Country - Czech Republic
TG:
mental health problems
Activity: training, food & drinks, integrated services

Out of the Erratic Circle

Organisation

Out of the Erratic Circle is a project of Fokus Labe in the Czech Republich, which opens the doors to the jobmarket for people with mental health problems or other diabilities, in an attractive combination of education, work rehabilitation, diagnostics and training in a gastronomic centre. All of these steps aim to support people in getting a job and achieving special qualifications (work in the kitchen, café, catering, fresh food shops).

Twelve new working places (in sheltered gastronomy workshops within the Fokus Labe organization), and a new gastronomic traning center meeting technical conditions for cooking, preparing of cold and warm culinary fresh products, and a new type of professional education for disabled people are all part of the project. The participants are prepared for culinary and catering activities, and work in the café and the fresh food store.

The project has been financed for 85% out of the European Social Fund and 15% by National Public Sources for a period of 24 months, starting in March 2013 and ending in February 2015. During this period the following aims were set out: preparation of disabled people for the labour market through several step-by-step methods (education, social, psychologic and other support, diagnosis, work placement), the development of the new gastronomic training center, the creation of 12 workplaces withing the Fokus Labe organisation and preparation of dignified work places for people with mental health problems.

Results

The three major results of this project are the 12 new work places at Fokus Labe (paid with contracts), the gastronomic training center and the newly developed special educational course programme. Thus, during the project 45 participants receive special education and training, and 12 participants end up with a job, due to the job positions they created. All participants will gain an enhanced understanding and professional skills regarding culinary, catering, café and/or sales work. All participants have sessions with professional staff (social workers, course leaders, etc.), they invite a successful peer to serve as an inspirational example, they offer the opportunity to gain practical examples, they assist in the participant's work plan and all is interwoven with other psycho-social or pscyhological support.

Although this project was still running at the time of writing and most results as well as the project's sustainability could not be reported on, Fokus Labe has a lot of experience in offering similar services in a sustainable manner. On a social economy basis they have developed many kinds of jobs that they have managed to make a structural part of their organisation. While taking part in a continuous process they are growing continuously, with this project forming just part of their services on offer.

More information

Website: www.fokuslabe.cz

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Country - Czech Republic
TG:
mental health problems
Activity: low threshold, commercial

Pradelna u Mandeliku

“I try to make a friendly atmosphere, we usually talk while we are working. During normal conversation I try to motivate them, commend them for good work. Sometimes I give them an important task and then they see if it´s too difficult for them or it´s suprisingly easy, but everything is without pushing and pressure. It´s just a nice place to work at. Come to visit us and you´ll see.”

Organisation

Pradelna u Mandeliku is a WIP of Fokus Praha in Prague, Czech Republic. Fokus Praha is a civil association with more than 20 years history of providing professional mental health care within the area of Prague and Central Bohemia. Its mission is to support people with mental health problems in their efforts to manage their lives and find opportunities for self-fulfillment in the community.

Pradelna u Mandeliku is a small launderette with mangle which has a long tradition. In september 2011 the organisation Fokus Praha took it over and opened it as a social business. Pradelna u Mandeliku employs people who have experienced mental illness of any age, gender or education level. At the workplace they do anything related to laundry, they put it in a washing-machine, in a dryer, then sprinkle the washed linen with water, and mangle or iron it. Through the work activities the employees are resocialised. They get used to go to work every day again, to get along with other people, to rebuild selfesteem, and step by step get back to normal life. All the people in the team are very tolerant and supportive to each other.

Results

The key result of the WIP are that they employ people who need to be employed not only for the wage they get, but also for the social contact, realise their abilities and boost their self esteem. Through their employment their general condition (mental and physical) gets better. All the participants get to develop their social skills, and if necessary they also learn to do the ironing.

Those who leave, soon usually get another part time job, because full-time is too much, but they opened two years ago and at the time of writing it seemed like some of their employees were getting closer to moving on to regular full-time employment. Of the seven ex-employees they have, two of them have a full-time job as security guard, but the other five did not have permanent jobs.

Since the government is not intending on reducing/changing the financing of companies such as Pradelna u Mandeliku it seems like the project will keep running indefinitely. The launderette customers are very satisfied and they are getting more and more regular customers. In August 2013, four more employees joined the team and working hours were extended untill 6 p.m. That was a big step, and it helped with the increase of sales, which was a prerequisite for keeping the company.

More information

Website: http://www.firmy.cz/detail/12786501-pradelna-u-mandeliku-praha-bubenec.html

or www.fokus-praha.cz

 


Country - Czech Republic
TG: people with mental health problems
Activities: individually tailored, training

RYTMUS

We have three recommendations for those who wish to get involved in WIPs: Use person centered planning, follow the EUSE strategy, and prepare to become a long-term partner to employers.

The organisation

Rytmus offers supported employment in Prague, the Czech Republic. The have done so since 1995. At that time no one provided systematic support to people with mental disabilities in the employment field on the open labour market. Rytmus focuses on people with health disadvantages, mainly people with learning difficulties who want to work in the open labour market, and who need long term support in the development of their skills in order to get and retain a job.

Despite plenty of job offers in Prague, there is a lack of job offers for people with disabilities. At the same time, Prague has many potential jobs in the so-called hidden market. Prague has many large firms and businesses, in which it is possible to create job opportunities by “carving” a new job position. It also helps that Czech state policy has a quota system; Therefore large firms have an obligation to employ people with disabilities.

The aim is to link the needs and demands of employers with choices of job candidates, and thus achieve the creation of a stable employment relationship between the employee and the employer.

The objectives of the Supported Employment Agency are to assist in:

  • Acquisition and development of social and working skills.
  • Obtaining and retaining a job in a mainstream environment and achieving a maximum degree of independence.
  • Strengthening the enforcement of rights and active involvement in civic society.

Activities are carried out by experienced job coaches. Job coaches work with people with learning difficulties on one side, and with employers on the other. A.o. the job coaches assist in: vocational profiling, job finding, and on/off job support, such as guidance in social skills, employer support, and assistance in practical problems outside work. There are also other activities aimed at job seekers such as Job clubs, Social Skills Training. PC Skills Training etc. All is done based on the methods of supported employment in accordance with EUSE methodology.

RESULTS

Through the activities of the SE Agency they achieve improvement of the situation of the target group in the area of employment. Annually, about 60 people participate in their activities, 20-30 people gain experience in employment in the open labour market. Every year they support about 50 employers.

They publish an annual report each year, it is publicly accessible on their websites (in Czech only). They also use Facebook and press releases, and organize seminars, such as those for NGOs on how to work with employers, and how to work with the community around the person, or seminars on CSR about how to work with people with with learning difficulties and the benefits for employers.

More information

Website: www.rytmus.org

 

 


Country - Czech Republic
TG:
(ex) offenders, people with mental health problems
Activities: commercial, integrated services, product sales

Semitam s.r.o.

“We offer the opportunity to learn the value of work and be proud of it. This means living a life where you can care for yourself through an honest wage.”

The Organisation

Semitam offers work as a cleaner or serving, bookbinding or in a sewing workshop, in the Czech Republic. The project is for people with disabilities, for people returning from prison and youth at risk of social pathologies and returning from inpatient treatment.

Semitam was founded in October 2011. In the beginning there were four people in the project, but at the time of writing (2014) the WIP had 16 participants.

The essence is to offer work to people who have great difficulty finding a job without the support from Semitam. People released from prison or youth with pathological tendencies without any previous work experience are offered the opportunity to earn a living through work. For people with physical disabilities the opportunity to work again is to be useful and to take part in the community.

The project is financed by Semitam's own earnings, supported by the Bureau of Labour from April 2012, as well as European funds and the state budget. The latter's funding (for the project Social Business – The Path to Responsibility and Solidarity) will be finished in March 2014.

Results

Semitam has created and maintained a social business as a separate and independent economic entity. They offer jobs and psychosocial support to people with social or physical disabilities and they offer quality cleaning services or original handmade products. In the meantime, employees develop communication skills, learn teamwork, self-reliance and responsibility. While stimulating skill development Semitam tries to make some of their participants - especially those returning from prison – move on to other more permanent employment. Over the years, the company has managed to reintegrate a few participants, who found another job and housing.

Semitam's staff supports and motivates participants through regular contacts, both in groups and individual. Twice a year the whole team meets at a common event, such as a Christmas party. The company also employs a psychologist who is always available for all participants. All in all Semitam offers comprehensive care to people with criminal records.

More information

Website: www.semitam.cz

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Country - Finland
TG:
mental health problems
Activity: integrated facility, individually tailored

“Supported employment in the Clubhouse”
(in Finnish “Klubitalolta tuetusti töihin”)

“The clubhouse model is a best practice on a national level as many studies have proven. Our members wouldn’t be employed without this project.”

The organisation

Supported employment in the Clubhouse (in Finnish: “Klubitalolta tuetusti töihin”) runs two Clubhouses in Helsinki: Helsingin Klubitalo and Itä-Helsingin Klubitalo. The parent organization is Helsingin Klubitalot ry. It works for people with mental illness and on their position in the society, helping them to stay out of hospitals while achieving social, financial, educational, vocational and employment goals, running two Clubhouses in Helsinki (names: Helsingin Klubitalo and Itä-Helsingin Klubitalo). The clubhouse is for people with mental illness, who they refer to as members. Both Clubhouses follow the international Clubhouse model (about the Clubhouse model you can reed more on www.iccd.org ).

The Clubhouse model includes the ambition to help its members to employment. The Clubhouse offers its own Transitional Employment programme (TE) which provides -as a right of membership- opportunities for members to work on job placements in the labour market. Also, the Clubhouse model in theory prescribes to offer its own Supported (SE) and Independent Employment (IE) programme. In practice the Clubhouses have done TE well, but they do not have enough resources to do SE and IE. That is the reason why they have founded a project to develop SE and IE as well as they do TE. In the meantime, they offer courses and groups with themes such as job applications, skill analyses, IT and hygiene and the project worker seeks for external SE and IE placements.

The clubhouse model includes a work-ordered day system. That means that members and staff are working side by side doing Clubhouses own tasks (for example cleaning, administration, research, or work in the restaurant and cafe). All work in the Clubhouse is designed to help members regain self worth, purpose and confidence; it is not intended to be job specific training. TE, SE and IE jobs are normal labour positions given to members(such as library work, market assistance, catering and cleaning).

Results

The key results are that their members have moved on to the more permanent SE and IE labour market (TE is always temporary). Hence, their economical situation has improved, meaning less social security support. Moreover, the members generally gain more self-esteem and their role as members of society has changed as citizen.

The main goal is to stimulate people towards regular paid employment. This is done through the offering of SE and IE placement possibilities for members, educating staff about supported employment possibilities, and developing a good practice model for Clubhouses in Finland. In the past 4,5 years 31 members have gotten employment (usually part-time), 6 have started to study, 14 have interned or had a work experience period, 33 have participated in the job application course or group, and 4 have remained on the same level.

Because the participants have mental illness, results might not be visible straight away; members need time to recover and some of them might need this kind of support for the rest of their life. While the project thusfar only received temporary funding, they are striving to make it a permanent project through discussions with the national ministry of labour affairs and local officers.

More information

Website: www.helsinginklubitalo.org and www.itahelsinginklubitalo.org

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Country - Germany
TG:
mental health problems
Activity:
training + individually tailored

Alondra

The organisation

Alondra is one of the projects of Q-Prints & Service in Germany. Alondra strives to integrate people with handicaps or other major difficulties in finding a job into the labour market. They do so through internships abroad, particularly in Spain and Italy. Participants are first offered a preparatory training, during which they make a job perspective planning, their skills and opportunities are identified, and they receive language training. Then they go abroad for two months, during which they receive more language training, they commit themselves to six weeks of practical internship, and they stay with host families or in an apartment. When the participants return, Alondra offers job application trainings, job seeking guidance, and support for the participants' networking. The project is geared towards people with handicaps who are seeking employment and training and who live in the town Pforzheim, Karlsruhe or in the region Enzkreis. Alondra looks for individual internships for each participant. It is a really wide range e.g. one participant worked in a IT company almost like a normal staff member, while others worked in a garden, elderly care, car workshop, tailoring, painting, kitchen assistant etc. The kind of work depends a lot on the participant's interests, language skills and physical capacity. In all their placements Alondra strives for the work integration of people with handicaps or other major difficulties finding a job, while improving their social participation. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (Germany) and the European Social Fund. The future of the project is strictly bound on the funding period, if the funding period is over the project is over, there are no other opportunities to finance the labour force, but the next funding period is planned.

Results

The key results of Alondra are the improvement of participants' self-confidence. It proves (to themselves and the outside world) that they are flexible and willing to learn, and it motivates and activates the participants. Moreover they develop various skills. As the workplace is selected based on the interests of the participant there are many different areas of work and different levels of work, meaning that each individual participant develops different and personally relevant skills. Alondra stimulates the professional development through opportunities for participants to meet each other, and there is a strong focus on planning and future job opportunities to make the project's effects more durable. About 20% of the participants moves on to regular paid employment. However, they tend to get hired on temporary contracts, and it thus remains the question for how long they stay employed. A positive aspect of the project is that it is very well integrated in a professional network and it offers an international exchange opportunity, which is not provided for by any other institution.

More information

Website: www.q-printsandservice.de/de/projekte/alondra.html

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Country - Greece
TG:
mental health problems
Activity: gardening/agriculture, low-threshold, product sales

EKPSE (PRE) VOCATIONAL TRAINING PROGRAMME

“Vocational rehabilitation may be a positive response to prolonged work disability, accelerating return to meaningful employment, minimising workdays lost, increasing productivity of injured workers, reducing premature retirement, and containing the welfare costs. Early intervention and the patient’s active involvement decrease deconditioning and illness behavior and foster higher return-to-work rates. Moreover, vocational rehabilitation delivered to patients at risk for job loss (but still employed) can delay job loss.”

The organisation

The EKPSE (pre)vocational training programme forms part of the Society of Social Psychiatry and Mental Health in Alexandroupolis, Greece. Besides vocational training, this parent organisation offers housing support, day centres, mobile psychiatric units, community advocacy, education for mental health professionals and rehabilitation programmes. The training programme takes place in Evros and offers vocational and rehabilitative support to people with mental health problems. The trainees raise plants in a field and sell the products on a market. While aiming to increase the self-esteem of the participants, they are supported in their social and labour market integration. The programme not only includes medical and psychosocial treatment but also ways to foster social interaction, to promote independent living, and to encourage vocational performance. At the beginning of the trajectory the participants discuss with the head of the programme what plants or vegetables they will seed. Afterwards they prepare the ground, seed, take care of the plants on a daily basis, harvest and sell at the market. All the products are biological, without the use of insecticides. Besides, participants can also be trained in the keeping of domestic animals such as chickens, pigs, turkeys and rabbits. The project was founded in 1986 and has continually evolved to keep meeting the needs of the participants and society. Since its beginning the programme has grown gradually, now offering work to 17 people.

Results

The main subject of training (agricultural cultivations) and the kind of production (primary sector) was selected taking into account the special needs of the target group in relation with their illness and their previous life. They promote their products to the community and with the earnings they in turn support the programme. In the meantime they receive education, counselling and general work guidance.

Surveys have pointed out that, at 6 months to 2 years after vocational rehabilitation, only about 20% of subjects had a job, whereas many more receive a disability pension. This finding demonstrates that there is room for improving the selection criteria for vocational rehabilitation interventions. Moreover, the role of national disability compensation systems in influencing the worker’s motivation to return to work should not be overlooked, as well as the importance of specific policies aimed at better (re-) integrating and maintaining disabled people in the labour market.

In order to keep the programme sustainable they will continue to work on several key points, namely the empowerment of participants in order to need less employers for the programme, the utilisation of the Social Economy, and an increase of the programme's financial independence.

More information

Website: www.ekpse.gr

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Country - Portugal
Target group:
homeless + drug users + mental health problems
Activity:
Commercial + product sales + environmentally friendly

Cais

“It is important to develop a structured plan for a project, in short, medium and long terms. We also consider it important to conduct frequent assessment of the plan due to an ever changing context.”

The organisation

The “Cais Recicla” project started in May 2011 through a partnership between a private company (UNICER) and and an NGO (Cais) combining the needs of both parties. For Unicer, it was important to be an environmental friendly company; for CAIS, it was important to respond to the need for job placement and capacity building of the target groups. At Cais Recicla they use waste products for the manufacturing of new design products. After the creative process, the designer of the product provides training to the craftsmen, so they can manufacture the design using their own creative insight. Sometimes they also create or adjust exclusive products for a company or institution, or they work on simple hand-work orders from partners.

The association’s target group are people experiencing poverty and social exclusion. In general, CAIS´ target group includes people living in poverty, who normally have various other social problems. They may not only be ex-homeless, but also have had drug, alcohol and/or psychiatric problems. CAIS works with people that already have accommodation, because they have to have some basic stability and self-esteem to fulfil the work requirements.

The main aim of this project is the social-professional capacity building of people in situations of poverty and social exclusion. Specific objectives of Cais are: 1) to support the development of self-reliance of the target group; 2) to give the target group the possibility to acquire a fair compensation; 3) commercialise the developed products; and 4) obtain the sustainability of the business. So there are two types of objectives: those that are related to the target group and the others related to the business. They have social aims but no prejudices related to business objectives, because those are the ones that allows them to maintain the project and achieve sustainability.

The products are disseminated and marketed through a catalogue. The dissemination strategy is a priority element to be improved in this project. Through the last collection of Ecodesign they contacted a famous person and produced a photography session covered by invited social media. They often refuse invitations to small events because they refuse a “pity perspective” on their work. They want people to pay for their aesthetics and quality with a social contribution bonus.

Results

The public recognition of the project is the best result. This recognition led to the award of the prize to the Programme CAHO (Empowering Today) of the CAIS Association, by the European Economic and Social Committee. Through constant analysis and evaluation of results, various modifications were introduced along the way, such as diversification of the products, enlargement of partnerships, as well as continuous necessary adaptation of the project to the context. Although the concept of the project remains the same, it is essential to think and adapt the project continuously.

The elements of success identified are: the cooperation between those involved and the combined efforts working on a shared goal, the excellent quality and recognition of the products, and the recognition and appreociation of the work done by all the people in the project.

More information

Website: www.cais.pt

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Country - United Kingdom
TG:
people with mental health problems
Activities: commercial, training

Travel Matters

“Training in a relaxed, work environment is more effective than in a college. Work experience is on real bookings and so the sense of achievement is higher. The friendly, relaxed environment is very important in building confidence. At the beginning students can be unable to talk to anyone or even make eye contact; in just a few weeks they are interacting with their peers and on the way towards a more positive engagement with friends, family and the community.”

Organization

Travel Matters is a not-for-profit social enterprise, which provides high quality, competitively priced travel services, plus IT training and work experience for vulnerable groups, in England. Founded in 1996 as a project within the National Health Service it became an independent operation in 2006. Over the past seventeen years they have developed into an ongoing business with real social capital. The project was originally set up to provide a work opportunity for people with mental ill health and other complex needs, and to service the holiday and travel requirements of residential care homes for people with complex needs and the elderly/disabled. In 2006, when Travel Matters became an independent company, it continued to provide training programmes but broadened its target customer groups to include general business and leisure travel. This project’s focus is people with mental ill health, but is has also had referrals from other groups, such as people recovering from physical disabilities or drug/alcohol abuse.

Travel Matters’ product – the travel business – itself has a particular focus on vulnerable groups, with more than 50% of its clients being people with physical or mental disabilities, or complex needs. The project's income is a combination of payment for training from the health authority and profits from the travel business, which currently breaks down to around 80:20 (that is 80% training and 20% travel.) Historically this was more like 70:30 but travel business has dropped as a result of an overall fall in consumer spending and increasing use of the internet, plus the closure of residential care homes/restriction of funding for holidays

Results

There are 60 half day training sessions per week, with around 40-50 trainees at any one time. Trainees stay for different lengths of time, from a few months to a maximum of two years. In the last 12 months around 40% of those who left moved into employment, further education or training. These results are far higher than those achieved by the government’s Job Centre (4%) and other public providers. Trainees who have made progress, but would benefit from the continuity of longer support, can go on to become mentors for other trainees. It works very well with trainees who appreciate input from peers. Although IT courses are available at a local college, they do not offer the high trainer to student ratio of Travel Matters (maximum of 1:5), nor specialist, experienced trainers. Travel Matters is unique in providing training in a commercial office environment, with work experience featuring research and administration of real travel bookings, as well as providing a specialist IT training. Work experience trainees acquire transferable customer service skills while IT trainees gain industry recognised ECDL qualifications.

Despite their multiple funding problems (e.g. reduced funding from the health services, no structural funding from grants, the shrinking market of travel agencies, and a structural lack of funding for marketing and communications) the business has survived so far and they aim to secure their future sustainability in various ways. Besides maintaining a high quality level of training and the synergistic partnerships they have with others working in the field of mental healthcare, they will for instance build their income from the travel business, using the growing interest in businesses with genuine social values as a “stand out” factor in promotion to new business targets.

More information

Website: www.travelmattersuk.com

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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.

Results

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

Website: www.destadsbrug.nl

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Country - The Netherlands
TG:
mental health problems, drug users
Activity:
low-threshold + food & drinks

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.

Results

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

Website: www.deprael.nl  

 


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

SCIP

“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.

Results

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: http://www.scipweb.nl/ and www.webbureau-amsterdam.nl