“We’re a social institution and I feel it’s part of our mission to give a chance to people who haven’t had such an easy time in life.”
Hansueli Eggimann is the manager of Senevita BurdlefExternal link, the retirement home in Burgdorf where Peter works. As he told swissinfo.ch, he finds the enrichment to be mutual.
Under Eggimann’s direction, the home has hired several people with psychological or physical limitations – people referred through JCP as well as Swiss Interchurch Aid and GEWA, another Bern-based organisation that specialises in helping people find employment. He’s placed people in various areas – like the kitchen, in administration and in the nursing department.
So far, there’s been only one case where it didn’t work out.
“In general, it’s gone well – there’s a good collaboration. There is a certain amount of support required, but that’s just a part of it,” Eggimann said. For example, when Peter started, “he was rather mousy and couldn’t really express himself very well. He was very inhibited. But I could always see his potential. After a time that potential really began to unfold.”
Eggimann offered Peter a permanent position at the end of 2013. “And today he’s indispensable for the team. It’s going really well.”
He encourages hiring managers to give supported employment a try.
“With JCP you have a partner in the background to help support you. It’s a good programme – really gratifying.”
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