REWE Group Sustainability Report 2015/2016
  • Welcome to the Team

toom Baumarkt DIY stores provide a future to people with disabilities. Together with Lebenshilfe, an organisation that helps the handicapped, the company integrates such individuals into its DIY stores. It is up to the entire team to welcome the new employees and help them to play a role at the store.

With a few well-practised movements, Klaus Rank removes the net cover that protects room plants during their journey to the DIY store. His eyes sweep across the shelves and sales area. He refills the displays when necessary and makes sure that the products are well-presented. He keeps his cool even amid the hustle and bustle that surround him in the toom Baumarkt DIY store in Bamberg, Germany. You would never know that the 51-year-old in the red uniform had a learning disability. He greets customers and colleagues with an impish grin. Thanks to his unreserved, helpful nature, he is really well-liked by his colleagues.

Klaus Rank has been energetically doing his new job at the toom Baumarkt DIY store in Bamberg since August 2016.
The 51-year-old man makes sure the shelves in the DIY store are always well-stocked.
As a trusted member of the team, Klaus Rank is liked and respected by his supervisor and colleagues.

Inclusion with Concept

Rank supports the team at the toom Baumarkt DIY store in Bamberg about 20 hours each week. He enjoys his job, has become a regular member of his team, and is liked by everyone. The feeling of belonging is not something that Rank can take for granted – to obtain it, he had to complete a journey that was long and, occasionally, bumpy. Although he had gained some crafts experience over the years, Rank was never really accepted in his work life. But that changed with the help of an organisation called integra MENSCH. A programme sponsored by the subsection of Lebenshilfe Bamberg enables people with disabilities who have jobs at the group’s internal workshop to fill positions at companies and government authorities. Employees receive intensive support – particularly during the orientation phase – from integration counsellors at Lebenshilfe. With this support, Rank was able to find his dream job at the toom Baumarkt DIY store.

“Klaus happily and enthusiastically does his job. He is an energetic worker who adds a special dimension to our team. This successful working relationship was produced by careful orientation training and sensitisation of colleagues. The professional support of Lebenshilfe helped us in this process.”

Martin Dörnhöfer,
store manager of the toom Baumarkt DIY store in Bamberg

Setting the Pace

The Bamberg approach is paying off: Today, 141 people with disabilities are being assisted with community-supported jobs by the integration staff members of integra MENSCH – this amounts to more than 20 per cent of employees of the workshop for the disabled operated by Lebenshilfe Bamberg. toom is the first DIY store in Germany to take part in the comprehensive inclusion programme. In addition to Rank, toom Baumarkt DIY stores support 14 other employees of workshops for the disabled across Germany. In this type of job, the employees with disabilities retain their status as members of workshops for the disabled but can actively perform a job and become a member of a team with able-bodied colleagues. An experienced colleague serves as a mentor for the new employee on the job. This enables relationships with colleagues to be formed and inhibitions and reservations to be reduced. The team will thus grow closer together, creating the basis for social interaction and active diversity.

Lebenshilfe and toom Baumarkt DIY Stores

toom Baumarkt DIY stores have been working with the national organisation Lebenshilfe since November 2014. The objective of this partnership is to remove barriers during a lively dialogue and increase customers’ awareness of inclusion and diversity. For this purpose, toom Baumarkt DIY stores maintain partnerships throughout Germany with the organisations of Lebenshilfe in their city or region. The work involves the following project focal points:

  • Local activities at toom Baumarkt DIY stores – including the joint sale of Christmas trees.
  • Publication of the brochure “Selbermachen leicht gemacht” (Doing it yourself made easy) about three popular DIY topics in a simple language
  • Jobs at toom Baumarkt DIY stores for people with disabilities

One special focal point is the inclusion of employees with disabilities in toom Baumarkt DIY stores. toom has already created jobs from Lebenshilfe workshops in 14 stores.

More Information:

Bundesvereinigung Lebenshilfe e. V.

Integra MENSCH

Further Stories