Since 2002, the apprentices of Gebr. Heller Maschinenfabrik GmbH have been committed to charitable work as part of the HELLER Apprentice Initiative. Just recently, the HELLER apprentices once more demonstrated their social commitment at the Vesperkirche initiative and the inclusive HAI football tournament.
The HELLER Apprentice Initiative (HAI) was launched at the beginning of 2002. Since then, the apprentices of Gebr. Heller Maschinenfabrik have been involved in various charitable activities in the Nürtingen region. In 2007, they were awarded the ‘Bingo Prize’ of the city of Nürtingen for their social commitment.
The initiative focuses in particular on the personal education of the young people, which has always been a priority for the company. “Promoting social commitment and togetherness matters to us. It is important to bring the topic to the attention of young people time and again. After all, it provides the basis for good cooperation both in professional and private life,” explains HELLER Head of Training Martin Schmeckenbecher. With the help of the various projects, the HELLER apprentices develop social skills from the very beginning, and learn, for example, to take responsibility, break down barriers, be considerate of others, offer support and strengthen the sense of community.
Just recently, the HELLER apprentices once more demonstrated their social commitment at the Vesperkirche initiative and the inclusive HAI football tournament.
Social commitment of HELLER apprentices for Vesperkirche initiative in Nürtingen
On Wednesday, 8 February 2023, the HELLER apprentices once more took action at the Vesperkirche initiative in Nürtingen. A total of nine HELLER apprentices and instructors Uwe Bentler and Achim Hammley lent a hand for the good cause, helping to serve the guests, clearing dishes and handing out food. On behalf of the HELLER Apprentice Initiative, Deputy Head of Training Marc Lauster also handed over a cheque to the initiators of the Vesperkirche initiative: “In addition to showing their full commitment at Vesperkirche, our apprentices have collected money for the HAI initiative at other events. As a result, we are very happy to present you with an additional donation of 1,000 euros today.” Dr Christiane Kohler-Weiß, Managing Pastor of the Nürtingen parish, and Vesperkirche organiser Evi Handke happily accepted the cheque and sincerely thanked the HELLER team for their commitment. “Our initiative has been able to rely on HELLER not just in financial terms. We are extremely grateful for this,” Kohler-Weiß said with a big smile. According to the superintendent, the demand was particularly high this year. A record number of 760 meals per day was served.
People with disabilities and HELLER apprentices have fun at the HAI football tournament
Three days later, on 11 February 2023, the HELLER apprentices participated in the next event in Nürtingen’s Theodor Eisenlohr Hall. After a prolonged break during the pandemic, the inclusive HAI football tournament finally took place again. For the 19th time, mixed teams of people with disabilities and HELLER apprentices competed against each other. HELLER’s Deputy Head of Training Marc Lauster officially opened the tournament in which a total of eight teams fought for victory.
With a 3:2 score, the ‘St. Pauli’ team won the final against team ‘Germany’, taking home the big trophy. “In the end, everybody was a winner, as the focus of the tournament was on enjoying the games and having fun,” organiser and HELLER instructor Simon Kluge summed up the meaning and purpose of the event. Nevertheless, the other teams did not leave the hall empty-handed, receiving medals, certificates and other gifts from Mayor Annette Bürkner and HELLER Chairman of the Supervisory Board Klaus Winkler among others, which the athletes greatly enjoyed. Klaus Winkler then presented the Turngemeinde Nürtingen with a donation cheque for 400 euros on behalf of the HELLER Apprentice Initiative, which will benefit sporting activities for people with disabilities and handball youth teams.
Afterwards, Simon Kluge summed up the event as follows: “We received only positive feedback – from the teams, the participating institutions, the spectators, the city of Nürtingen and TG Nürtingen, which supported the tournament.”