Background to the programme
The “writer for the public” is a solution to the complexity of multi-layered bureaucracy. The first position was created in Roubaix at the start of the 1990s in the Alma Gare neighbourhood. The creation of a public writing school had been considered but unfortunately ended in failure. The Fresnoy-Mackellerie neighbourhood committee in Roubaix has set up its own “writer for the public” project in 2012 so that every resident can access their rights. In existence since 1985, this committee is a space for dialogue and thus fulfils its mission to support, listen and advise. It possesses the collective expertise of residents which is passed on to municipal services.
Objectives of the programme
- Provide assistance in writing
- Make the beneficiary more autonomous and responsible (respect the opening hours of the sites)
- Highlight the access to computer training or in language training to beneficiaries
- Become a local meeting place in the neighbourhood
- Facilitate the link with administrative bodies
- Public targeted: people who have difficulties understanding the French language
- Public sent to us by institutional and associative partners
- Writing of all types of communication: claims, courteous requests for reductions, disputes with employers or administrative bodies, CVs, cover letters ...
- Study of various files: CCAS, CAF (Family Allowance Fund), CPAM (Primary Health Insurance Fund), court, town hall ...
- “Writer for the public”: Committee employee
- Contact point: open access or by appointment (Thursday). 3.5 days per week at the Fresnoy Mackellerie neighbourhood committee and 1.5 days in the premises of one in Epeule Alouette Trichon
Quantitative and qualitative results from the implemented actions
- The “writer for the public” receives about 700 applications per year.
- Heterogeneous public (students, pensioners) from Roubaix and neighbouring towns (Villeneuve d'Ascq, Tourcoing or Croix)
- The most requested communication: correspondences with the job centre and those concerning housing
- The usefulness of this initiative is recognised by the administrative services and social workers
- Positive feedback: in the questionnaires collected and the letters of thanks
The role of the “writer for the public” is wide ranging: beyond the writing assistance, he supports the acquisition of a degree of autonomy in their organisation and in new tools such as computers.
Partnership(s) developed in the context of the programme
Neighbourhood Committee of Epeule, job centre, local youth centres, social centres, House of Integration and Employment (MIE), social workers, neighbourhood associations and the town
Difficulties and/or obstacles encountered during the programme’s implementation :
- Change of site due to its unsanitary nature and nuisance from neighbours
- Letters require more investment to be dealt with which can lengthen the waiting time for other beneficiaries.
- Overload of contact points: only presence in the area west of Roubaix (Fresnoy-Mackellerie, Epeule). The “writer for the public” has to work frantically.
Solutions used to overcome the difficulties and/or obstacles :
- Establishment of a schedule containing all the contact hours for the “writers for the public” for all the neighbourhood committees in Roubaix
- Temporary housing in the association "Les Petits Loups"
- Contact hours by appointment one morning a week.
- Interactive map on the website to know the names of the “writers for the public” according to the neighbourhood committee
Suggestions for future improvement :
- Update the website Écrivains publics de Roubaix
- Find new spacious premises with one or more computers available.
- Propose other programmes: training to learn a language, literacy, oral expression and writing workshops
To know more
NEIGHBOURHOOD COMMITTEE OF FRESNOY MACKERELLERIE PREMISES