Rose Volz-Schmidt founded wellcome in 2002 and serves as its owner and manager. Before starting her award-winning organization, Rose worked in family education for many years. She has studied social pedagogy and is a certified coach. In 2007, she was honored as Social Entrepreneur of the Year by the Schwab Foundation and has been awarded in 2009by the German Federal Cross of Merit for her outstanding work in civil society. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been a patron of wellcome since 2007. Rose is a member of several advisory boards and juries in the fields of social innovation and digitalization of the social sector in Germany.
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- Non-profit Social Enterprise
- Education, Skills and Learning; Social Innovation
- Areas of Impact
- Europe, Switzerland, Austria, Germany
wellcome is an award-winning non-profit organization started in 2002. It provides fast, non-bureaucratic support for mothers overwhelmed by a newborn or with many children at home by organizing neighbourhood help, matching volunteers to families with babies. The service is designed to reduce stressful situations, violence against children and post-partum depression. It recruits and trains volunteers, and works with a wide range of institutions and paediatricians. Mothers simply call and request support without providing medical or other explanations. Families are expected to pay a service charge of five euros per hour, which can be lowered or waived if necessary.
Demand for the service primarily comes from families with twins or triplets, single mothers, families with three or more children, and families who have just moved to a new town. About 25% of its beneficiaries are families in which the stressful situation of a newborn is compounded by an additional difficulty or crisis such as divorce. Additionally, through its Families in Need project, wellcome supports families in financial need by coordinating individual donations and providing local professional advice via wellcome's network of institutions.
Headquartered in Hamburg, wellcome is organized as a social franchise with 230 local teams throughout Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The teams are largely independent, particularly in raising funds for their operations, but they operate under the same brand, receive central marketing and PR support, and follow the same wellcome standards. Although still largely dependent upon donations and government support, wellcome is developing partnerships with corporations and new tools to raise needed funds.
In today's digital age, wellcome has started www.elternleben.de, an online network providing high-quality know-how and expert advice. After assessing the individual needs, parents are referred to suitable local organizations that continue the consultation offline if needed. In doing so, wellcome offers a unique combination of online and offline support for families. German chancellor Dr Angela Merkel serves as patron.