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

Out of the Erratic Circle


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.


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.

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Country - Czech Republic
Target group:
mental health problems
Activity: low-threshold + food & drinks

Café Práh

'Many clients need to primarily strengthen their self-confidence, basic social and work skills and their relations with relatives, in order to develop professionally. It is important to talk with a client about his or her life in a broad context'

The organisation

Social therapy workshop Café Práh was founded by Práh, a non-profit organisation that provides social services to people with psychosis and/or affective diseases in Brno and surroundings. Práh's social services touch upon all areas of life, such as housing, career and leisure.

Social therapy workshop Café Práh helps and supports to obtain social and practical work experiences and habits for people with psychotic and/or affective disorders, most commonly paranoid schizophrenia and manic depression. In addition to practical work experience, we practice group support activities such as a job club, a psycho-educational group, social skills training, and cooperation with family, psychiatrists, health care and addiction services for clients who have dual diagnosis. Café Prah also fights stigmatization because the café's customers encounter people with mental disabilities. In their “Training Café” they organise many cultural events (e.g. author readings, theatre performances, concerts, opening, etc.).

Social-therapy workshop Café Práh offers 4 training positions: Waiter/waitress, cook, cleaner or salesman/ saleswoman. At the time of writing the café had 37 participants, and there are always more candidates than there is capacity at the workplace, so there is a waiting list.

The café was founded in 2005. Right from the start the goal of this project has been to help and support participants in developing their work and social skills, and to help them (re)enter the labour market. However, they do not only focus on work reintegration, but also on the participants quality of life. They support their clients in improving their self-reliance so they will be stimulated in their recovery process.


Over the years Café Práh has proven to be successful in various ways. More than 1/3 of their participants has been able to return to the open labour market, the average number of hospital visits of our participants has decreased by about 80%, and they have managed to increase their sales revenue over the past years. For the 2/3 of participants that do not move on to regular employment the work at Café Práh also contributes significantly to their life, since it helps them to work on their abilities during their therapeutic recovery, and strengthens their self-esteem, confidence and psychological condition.

All participants work with a vocational rehabilitation plan in which they work on short-term and long-term goals. The skills they work on vary from person to person, but the most common skills are: increasing the workload and work hours that people can take, regarding their stamina and concentration; communication and other social skills, particularly in relation to self-confidence; coping with stress and developing self-managed care strategies to stabilize their mental illness. In doing so they do not only work with various specialists, but also with the close relatives of the clients.

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Country - Germany
food & drinks
TG: drug users

Café Seidenfaden

Café Seidenfaden (silk thread) is an alcohol-and drug-free woman café from the organisation Frau sucht Zukunft in the center of Berlin, near the Hackescher Markt. It is a certified labour and training project for abstinent addicts and otherwise disadvantaged, long-term unemployed women who want to work in the restaurant industry. They offer daily changing lunch menus, a seasonal à la carte menu, homemade cakes, coffee and tea, soft drinks and a variety of fruity non-alcoholic cocktails. We place special emphasis on quality and freshness, we largely avoid flavor enhancers and use local produce as much as possible.
Café Seidenfaden's guests can relax in a pleasant atmosphere and entertain, socialise and enjoy a delicious meal. Saturday is family day.

The café offers work experience, on the job training and employment with additional earnings associated with professional orientation. Gastronomic expertise and professional qualifications as a specialist in hospitality or office clerk can be obtained through entry-level training, retraining and education. When learning and working qualified instructors and trainers support in the kitchen, service, housekeeping, catering, and secretariat. Their particular interest lies in offering a caring working environment and good team work. It is always their goal to expand the number of apprenticeships and jobs, primarily through their full-service catering. Benchmark for all their activities is the satisfaction of their customers and employees .

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Country - The Netherlands
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.

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