Council Services / Community

Break O'Day Council - THRIVE

The Break O’Day community face a complex range of challenges, from limited access to health services, training and development opportunities, high unemployment, demographic impacts and other barriers to growth.  With such a wide range of issues identified by the community, it was clear a multi-faceted approach was needed. 

A partnership between Break O’Day Council, St Helens Neighbourhood House, St Helens District High School and the local Learning Information Network Centre was set up, to enable the development and delivery of solutions at a grass roots level.

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Figure 1: The THRIVE project brought together Break O Day Council, St Helens Neighbourhood House, LINC and St Helens 
District High School

First a needs assessment was undertaken. The community was surveyed to ascertain how to increase Year 12 outcomes, with a focus on the social determinants of health.

The needs and solutions identified from the consultation were documented in a framework for action and the key organisations involved developed the‘THRIVE’ model, which is comprised of the elements shown in the illustration below.

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The partners committed to a focus of 20% planning and 80% action and results. Four groups were established to tackle the issues identified:

  • Mental Health
  • Social Enterprise
  • School Mentoring
  • Training and Working

These action groups are giving real opportunities to our community, and have already delivered some serious results.

The Mental Health Action Group has:

  • set up Skype access to Mental Health Services for those unable to travel
  • delivered information sessions designed at increasing awareness of mental health
  • ran workshops on resilience, suicide prevention and mental health first aid

The Training and Working action group has:

  • had more than 60 people enrolled
  • with 85% completing training
  • 48% continuing training
  • 24% now volunteering and using their new skills
  • with 16% gaining employment

The School Mentoring action group has:

  • successfully matched 17 mentors with 17 mentees, at St Helens District High School
  • given the success there, the program will soon be rolled out to St Marys District High School

The Social Enterprise Action Group:

  • developed a community garden producing fresh produce for sale
  • will also teach participants about healthy eating and food preparation through cooking classes
  • obtained a $250,000 grant to convert shipping containers to affordable housing accommodation  
  • at minimum, obatained and apprenticeship for one young person and
  • a further 6 are well along the path to towards a trade career in construction

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Figure3: Members of the THRIVE group continue to work to help solve some difficult commumity problems
by working together

The THRIVE group continues to work directly with the community identifying areas of need and formulating real solutions that will have real results. Their vision is a thriving community and their purpose -  to activate and connect the community to empower Break O’Day people to lead meaningful lives and create a successful future.