SOCIAL ENTERPRISE ENTREPRENEURSHIP at its purest
- see a need, create an innovative solution, prove this approach, empower people to excel beyond their wildest dreams
The Break Inc.'s Active Think Tank is a think tank with a difference.
Many think tank's just come up with solutions which are never instituted. Groups like the Venus Project came up with many brilliant ideas which were largely ignored and they lacked funding to do these ideas themselves.
Other social enterprises and philanthropic groups wait for others to come up with great ideas and then consider funding such ideas or operating them in their own programs. This often suffers a disconnect while those with money wait to meet those with great ideas who lack a public voice.
However, those deciding on these ideas often lack the depth of knowledge to appreciate why these ideas are innovative, sound and would actually do great social good.
This often results in brilliant solutions being overlooked and failing to secure funding. This causes delays before such solutions ever help anyone, if at all.
There is a great disconnect between great ideas and action.
This is where The Break Inc. is different.
The Break Inc. have academic, social service workers and community service students who work unpaid to generate ideas to improve the world.
So we are never short of brilliant and well thought through ideas from people who know what is needed to do great social good. Many of our people have worked at the coal face of the helping professions and know what is not working and can see what could work better.
We do not wait for philanthropy or other grants before commencing our ideas (although don't refuse support if its offered - hint, hint!!!).
Our philosophy is it is better to run something for a short period or intermittently to get proof of concept, rather than never at all.
Our Active Think Tank is running the following projects currently:
PROJECTS CURRENTLY UNDERWAY
(invisible) Humans of Melbourne Project
- This project exchanges food for stories with Melbourne's homeless and other rough sleepers. It documents crucial parts of their lives, the highs and lows, that led them to where they are now. It returns dignity to them as people and not just the invisible to be ignored as we walk by. And hopefully if you recognise one (who was happy to have there face on camera, as it is optional) as you walk by after seeing their story you are more likely to help out with a few coins, maybe some food or even better a job.
Work and Development Permit (WDP) scheme
- It is possible, for those who are approved due to financial impoverishment or many other barriers, to work off their fines. The Break Inc. are approved to undertake this role for approved people and can take on those approved to work off fines. A sum of $49.50/hr is removed from your fine for each hour worked. The Break Inc has many different tasks to offer WDP people and can accommodate those of different physical capacities and academic levels. We currently have people undertaking tasks ranging from feasibility studies researching potential new programs, assisting on the 'Unknown Special Forces Memoir' project, therapy groups, and labouring work.
Unknown Special Forces Memoir -
- Many of those who served in Special Forces have amazing stories to tell. However, now they are mostly old men that the world has forgotten. This project has met one amazing soldier who saved many lives, was wounded doing it and still used his skills long after he left the military to fight corruption in his adopted country. He has led an exemplary life which deserves to be documented for future generations. The Break Inc. has arranged a biographer and a team of support staff to collect his life story, fact check information and to publish it so he will never be forgotten.
Free Community Festivals
- This project seeks to make live music and entertainment avaliable to everyone, not just those who can afford tickets. We seek grants and then partner with other charities (e.g., Park Towers Tenant Management) to run free to public events to bring everyone together and let them forget the troubles of their lives for a short while.
Kayak River Cleanup crew
- We are copying a program run in the Denmark where people are given free kayaking if they collect rubbish while on the water. We have a dedicated kayak team of experienced kayakers who regularly run trips on various rivers and the bay. We have decided that a rubbish clean up combined with a paddle makes good sense. It is a healthy way to spend the day and makes the environment healthier at the same time. Win-win. If you are interested in joining us for this then email greg@theBreak.org.a
Mental Health Ranger
- This is once again a copycat program that was highly successful in Scotland. When the Scottish program was run it was used for depressed people presenting to General Practitioners. The GP would offer either anti-depressants or a tour with the local ranger through the national park. A follow-up review found the walk was more effective in alleviating symptoms than drugs. So we decided with so many beautiful parks in and around Melbourne we would launch our own program in coordination with Melbourne Parks. Our staff arrange tours as often as we have participants interested and can undertake this activity in coordination with other activities or program The break Inc. run.
Kayak day tour group
- A healthy, prosocial, proactive and environmentally sound way to spend the day is to kayak one of Melbourne's waterways. Towards this undertaking The Break bought 10 tandem kayaks. We take eskys with food and drinks to spend a day on the water. This is undertaken as a tour to see a different angle of Melbourne rarely seen or in combination with fishing. We have experienced paddlers to help control the kayak for those not experienced in paddling. All trips are following a paddle lesson so you can hit the water confident you know what to do. We have lost no one yet so feel free to join us.
Socially Improvement Social Club
- Research has found a precursor of addiction, loneliness, many mental health issues and even physical health complaints is social disconnection. Humans are mammals and are hard wired to be social beings, however, many of us for a multitude of reasons find ourselves without a social, let alone support, network. To combat this issue The Break Inc. have developed a stigma-free social club that run regular activities where the socially disconnected can participate in various social activities which may include simple activities like coffee shop visits, picnics, movie groups, right through to hiking, kayaking or more adventurous activities. Activities are designed around what participants want to do. The rule of attendance is no one is allowed to ask anyone else why they feel a need to attend. Self disclosure is initiated only by each individual, it cannot be prompted by others.
- It is not well understood in Melbourne that the Medicare system has a provision for group therapy, but it is so cumbersome to activate in reality it is almost never used. For some people this group format of therapy is more effective than individual therapy, as this peer support is very effective for vicarious learning and helps participants develop a support network they can rely on when away from their therapist (who typically is minimally available, if at all, between sessions). Our volunteers put in the time and effort, that is not cost effective for a psychologist to invest, so that group sessions can be run. To meet Medicare rules groups cannot run with less than 6 participants or more than 10 participants. Hence, this complicates group arrangement as if 5 attend then no one can use Medicare. If 11 attend then a group of 10 can use Medicare but the 11th cannot (or even participate in the group). So appreciably it takes a lot of arrangement to meet these difficult conditions. These group sessions are also very useful as they are in addition to the individual Medicare sessions provided by government, so a great support for those who have used up their 10 individual sessions per year. Groups are developed as per demand dictates, but there may be some delays while numbers reach the minimum needed to commence a new group.
- One of Australia's top judo instructors, Jakub Sawczuk (4th dan) operates from his St Kilda club (Tori Judo). He has such a passion for judo he teaches adults, adolescents, children and even toddlers (i.e., mini-judo, 2-5 year olds). Jakub has been rated as high as No.3 in World titles and national champion in kata multiple times. Jakub and The Break have partnered to assist him to bring judo to a wider community. Judo has been vindicated in research to improve health, academic performance and confidence. The Break have been helping Jakub operate mini-judo and seeking to locate grants so he can expand all his classes to be able to accommodate gratis students (who are low income and not otherwise able to afford lessons).
Work for the Dole
- The Break are currently in negotiations to commence this program to assist our various projects while helping people meet their Centrelink requirements while upskilling also. Unfortunately due to coronavirus JobActive providers do not require anyone to participate in this at present. However, should you want a Work for the Dole placement that is more interesting than mopping floors and emptying bins keep us in mind. We will gladly help you develop into a social enterprise entrepreneur, or at least support those already doing this work. Furthermore, you could get hands on in the community helping to run different projects if that is what interests you. We need people to do roles from admin, research, project management, team management, right through to property maintenance. In this way we support people to avoid the often oppressive oversight of Centrelink while doing something of worth for society. We are also happy to write glowing references to high performers and earnest contributors.
This involves sending volunteers to check-in on elderly people who lack adequate social support. Our volunteers do things such as sit for a chat and a cup of tea, assist with basic computer skills, help pay bills online (especially during the pandemic) and some help tidying up. We often send multiple volunteers, some completing WDP, so gardening and similar tasks can be completed.
(13) Therapeutic Art
We recognise not everyone can express and purge the feelings which weigh them down. Art offers an amazing tool to release pent up emotions and find expression where words fail them. We undertake this via Expression Through Art (ETA) and Art IN Motion (AIM), the latter of which is undertaken outdoors on mental health walks or kayak trips.
Bring us an idea and we'll help you make it happen if it seems credible