Innovative Practices 2013 on Employment

Jobs for persons with psychosocial disabilities

Brings new life to people in recovery from mental illness through social enterprises.

About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Jobs for persons with psychosocial disabilities
Organisation:New Life Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (NLPRA)
of origin
Hong Kong


Training and employment opportunities created by social enterprises (2011/2012):

– PIRs employed as staff of social enterprises: 74

– PIRs being trained: 500

– PIRs in open employment after training: 118

– Income brought to PIRs as salary to staff of PIRs: HK$5,905,200 (US$757,000)

– Income brought to PIRs as training allowances: HK$630,000 (US$81,000)

– Number of awards received since 1994: 12


NLPRA’s social enterprises adopt a business approach in operation, with the social objective of providing work and training opportunities to people in recovery from mental illness (PIRs) in a real work setting. NLPRA currently runs 21 social enterprises in retail, catering, eco-tourism, direct sales, cleansing and property management. Diversified work trades are provided to PIRs to match their vocational needs and the market demand.

NLPRA adopts a “Training + Employment” model in operating its social enterprises. PIRs are placed in its social enterprises to receive work training with on-going support. With further progress, they might be employed by its social enterprises, or they could go on to seek open employment with the support of the organisation’s Placement Officers. PIR staff are paid at market rate, while trainees receive training allowances as a motivation for improvement.

NLPRA’s social enterprises underwent rebranding two years ago through partnering with local designers. A new umbrella brand “330” has been established. It is consonant with “body-mind-spirit” in Cantonese and echoes the association’s vision of promoting a healthy body, mind and spirit amongst the public. The exercise included new naming and corporate identity design, covering logo, packaging, uniforms, shop design and collaterals.

Furthermore, NLPRA extended the rebranding exercise to its own-brand products produced by the association’s sheltered workshops. New brands have been designed with attractive packaging, distinctive logo and colours, hence giving a visually appealing presentation to the products so as to demonstrate the brand personality. In addition, a “Bright-Buy” message and cartoonised icons with PIRs’ stories are incorporated in the packaging to add value to the brand. These products are now sold in different places like supermarkets, shops, bookstores etc. The new brands have been gaining awareness and recognition in the market.


Hong Kong



YAU Sau-wai, Sania
Chief Executive Officer
New Life Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (NLPRA)
332 Nam Cheong Street, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Phone: +852 2332 4343

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