"This project to create a new laundry really excited me, because it will enable intellectually deficient people to acquire a professional skill and to feel better integrated in society."
Recovering self-confidence, achieving a degree of independence, learning to live in society, stable behavior, recognition ... for many disabled people, work is a genuine therapeutic and social asset, particularly in the context of the Établissements et Services d'Aide par le Travail (ESAT) formerly called CAT. Association Lyonnaise de Gestion d'Établissements pour Personnes Intellectuellement Déficientes (Alged), created more than fifty years ago, today manages halfway houses and hostels, day reception centers of ESATs and even a back to work service in a normal working environment. Its teams are thoroughly familiar with the benefits that can be drawn by their charges. ESAT Hélène Rivet de Lyon has accordingly proposed various salaried activities since 2002 - catering, mail sorting, packaging, laundry, etc. - to 180 people affected by slight or medium intellectual deficiencies, some of them also hearing-impaired. The laundry plant has a score of employees who process linen which mainly comes from retirement homes and hostels. It's a growth market, and a new, more spacious and better furnished laundry is in the works.
Working more efficiently and safely
When the project is completed, the new laundry will take in another five employees, in substantially improved working conditions. The premises will meet the new workplace safety standards which apply to the whole sector. These operations will also help boost productivity. The Veolia Foundation is making a grant to the project to finance the heating/plumbing/electricity aspect.