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The “writer for the public” from the Fresnoy Mackellerie neighbourhood committee in Roubaix

Summary : The Fresnoy-Mackellerie neighbourhood committee in Roubaix has run a “writer for the public” project since 2012, which is intended to help any individual with their administrative procedures.

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  • Start date : 2012
  • Implementation site : Roubaix
  • Budget : 38000 €
  • Source and details on funding : Urban Contract for Social Cohesion (CUCS), Contracts with the town, state and council of Roubaix


  • Comité de Quartier Fresnoy Mackellerie
  • 49/2 rue de Mouvaux
  • 59100 Roubaix
  • Employees : 1
  • Volunteers : 0


Editorial committee

  • Date of proofreading :  05/08/2015 00:00
Opinion of the Committee : Incomplete description of the programme
Solution(s) : Democracy and good governance Social exclusion and isolation
Country :  France, Hauts-de-France
Stature of the programme :  Local
Participant :  Association, ONG
  • Beneficiaries :  Senior Citizens, Pupil, students, Unemployed persons, Bottom Of the Pyramid (BOP)
  • Domain :  Human rights

Reports collected as part of the RESOLIS programme « Taking Action together against dropping out of school »

Copyright: Licence Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ )
To reference a document published by RESOLIS : ALLACHE Lakdar , « The “writer for the public” from the Fresnoy Mackellerie neighbourhood committee in Roubaix », **Journal RESOLIS** (2015)

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

Implemented actions

- 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

Original characteristics

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

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