice standards and impactful services. Currently, Evelyn is engaged in various initiatives in the sector to nurture leaders with sectorial leadership, and advocates for continuous improvements in professional practice and standards, through innovation and esearch. Evelyn is also involved in developing community-based specialist services to address issues such as mental health, grief and bereavement support.