Sonja Schüler und Benjamin Stücke stehen an der Bar und lächeln in die Kamera

Close to people | Stories from Bethel

Kitchen fairy in Plan B

Topping burgers, arranging salads, washing dishes - all quickly and preferably at the same time. Most people would work up quite a sweat, but not Sonja Schüler. She works through one order after the other in a calm and focussed manner. Since last autumn, the 38-year-old has been working as an assistant cook in an integrated workplace at the "Plan B" bar in the west of Bielefeld.

"I really enjoy working in the kitchen," emphasises Sonja Schüler. The open team, the recurring processes and the friendly working atmosphere made it easy for her to settle in quickly. Her boss and her supervisor are also very satisfied with her performance. "There's a lot of steam in the kitchen, but Sonja does a great job," confirms bar owner Benjamin Stücke. He knows trained chefs who are not so well organised. "It's all a question of organisation," she reveals her concept.

Sonja Schüler stands in the kitchen and smiles at the camera.
"I really enjoy working in the kitchen."
Sonja Schüler

The woman from Bielefeld even has a key for the pub so that she can prepare everything in peace and quiet in the afternoon for the evening: She cleans the pub, prepares the tables, checks the stock, goes shopping, chops vegetables and stirs dips. "I do whatever comes up." In the evening, she helps the chef prepare the dishes - from schnitzel, burgers and chips to chilli con carne, wraps and falafel.

Sonja Schüler previously worked for proWerk at the reception desk in the Dankort in the village of Bethel. She was the point of contact for visitors and took care of drinks and coffee orders. "I enjoyed doing this, but it was time to try something new." So the amateur chef took the initiative and applied for an internship with the Bielefeld Inclusion Action Alliance. In addition to various partners from Bethel, Plan B is also involved in the network. Sonja Schüler supported the bar team for the first time at the large "Leineweber Markt" city festival last spring.

Illuminated sign from the bar
Bar shelf with bottles
Sonja Schüler slices feta cheese in the kitchen.

"We all jumped in at the deep end because we didn't know what to expect," says Benjamin Stücke, looking back. However, the former curative education nurse is very keen to support inclusive projects. He found Sonja Schüler to be very motivated and committed right from the start. The one-day internship ultimately turned into an integrated workplace. "I wasn't afraid to take the step because I know that I can go back at any time," explains the cook. This certainty gives her security.

Sonja Schüler quickly got used to her new working hours in the evening. The fact that she now works Tuesday to Saturday and on public holidays doesn't bother her. "Instead, I have mornings and other days off," says the busy woman in her late thirties. The most important thing for her is that she can continue to be involved in the workshop council and the integrative public relations work at Dankort Bethel. Because even though her day-to-day work now takes place outside the workshops, she wants to continue to participate in and help shape life at Bethel.

Text: Christina Heitkämper | Picture: Matthias Cremer

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About the offer

Company-integrated workplaces

Am Bahnhof 6
33602 Bielefeld

0521 144 1829

To the website of proWerk

Offer & services

Company-integrated jobs are a special offer for people with disabilities and mental impairments who are interested and able to work in jobs on the general labour market in external companies. They remain employed by proWerk and have fixed contact persons (job assistance).

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