These visits are part of the co-conception dimension of the project: how to integrate the concerned people in the definition of the future tools and services of the 5Bridges project? The idea: associating users, volunteers and professionals in visiting inspiring projects in European cities, and collaboratively deciding which elements could enrich the 5Bridges project, taking into account the French context.
- Paris - Les Grands Voisins
- Madrid - Neighborhood Employment Plans
- Gothenburg - Recycling House and Hulda House
- Lisbon – Orientar Project
Nadine Aurillon, in charge of the implementation of the 5Bridges’ consultative and experimental activities for Nantes’ NGO Les Eaux Vives, created four groups of eight people with different profiles (director, social workers, volunteers, users…). Nevertheless, issues related to health and official documents limited the participation of homeless people despite their motivation, although we managed to associate one user to each travel.
On-site, participants were looking for answers on central questions of the 5Bridges project:
- What is the role of the people concerned (users, clients, etc)? Are they (might they be) integrated in the team-work (co-decision)?
- What is the place of the neighborhood? Can we speak about inclusion?
- What is working and what is not? What are the good practices/traps to avoid?
Each participant discovered from his or her point of view, insight and life-experience, the key-elements of the visited projects. This opened the door to rich exchanges between visitors, focusing on the aspects that could be transferred to the French and local context.
Here are some of the practices that should be kept in mind:
Paris – Grands Voisins: an impermanent urban project allowing people to live and work together
We were particularly interested in the way the project has been implemented: it has been built, brick after brick, with NGO participants, sheltered homeless people, and neighbors.
Madrid - Neighborhood Employment Plans: a neighborhood centered employment project
Visiting participants found great interest in the idea of working with « facilitators »: professionals working and living in the poorest neighborhood, knowing very well the people, in close relationship with the inhabitants, filling in the gap between unemployed people and the official employment agency.
Gothenburg – Recycling house: progressive job support
Contrary to the French situation, tight links between national and local services, NGOs and unemployed people, an approach which tries to fit the desires and possibilities of clients, which makes it possible to always move forward, avoids leaving people on the side.
Lisbon - Orientar project: holistic job support
We were impressed by a real participation of the people concerned, who are part of the decisional processes.
What’s next ?
During summer, a mobile exhibition will be created in order to share experiences with the different teams of Les Eaux Vives’ services.
More analytical reviews will be produced with the help of the research action team hired by the NGO, in order to integrate some of the good practices in the final functioning program of the 5Bridges.
Author : 5Bridges team