Activity: low-threshold + food & drinks
Target group: mental health problems, drug users

De Prael

“We can recommend two things: Find a product for which there is a high demand and stimulate people to conduct meaningful activities of which they can be proud.”

The organisation

The idea for a beer brewery as a work project arose in 2001. It took approximately one year to care for the necessary preparations: fundraising, finding a suitable location and a brewery installation. In 2003 they started in a small building in Amsterdam, to which they later added a cantine. Over the years the brewery has grown, and now they also have a restaurant, tasting room and shop, thus offering a lot more and diverse workplaces.

For people with mental health problems it is very difficult to find work activities. There are many projects that offer day activities, but only a few are focused on work (reintegration). Initially the project targeted people with a psychiatric background, but the target group now also includes other vulnerable individuals, such as people with addiction or other psychosocial problems.

The aim is to offer meaningful day activities, professional training and to help people gain control over their lives through the day activity, for instance by helping them find a job. Additionally De Prael wants to produce high quality beer, and keep people employed through beer. They are an artisanal beer brewery, where all steps in the brewing process are conducted in an artisanal manner. Project participants can work at any of the steps in the process: brewing, labelling, filling, or any of the many cleaning tasks. Moreover, participants can also work in the restaurant, the tasting room or the shop.

De Prael works in collaboration with a work/learn school, which is an educational center for people with psychiatric problems; they offer education for those who drop out of regular educational institutions. De Prael offers internships and partially helps people get into the educational programmes on offer.


The initial idea was to have participants move on to regular employment after two years. This failed, because it turned out to be very difficult to have people move on. On the one hand because there is not so much work for this target group, on the other hand because people feel comfortable at De Prael and don't want to leave. De Prael partially solved this problem through expansion -adding a shop and a restaurant. Now the work possibilities and the complexity of work have increased internally, and people can thus develop professionally inside the organization. The expansion has also enabled the organization to hire some participants, offering paid jobs to the most capable participants.

The beer is sold in their shop and restaurant as well as through deliveries to firms and specialised

pubs. Currently the demand is higher than they can handle. By now De Prael has a good reputation. Through collaboration with several mental healthcare instiutitions, a large social housing/shelter organization, and municipal benefit and reintegration departments they have a lot of participants.

Initially income was 90% healthcare subsidies and 10% beer, but now it is 40% healthcare subsidies and 60% beer. They want the percentage of beer revenues to increase even further, to guarantee sustainability regardless of the continuing budget cuts. They will drastically increase beer production in the upcoming years, and they are working on a transportation project, which will enable the delivery of their products over water.

More information




TG: people with mental heath problems
Activities: peer involvement, individually tailored, low threshold, product sales


“Give the participants a lot of freedom to explore their own talents and capabilities. Adjust the activities to the abilities of the participants to keep them involved and responsible.”

The organisation

SCIP started as an independent initiative in 2000, and since 2009 it is an independent client controlled branch of HVO-Querido daytime activities in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. During the foundation of SCIP, the clients themselves decided how they were going to implement the project and they wanted to organise something independent of healthcare institutions. The projects are for people with mental health problems. Individuals who want to work for SCIP do not need official medical approval; everyone who wants to participate is welcome.

The essence of the strategy lies in the client control. At least 51% in all layers of the organisation (from menial work to management) has a psychiatric background. SCIP has 17 paid employees of which 14 have a mental healthcare background. SCIP runs around 18 projects focussing on social integration, meaningful day activities and work (ranging from group dinners to a publishing house). The work-projects are: Tobi Vroegh, ACC, Web buro en login/logout.

Publishing house Tobi Vroegh is a project where volunteers take care of all the activities in the printing and publishing process. All publications have a link with psychiatry, being either written by someone with psychological problems or on a topic related to psychiatry. ACC are computer centres, where in the mornings and evenings people can follow courses, and in the afternoons people can work independently. Login is a shop where new and second-hand computers and hardware are sold. Login has a separate workplace where computers are fixed/put together in order to be sold in the shop. At the workplace they also offer a course on hardware and software and outsiders can visit the workplace to fix their own computer under professional guidance. Logout started in 2008 and offers help with computers at home and Web buro can develop professional websites.


The volunteers participate as real employees and several volunteers move on to paid jobs inside and outside the organisation. Participants become more socially included and learn to put their skills into practice in a protected environment. SCIP emancipates people with a mental healthcare background.

At Toby Vroegh all the expenses are covered by the financial yielding of the publications.

Contrary to the regular approach in psychiatry people at SCIP are not approached or treated as mental healthcare clients, but responsible individuals with personal capabilities. Rather than disabilities the focus lies on talent and individual strengths, and the contribution a person can make to any of the projects. At SCIP individuals shape their activities themselves, without being pushed to walk a certain path or to achieve specific targets. People are stimulated to do things their own way. Consequently there is a low drop-out rate and a higher well-being and commitment among the volunteers and employees.

There are no access criteria, and everyone who wants to participate may do so. As a consequence the participants of SCIP are very diverse in their capabilities, level of recovery and social abilities. The resulting cooperation between those with lighter and heavier problems has proven to contribute to the empowerment of all participants. Those with heavier problems are empowered through the support of the stronger ones, and the ones with lighter problems can gain confidence by fulfilling an exemplary role.

More information

Websites: and


Country: The Netherlands
TG: mental health problems + ex-offenders + homeless + drug users
Activity: low-threshold + integrated services

De Stadsbrug

“We are unique because we offer a lot of different options that are not offered elsewhere for this group of people. We treat our participants as equals and take them seriously, we do not focus on problems but on potential. By making our participants contribute we solve a big societal problem. And last but not least, we do it all with a positive attitude and have fun doing the things we do.”

The organisation

At the Stadsbrug various small social firms are housed under one roof, offering work and learning places to people with great distance to the regular labour market. This includes people who are or have a history with addiction, homelessness, mental illness, judicial contacts and all the problems related thereto, like debts, loneliness etc. There are many small firms; some of them are run by a professional and others are run by the participants themselves (consumer run), so the participants have great responsibility for the success of the business. All the different firms work together and make use of each others skills. In this way they create a lot of synergy. All the delivered work is for external customers so it is taken seriously and the quality of the products and services is high.

At the Stadsbrug people learn lots of different work skills. Buro Dagloon offers work in the community like cleaning and park work. The bicycle repair shop repairs and sells bicycles for consumers and businesses. The Speedservice courier service delivers packages and works for all the other projects, like picking up bikes for customers, doing groceries etc. Utrecht Underground are city tours given by former homeless guides to inform people about the history of Utrecht as a hotspot for the homeless. FietsieFoetsie is a workshop where former bike thieves give education about bicycle theft and prevention. They offer lot of different jobs like being a bicycle maker, painter, doing administration, hairdresser, driver, cleaner, adviser, web-designer, photographer, cook, salesman and a lot more. People can work here from 1 to 5 days a week. Accomplishments are based on what they need and what their capacities are. At the time of wiriting there were about 60 participants on the job every day. Since they started four years ago, the number of participants has increased.

De Stadsbrug is run by three different organizations. Altrecht, which is an organisation in mental health, GIDS an organisation specialized in reintegration and SBWU which offers sheltered housing. The project is funded by government, health insurance, funds and commercial revenue (about 30%). They try to be as independent from community money as possible. Therefore, they continuously develop partnerships with other social organizations and commercial businesses.


All in all, the key results of De Stadsbrug are that they offer people serious and significant jobs, which give people future perspectives. De Stadsbrug supports people on their way to regular employment.

Depending on the job they are doing, participants can develop different skills, but one of the main features of all projects is to give people a lot of responsibility for their task. So besides specific work skills the participants also learn about leadership, running a business, working together and being independent. Sometimes participants move on to regular employment. De Stadsbrug works together with independent companies, and that has proven to be a good way to introduce people to regular jobs. About 10% moves on to regular jobs and 10% drops out. The other 80% stays with De Stadsbrug for a long time, sometimes they move on to a different position within De Stadsbrug. Sometimes they drop out for a while because they have to go to jail or rehab, but most of the time they come back. De Stadsbrug offers participants serious jobs, gives them responsibility, gives them trust, challenges them, and takes their opinions and ideas about what should happen very seriously.

More information


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TG: drug users
Activities: integrated services, product sales


Everyone has qualities; The trick is to put them to good use. At Tactory we believe in the unique capabilities of people.'

The organisation

Tactory is a Work Integration Programme of Tactus addiction treatment services in the Netherlands. Tactus offers treatment and support to people with addiction problems and their relatives. Clients who receive treatment at Tactus often have problems with work and day activities. Addressing it properly contributes to the recovery of the client. Tactory work-reintegration responds to this, offering activities to people with addiction problems and those with a large distance from the labour market. Among others, Tactory offers the following employment opportunities: repairing and selling second-hand and new bikes, catering, greening, service and maintenance jobs, vegetable gardens, cleaning and making wooden furniture and lifestyle products (for inside and outside). For sale and office locations see: Through these projects clients will again feel valuable and relevant, while learning new skills. Moreover, they make beautiful products, which correspond to the current era of people looking for products with a meaningful/good background/story. Tactory work integration started on 1 July 2007 and at the time of writing (late 2013) they had around 250 participating clients. However, due to reduced public funding for such projects in the Netherlands they were expecting a future decline in participants. While healthcare funding and government subsidies finance a large part of the project, some of the financing also happens through sales of their products. In all their work they aim to provide sustainable work for clients, and where possible to enable the flow to regular work.


The most important result of the Tactory projects is that clients structure their lives and that they gain control over their substance dependence. Meaningful day activities have proven to be very important in attaining such goals. While working at Tactory, clients work on their social abilities as well as gain work experience. They also learn to deal with structure. Some clients move on to paid work, although it has become harder due to the economic crisis. The number of clients that flow-through depends on the kind of addiction problem and the professional discipline of the client. The economic crisis also plays a major role.

At Tactory they know like no other how to deal with people with addiction problems. This is because the knowledge of Tactus is put to practice in the workplaces. The clients are supervised by professionals in the field of bikes/woodworks/greening etc., and the work supervisors also have knowledge of addiction treatment. There is close cooperation between the workplace supervisors and the practitioners. At present they are working on making the workplaces less dependent on healthcare financing and subsidies. Hence, they want to sell good products for a fair price, in order to keep offering work to their clients in the future. In 2014 Tactory launched a webshop ( They work with sustainable materials as much as possible while giving people with addiction problems a second chance.

More information:


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