“Independence and a self-determined life are of enormous value: We are happy to take important steps in this direction with the residents.”
Constanze Egger, steward of the PATRIZIA Child Therapy Augsburg
PATRIZIA Child Therapy Augsburg, Germany
In 2015, the Ziegelhof therapy centre was established in the Stadtbergen district of Augsburg. Here, children and adolescents are treated curatively or therapeutically and cared for together with their families. In addition to conversational, ergotherapy and art therapies, the focus is on working with animals.
The PATRIZIA Children Foundation has erected a multi-purpose building for this special form of therapy with animals. In the facility, the partner organisation „Stiftung bunter Kreis” now offers animal-assisted therapies all year round.
Five barrier-free apartments
At the same time, young people with disabilities can live in the therapy centre: In cooperation with the PATRIZIA Children Foundation and other sponsors, five barrier-free apartments have been created. Here, the young people can be accompanied on their way to independence in the best possible way and, depending on their needs, can also be looked after and integrated into their careers.
Moments of happiness with animals
Children with whole body strength can fully relax during riding therapy on the Ziegelhof. Children with behavioural problems learn patience, calm and a sense of responsibility when dealing with animals. The following applies to all adolescents: The moments of happiness with animals are carefree hours that remain in the memory for a long time. Special attention is also paid to the siblings of seriously ill children in a therapy so that they do not feel neglected or even develop symptoms of illness themselves.
Nina’s Happiness Story
The path to independence is equally difficult for children and their parents. Nina’s family has gone it and is not restricted by her mental handicap.
It is a two-room apartment. Since December 2015, Nina has been living at the centre for animal-assisted therapy in Augsburg. Since 2013, she has been qualifying here for tasks in the nursery, landscape conservation and home economics. For her it is a big step into an independent life, because the young adult was born with a mental disability. Despite all her efforts, Nina cannot read and write well. But she has other abilities which she has acquired herself: For example, playing the piano.
Working independently on the farm gives her self-confidence.
Nina is currently learning continuously to successfully complete her training. Every day, together with the other trainees, she feeds the animals in the brick yard, cleans out the stables and takes care of the site. Of course Nina earns her own money here – and she is particularly proud of that. As a branch of the Dominikus-Ringeisen-Werk Ursberg, the Ziegelhof supports the young trainees not only professionally, but also health-wise. Thus, each Monday a riding therapy takes place, with which the young people can strengthen their sense of balance by riding without saddle or they can improve their body awareness by rides in nature.
Nina’s wish is to volunteer at the German Red Cross and to get her driving license. She knows that driving a car will perhaps remain a dream, and that is only one of many reasons why the twenty-year-old struggles. The obstacles on her path sometimes make her sad. Her family and friends give her strength, as do the tasks that await her every day in the brick yard. These give her self-confidence and are fun. Her mum, Beate, feels good about it: “Nina has found her place in life and is in good hands here.”