Helga Töpfer - "I get involved and speak up!"

Helga Töpfer

Helga Töpfer is someone who cares. She looks after the needs of many people in her area. She was born and grew up in the Gelsenkirchen Horst and still loves living here. People know that they can get help from her – and approach her directly. The SPD local representative has learned to live and act with her small stature: „It helps me to think differently and stop worrying.“

After having tonsil surgery at the age of seven, she stopped growing like her peers. „It was not proven, but my family and I see the temporal connection,“ says the woman, who was born in 1965. „I used to be teased a lot, but now I have no problems with it.“ She grew up with three siblings and had a largely normal childhood. „It was bad for me to go up stairs. But we lived on the second floor and had to climb almost 50 steps – often several times a day.“

Helga Töpfer used to climb onto cupboards to reach things higher up, and a chair or footstool were always close at hand. „My apartment is now completely adapted to my needs, I can reach everything easily,“ she says. Even the washing line on the dryer is lower for her. She uses a ladder, tongs and footrest as important utensils: „Everything runs smoothly at home.“ Outside her home, she knows how to help herself. In a supermarket, for example, she uses an umbrella to reach the items on the top shelves. Otherwise: „ I have learned to ask. I just speak up.”

Helga Töpfer is very agile and hardly allows herself any rest, although she also has to suffer from pain for many years. She had to give up her job 20 years ago, afterwards she looked for new tasks. As a member of the Gelsenkirchen-West district council, she is very familiar with the local situation and knows what local people are worried about. She was elected for the Horst-Süd district.

It is very important to her to be involved in society – it is a „ give and take“. So it is not surprising that the certified florist is active in other committees. For example, in the citizens‘ forum, which has organized funds for nesting aids in the orchards in Nordsternpark. She enjoys walking through the park and experiencing nature there. At the market bistro, she sells things she has made herself or food from her own production – all proceeds go to the „Warm through the night“ association.

At the „Runden Tisch Horst“, the almost 1.40 meter tall woman would like to achieve a lot for her district. For example, making the old cemetery in the village accessible again and creating it like a park. Recently, new flower beds were planted. To maintain them, she got young people from a neighbouring residential group involved. She is pleased with their reaction: „The young adults are lovely and grateful, they look forward to seeing me.“

Helga Töpfer is also active as a neighbourhood sponsor in Generationennetzwerk Gelsenkirchen e.V.. Following the motto „ Together we are less alone“, she is available by phone for those who need advice and help (for example, when filling out applications) or just want to talk. And in difficult situations, she can recommend further help.

The pensioner also volunteers for the VdK social welfare association. During telephone consultation hours, for example, she coordinates appointments to provide legal advice and is always ready to listen to any concerns. „I get training and am pleased that my knowledge is appreciated. In the past, I was happy to be helped.“

And as a walking mentor, she also accompanies a walker group – a nice form of socializing for everyone.

„Being involved in society – it is a ,give and take‘.“