New helpers for Hellabrunn Zoo

Lebenshilfe Werkstatt GmbH and Hellabrunn Zoo have joined forces to officially launch a cooperation project

Copyright: Tierpark Hellabrunn/Jörg Koch

Copyright: Tierpark Hellabrunn/Jörg Koch

Copyright: Tierpark Hellabrunn/Jörg Koch

Since 1 May, a joint project between Lebenshilfe Werkstatt München, a Munich-based employment workshop for people with disabilities, and Hellabrunn Zoo has provided the zoo with welcomed manpower for cleaning the visitor paths in the zoo.

Having completed the test phase successfully, the project with the outdoor work group will officially be launched on 1 August. In the coming weeks, the group is expected to grow to up to 14 members with various disabilities. The project serves as an example of social inclusion, providing job opportunities for the disabled and successfully integrating them into a company with almost 200 employees.

As part of the collaboration, the team of helpers from Lebenshilfe Werkstatt GmbH will work at Hellabrunn Zoo on a daily basis. In addition to cleaning the visitor paths, they will also help the zoo staff perform seasonal duties such as clearing and gritting in winter and similar work in autumn. The extra help will allow the zookeepers and gardeners at Hellabrunn to devote more time to other duties. "It is important that our zookeepers are able to spend as much time as possible with the animals. And so came the idea of joining forces with Lebenshilfe Werkstatt to help us carry out certain tasks," explains Rasem Baban, Director of Hellabrunn Zoo. The cooperation relieves the keepers of non-specialised tasks and creates more time for actual keeping duties and the planning of interesting, new features for the enclosures.

"People need a job. They want to show what they can do," says Mayor and Chairman of the zoo, Christine Strobl. "Everyone has skills, strengths and talents. But we also all need to be wanted in the workplace. I therefore welcome this very helpful ability programme". The new helpers will be accompanied and supervised by trained Lebenshilfe Werkstatt GmbH personnel at all times.

For the members of the Lebenshilfe team, their enriching experience will lead to a positive experience for visitors at Hellabrunn. Thanks to the zoo's initiative, Lebenshilfe Werkstatt is able to offer its disabled workers jobs in a great working environment. "We think it's wonderful that the Hellabrunn Zoo initiative enables us to offer our employees attractive, inclusive jobs and are happy to accept the challenge to be on site 365 days." says Andreas Jehn, managing director of Lebenshilfe Werkstatt