Local champion of diversity Dr Sylvia Sham dies

A very unusual person with so much passion and commitment

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Wai Yin Centre Dr Sylvia Sham has died.

Having held the position since 1998, Dr Sham led the continuous development of the organisation.

She passed away peacefully on Saturday evening, 10 December with her family around her. A statement from Manchester BME Network, said that ‘when she passed away, she did not suffer any pain’.

Dr Sylvia was renowned as a local champion for diversity, as Chair of GM BME Network, Atiha Chaudry said. “I’m at a great loss of losing an amazing friend and a really active member of the Manchester BME network”.

“The support she gave personally is something that will be extremely difficult to fill”, Atiha said.

“While she led the Chinese community organisation, her vision has always been very much with the whole community. She was a very unusual person”, Anita continued. “Her passion, commitment and the work she did was very much for everybody”.

Spearheaded by Dr Sylvia, the Wai Yin Society employed over 50 staff. It also delivers 11 services to over 500 people each week from Greater Manchester’s Chinese Community and beyond.

The voice of the silent minority

Outside of the organisation, Dr Sylvia contributed to many national, regional and local advisory groups. She also contributed to health and social care organisations for BME business issues. These include Manchester’s Black and Ethnic Minority Strategy Consultation Forum and Salford’s Black and Minority Ethnic Forum. Additionally, she took an active role within the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Advisory Group and many more.

She encouraged Chinese people living in democratic Britain, to take an interest in social and political issues affecting their lives.

This, she believed, gave people the opportunity to have an opinion and to express that opinion through community participation.

Additionally, she encouraged Chinese people to take an active part in groups both locally and nationally. Her aim was to get the voice of the silent minority heard in a constructive and informed way.

On Wednesday 21 December, Dr Sylvia’s body will be taken to the Manchester Crematorium on Barlow Moor Road in Chorlton. Following the funeral, the Wai Yin Centre in Ardwick will host invited guests with refreshments, Atiha said.

TNT’s thoughts and prayers are with Dr Sylvia’s family and friends.

TNT News

Photo Credit: Manchester BME Network

 

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