Imagine being able to send out a call for help, and not long after, a team of benevolent superheroes arrives at your door to lend a hand. If you’re a not-for-profit or community organisation in Perth, Australia you can basically do just that. Well, almost. The superheroes just happen to be enthusiastic volunteers eager to get their hands dirty to make a difference. One day they’re cleaning up gardens for the elderly, the next they’re running a school program for kids with autism. But this isn’t your grandma’s volunteer program.
Thanks to the young and energetic team behind Big Help Mob, a nonprofit social enterprise, helping out in the community has been rendered not only fun for young people, but also a cool way to socialise with friends.
“The idea behind Big Help Mob is really to make doing good as mainstream as cheeseburgers and breathing,” says Basha Stasak, of Useful Inc., the parent organisation of Big Help Mob.
Paintbrush in hand, Hannah dabs jet black paint onto a square canvas. The woman she’s painting has blood orange hair and yellow lips and eyebrows. Her skin is coloured mauve. She tells me she’s painting a portrait of herself by inverting all the colours, except her red locks. The white rat, which rests on her chest in the painting, is actually black and back at home.
“I don’t really leave the house—ever,” she explains as she touches up the eyelashes with a few more strokes. But today, as rare as it is, she did. [more]
When social entrepreneur Steve Williams left his community development job at a non-profit to start a couple socially-minded companies of his own, he had no idea he’d be back a few years later to apply what he’d learn from the business world to solve one of society’s big questions: how to supply jobs to the disadvantaged and long-term unemployed. [more]
Alan Greig is the director of Ownership Strategies at The Mercury Centre Cooperative, a cooperative development agency and social enterprise. His wealth of knowledge on social enterprises and cooperatives makes…