Working towards professionalization

Located in the Sablé-sur-Sarthe region, the services provided by the Les Mains vertes (Green Hands) association cover all aspects of environmental protection and rehabilitation. Its aim is to provide an avenue for people in difficulty to re-enter the workforce.

Social and Employment

Sablé-sur-Sarthe, Sarthe., France

Patrice Viau

7,000 € to the Selection Committee at 2006/01/31
  Project leader Les Mains vertes

«  We all know that a successful return to the workforce involves providing employees with resources that are equivalent to those available in regular companies. This professionalization is vital for Les Mains vertes. »

Patrice Viau

For three years, the Les Mains vertes association has specialized in getting people who have lost contact with the workforce to get back to work by attempting to rebuild the confidence of the people it employs. By involving them in environmental maintenance activities, it helps them regain their dignity and the desire to rebuild their career. Within a radius of about 20 kilometers around Sablé-sur-Sarthe, Les Mains vertes maintains urban landscaped areas, water courses, path verges, etc., in short all public “green” spaces.

A new step

To remain competitive with private companies working in the region, the association decided to set up a Scop*. This legal status should help ensure the activity’s long-term future and help it be seen more professionally by future clients. Several contacts have already been made with a view to contracting out river maintenance in the area.
At the same time, Les Mains vertes has to update its maintenance equipment and buy a new utility vehicle. The 7,000 euros granted by the Veolia foundation will help finance part of this investment, while also providing fundamental support to help develop the structure. The association is already planning to create a new part-time position for a secretary-accountant.

* Scop: a Cooperative Production Company is a commercial entity the employees of which are the majority shareholders.