Association des Centres Sociaux de Wattrelos (ACSW)
– Living Better Together –
Wattrelos Association of Community Centres was created in 1969, in order to unify all the community centres located in the town of Wattrelos, Northern France. Wattrelos has a long textile industry history. The first “wattrelosian” community centre appeared in 1948 in the form of child protection services, resulting from a philantropic welfare initiative. At that time, wealthy merchant families undertook social duties in order to respond to the needs and issues faced by working class families and maintain the capitalist social order. Today, ACSW has inherited of three community centres: Le Laboureur (in the town centre), La Mousserie (Western part), and L’Avenir (Eastern part).
Our activities and services
The association acts for the benefit of 1900 families from the local community (ACSW users) that can benefit from a wide range of activities and services : daycare nurseries, parent-child homes, after-school clubs and day camps offering leisure and sports activities to young people, cultural and educational trips for children and families, community counselling and advisory services for local residents, help from social workers, etc. ACSW has also widened its activity in 1983, with the creation of the SSIAD providing home care service for elderly people. Finally, in 2009 the local futsal club joined the association to offer more indoor football activities to the local residents and create positive change through sport and other solidarity initiatives.
ACSW is established all over the town of Wattrelos, which provides close services and activities to people from the local community.
Our main office is located Rue Louis Dornier, near the main square and the town hall. This is where Mr. Messaoud Chayani (the President), Mr. Olivier Levefer (Managing Director), the Human Resources Director, the accountant, the secretaries and the European Projects Manager are running the overall business of the association.
The Community Center of La Mousserie is located in the Western Part of Wattrelos, bordering Tourcoing, Roubaix and Belgium. The building was renovated in 2001 to offer a large reception capacity for the local residents. La Mousserie is also surrounded by green areas, where outdoor activities can be organised. The Director is Mr. Moatamid Belhadj. His dynamic team of staff members and volunteers are working towards offering quality services and developing activities together with the users of the community centre, in a warm and solidarity-based atmosphere.
Located in the town centre of Wattrelos, the Community Center of Le Laboureur symbolizes the history of the association : more than 60 years ago, this place was dedicated to childcare services. Le Laboureur was a parent-child home, where mothers from working-class families could learn how to cook balanced meals, to keep their house, whilst enjoying leisure activities with their children. Today, Le Laboureur is run by Mr. Ahmed Mazari (the Director), volunteers and experienced staff members specialized in all the fields of services and activities provided by the association. The main priority of Le Laboureur has always been to give the neighbourhood a life of its own : organising events and activities all the yearlong and making sure that everyone enjoys living in the local area.
His director Mr. Louis Allard and his team of professionals and volunteers are doing their best to include the local community in the development of various events and activities, whilst maintaining high quality services in a warm and friendly atmosphere.
The home care services (SSIAD) of the association are located near our main office, in the town centre of Wattrelos. The SSIAD team is composed of a Director, Mrs. Isabelle Dujardin and eleven home care workers dedicated to elderly people (over 60) living in Wattrelos, having difficulties in their daily activities (well-being, hygiene, etc.). The SSIAD’s aims are:
– To avoid or reduce hospital stays of elderly people when social and medical conditions are met;
– To facilitate their return to home after being discharged from hospital;
– To prevent deterioration of elderly people’s health and delay their admission in institution;
– To maintain and/or help them to regain their autonomy;
– To allow them to remain at home and at their children’s.
The SSIAD has a capacity of 50 beneficiaries. New beneficiaries are accepted on space availability basis. Applicants must be over 60 years’ old, living in Wattrelos and provide a prescription issued by their general practitioner (GP).
Wattrelos Futsal is gathering several sections : Under 10 (baby sections), U15, U17, Adults, veterans and a women’s football team. They also organise parent-child football activities. Youth leaders managing Wattrelos Futsal are not only offering indoor football activities, but they are also organising solidarity initiatives together with young people from the local community : fundraising for disabled people, voluntary gardening, helping elderly people to move into their new home, etc. Each year, they also collect clothes and they prepare meals for the migrants in Calais.
ACSW users have established a set of shared values and aims called “The Project of the Association”. These are the core principles of the association, the ideals that we all have decided to act for and pursue through this common Project:
- Laïcité is one of the main principles of the French Republic. It means respect those who believe and those who do not believe in religion. ACSW users act for the promotion of diversity, freedom of thought and mutual understanding.
- Respect means to greet each other, communicate, listen and accept each other’s opinions and beliefs. Our users promote toleration, fight discrimination, act for environmental protection and respect our material and premises, in order to ensure that future generations can also benefit from the association.
- Solidarity and Commitment : ACSW users fight against social isolation, reaching out the less fortunate or those who feel lonely. Being part of a local community includes an individual commitment to act for the benefit of the society at large. Therefore, our users have developed a solidarity chain in which everyone is able to make everyone else’ life better; by giving, helping and sharing in accordance with their own capacities.
- Democracy: ACSW promotes active citizenship in general as well as active participation of our users in the decision-making process of the association. Giving a voice to our users is one of our core principles whilst ensuring that volunteers, professionals and decision-makers are being heard. All our users are represented by the elected president of their Users Committees (i.e. one in each community centre). Then, the three Presidents of the Users Committees, as well as Staff Representatives are invited to join the Board of Directors. Maintaining a permanent democratic dialogue within our organisation is an ongoing concern.
You can find futher details about our project on the partner-finding tool Otlas (on SALTO-YOUTH Resource Centres).