The severely disabled also works at the St. Georg Social Work Center in Gelsenkirchen. Their tasks depend on their abilities.
Marcel Gunner focuses on the board in front of him. He has a thin metal stick in his hand, which he turns around in search of, after a few seconds he puts it in the corresponding rectangular recess milled into the board. Fits. “Well done,” he praises Jean-Oliver Kolpatczyk.
Marcel Gunner has a severe disability – “a person in desperate need of help,” corrects Stephanie Langer of St. George’s social worker, who doesn’t like the term “multiple disabilities.” Jähner is one of about 600 people in need who work here, Kolpatzik is a clinical and teaching nurse, looking after Marcel Janner and his colleagues. Their tasks are diverse.
The residents of Gelsenkirchen take part in working life
The metal rod spliced by Jähner is one of a group of metal parts that together form a set of fasteners for a plumbing company. When all the parts come together it comes in a small plastic bag which is then welded. The company commissioned the social worker to issue these sentences – it’s a typical work order that the company receives regularly. A win for all involved: The company gets its work done, the people who sort and pack the bags are involved in working life and are, of course, paid for their work.
Sitting in a bright and friendly room, Marcel Janner is kindly taken care of by Kolpatczyk and his co-workers – the atmosphere has absolutely nothing to do with the idea of people with disabilities being locked up for boring jobs and still taunted by some haunted minds. “We focus on people,” Stephanie Lange and St. George’s general manager, Adrian van Eyck, said in unison.
These people work in the workshops
Men and women who cannot work in the general labor market because of their physical, mental or psychological disabilities work in a workshop for people with disabilities. This definition is broad – and most importantly for officials in social work that each person can be deployed according to their abilities and also according to their desires.
Adrian van Eyk explains: “When a person comes to us or is placed with us, we take a very close look at the person, try to figure out where his interests lie, and try out several areas of activity.” There are many areas of activity on site in Emscherstraße.
Jobs for the zoo, coffins for crematoriums
For example in large carpentry. A load of wooden poles has just arrived here: on behalf of Zoom Erlebniswelt, the poles must be sharpened so that they can later become a fence. Two employees (without hindrance) work out the action steps needed to carry out the order. At the same time, simple wooden coffins, such as those used for cremation in the crematorium, are made in the same hall. In the courtyard, employees push moving containers in front of them containing mounds of files that have been destroyed here. Cars are also washed, gardened or greeting cards made: the spectrum is wide.
It is important for Adrian van Eyck to create a smooth transition from work in the workshops to the general labor market. “No one should work here who doesn’t have a chance in the normal working world,” he asserts. Therefore, many people will not be employed in the workshops, but abroad, in companies and authorities such as the city of Gelsenkirchen.
Work in the old town café and in the bistro “AufSchalke”
One example is INTZeit-Arbeit, a company incorporated under the St. George umbrella. The goal set here is to create jobs for people with and without disabilities in the primary labor market. This is possible, for example, in restaurants such as the Altstadtcafé or the bistro “AufSchalke”.
It is possible that Marcel Gunner will not have a chance in the first job market, he is severely disabled because of it. But when he finished packing his plastic bag, he smiled contentedly. Work begins eagerly the next day.
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