“Non-profit status means that savings banks are primarily there to serve and not to make a profit” – an important principle of the Sparkasse Bremen bank, which was underpinned in 1955 by the founding of our Bremer Sparer-Dank Foundation. On the initiative of the mayor at the time, Wilhelm Kaisen, the foundation was to provide the many needy homeless people of the post-war period with affordable housing as quickly as possible. The name Bremer Sparer-Dank quite literally expresses gratitude to the patrons of the Bremen Sparkasse, who entrusted their savings to Sparkasse Bremen bank after the war and thereby made new housing construction possible.
After the war-related housing requirements was eliminated, our foundation’s work focused increasingly on caring for the elderly, for example through the construction and support of a retirement home and nursing home, the Sparer-Dank Community Centre and the Service Centre Schwachhausen.
Since 2009, we have also been involved in the Active with Dementia initiative, which campaigns for the active social participation of people with dementia and their families. Improving the compatibility of work and family is another social topic that is close to our heart. That’s why we support the Familienbündnis e. V. Family Alliance in order to create nursery and kindergarten places in Bremen.
In 2003, Sparkasse Bremen transferred Böttcherstrasse to us. Since then, the promotion of art, culture and the preservation of monuments have formed our main tasks.
After creating a total of 429 one-, two- and three-room apartments in Kulenkampffallee by the middle of the sixties, the Sparer-Dank community centre was opened there in 1965. The institution is still one of the largest and most frequented of its kind in Bremen. Among the various activities on offer are readings and musical performances, discussion groups, excursions, gymnastics, dance as well as English and health and wellness courses.
The nursing home Haus Sparer-Dank was completed in 1989 – a popular establishment that currently provides care and support to 70 elderly people. In 1996, the construction of 38 additional apartments and the Service Centre Schwachhausen office rounded off the Foundation’s comprehensive programme for the care of older citizens. The Paritätische Gesellschaft für soziale Dienste (Social Services for Social Equality) service centre provides advice and information to elderly, sick and disabled people and provides organised neighbourhood assistance.
The compatibility of family and work is probably one of the biggest challenges of our time. Children are the future of our society. Since 2011, we have given financial support to the Family Alliance initiative – with the aim of improving the care situation for children of working parents throughout the city.
Under the name Hanseatenkids the Family Alliance now offers the opportunity of holistic and development-oriented care through eight day-care centres in and around Bremen. A particular focus is on promoting positive social interaction. Plans to create new kindergarten and nursery places in the future are also in the pipeline.
In the past, the challenge was a lack of housing; today, it is the increasing prevalence of dementia that needs to be overcome. The well-being of people still remains at the forefront for us. For this reason, the Active with Dementia initiative was founded in 2009 in conjunction with the Bremen Home Foundation. Under the motto “A zest for life is unforgettable”, we are committed to active social participation for people with dementia and their families.
We confront the special challenge of dementia through our workshops, and together with those affected and their relatives we focus on preserving their zest for life.
Together with our network partners, the Dementia Information and Coordination Office (DIKS), the Social Services for Social Equality in Bremen (PGSD) and the Bremen Adult Education Centre, we are dedicated with a passion to providing practical help through good networking and disseminating information on dementia.
Destroyed to a large extent during the war, the restoration of Böttcherstrasse by the Kaffee HAG company, which was completed by 1954, was among the most important private construction achievements in the Federal Republic. Finally, in 1988, Sparkasse Bremen acquired the buildings and the land along the street (except for the Atlantis House) to preserve the street’s overarching character. There were extensive renovations: the foundations were re-laid, the museum was expanded by one floor to match its pre-war state, the cellar was lowered and the supporting pillars rebuilt.
In 2003, Sparkasse Bremen handed Böttcherstrasse over to the Bremen Sparer-Dank Foundation. Since then, we have ensured that Bremen’s main cultural and historical attraction is continuously nurtured and renovated. This includes activities for energy-related modernisation. But even so, Böttcherstrasse will never be “finished”. In keeping with the builder’s original idea, the small city within a city should not be a rigid monument, but a pulsating, living cultural world of experience, which is constantly reinventing itself – an idea that we continue to pursue today with the highest standards of quality and conceptual unity of purpose.