portrait of ourselves
The Lebenshilfe Braunschweig’s commitment is to create positive living conditions for the handicapped by taking care of them, stimulating their development and integrating them in the community of the non-handicapped. The intention is to enable mentally disabled men and women to live on their own with as little outside help as possible while providing as much protection and aid as may be needed.
The Lebenshilfe Braunschweig, an organisation established in 1960, is shareholder of a non-profit limited liability company offering services to over 1300 handicapped people in about 30 locations. A medium-sized company with a staff of about 600, the Lebenshilfe has become Braunschweig’s biggest organisation offering assistance to handicapped people. Comprehensive structures are available to achieve the organisation’s prime goal, which is the autonomy and social integration of handicapped people of all ages and of any type of handicap.
- The Lebenshilfe Braunschweig offers a wide range of information as well as support and care for children and their families. The intention is to ensure the security of home while supporting parents in their efforts to stimulate and encourage their handicapped children to the greatest possible extent. The Lebenshilfe Braunschweig provides a range of specialist services, including speech therapy, ergotherapy, therapeutic horse riding, nursery schools and a special family relief service. The Lebenshilfe also runs an interdisciplinary centre focusing on the stimulation of child development at a very early age, outpatient treatment of autistic children and physiotherapy.
- Those who cannot find work on the normal labour market because of the type and severity of their handicaps are offered vocational training and work at the workshops which are run by the Lebenshilfe.
Five such workshops provide about 1000 jobs for people with mental or emotional handicaps. These jobs include assembly work and joinery, metalwork, textile and printing work. Great efforts are made to find them jobs on the regular job market and to enable them to live on their own. In addition, vocational training and associated programmes are provided as well as pedagogic treatment and therapies to develop and stabilise their personal skills, their social behaviour and their vocational abilities. Besides working at the workshops, everybody can participate in music, theatre and dance group activities, or go to the art studio.
Outside orders come from noted manufacturing companies; the workshops’ in-house products are sold over the counter at the workshop stores directly to end users. Product quality is warranted by internal quality and process control. The workshops – and all the other activities of the Lebenshilfe Braunschweig – have been certified in accordance with DIN ISO 9001:2000.
- The Lebenshilfe Braunschweig also provides extensive and differentiated care and accommodation facilities. Some of these facilities are located in Braunschweig, some in the vicinity.
Depending on the severity of the handicap, the services available at these facilities cover anything from round-the-clock care to home care at the individual’s own apartment for just a few hours a week. Also provided are an old people’s day home, a short-term nursing home, and a travel agency.
- The organisation arranges multi-faceted leisure programmes, which include bowling, canoeing, soccer and holiday trips. At general meetings, board office hours and in family talks, members have an opportunity to make suggestions and recommendations.
- The Lebenshilfe Braunschweig is assisted by young people doing their alternative national service and by trainees and individuals doing a voluntary social year or a preparatory vocational social year. Thanks are due to many committed parents, a great number of volunteers and our sponsors – their joint efforts help improve the chances of handicapped individuals to participate in community life.