Workplace Birkenhof

Commune (Lebensgemeinschaft) Birkenhof
The community of 'Birkenhof' is an inpatient facility for adults with mental challenges. The purpose of the facility is providing assistance to the individuals pursuant to German social code

The 50 acre facility is located in northern Germany about 9 miles east of the town of Lüneburg in the village of Neetze. The campus-like facility has three multistory resident halls for approximately 50 adults, various workshops and outbuildings as well as individual homes for staff and their families.

The term 'Lebensgemeinschaft' (life community) means to us the 'living and working together of people with special needs, the employees and their families in family-like living concepts'. To that end, our residential buildings are specially designed for the needs of this 'family-like living' providing single rooms, some double rooms and some apartments. Every resident group has a large, nicely furnished living and dining area, a small kitchen and a community room.

For cultural events, celebrations and bigger community meetings, we use our banquet hall, our café or the residents' bistro.

Therapies are available for example in the form of curative eurythmy and speech therapy with theatre productions, rhythmic massage and physiotherapy.

Medical care is provided in collaboration with an anthroposophical family doctor and an anthroposophical psychiatrist.

Certain parts of the daily schedule, leisure activities, holiday trips etc. are jointly planned and formatted by and for the residents.

Workshops at Birkenhof
The workshops are for woodworking, weaving and textiles, a home economic department and the firewood & gardening department and offer employment for all residents. All the workshops and departments are recognized facilities for disabled people pursuant to German social laws, with an integrated fostering department. Establishing 'external' work places is currently ongoing.

Items being produced in the Wood Workshop include hand carved toys and fairytale castles (brand name Birkenhof) and high quality coat hangers made of different types of wood.

These well-known wooden toys are not only sold in Germany but also all over Europe, especially in Great Britain.

Kitchen towels, woolen scarves, table cloths, napkin bags and similar products are made out of the hand-woven fabrics and manufactured in our Weaving and Textile Workshop.

In the mornings, lunch is cooked in the Home Economic Department. In the afternoon, all the other work that had to be done in the house will be carried out, like laundry home care and the preparation of lunch for the next day.

Firewood and kindle wood is produced by our Firewood and Gardening / Landscaping Workshop. Partly it is delivered to customers living nearby. The ground maintenance and the thinning of our forest also belongs to the duties of this workshop.

Our Mission Statement
We want to create a place where we can shape everyday lives with our mentally challenged adults.

The object of our efforts is to promote the development of the individual personality in the context of our community and to make possible, the equal participation in daily social life. This is based on the anthroposiohic human science by Rudolf Steiner with respects for the immortal and developing individuality as the basis of our behavior.