In April 2018 entrepreneurs, residents, volunteers and Positive Planet France staff came together to show what they could do to help others in a very special series of events they called “The Union makes France” (L’Union fait la France).
Teams of people visited five underprivileged areas in five different cities (Lyon, Saint-Quentin, Le Havre, Marseille and Paris) throughout April. In each neighbourhood entrepreneurs, that had been helped and supported by Positive Planet France, gave their time and services for free to undertake a different activity and to help others.
The activities were:
- Lyon: 40 entrepreneurs and volunteers organised a day of activities for residents of La Villette D’or EPHPAD (a unique residence for elderly people with disabilities, Alzheimer’s and dementia). In total they held six workshops, including exercise classes, singing and cooking. The team then finished with a show for the residents. The idea was to promote the intergenerational links between young and old.
- Saint-Quentin: a team worked hard to renovate a retirement home. 90 volunteers repainted the lobby and residents and local artists created works of art to give the home a new lease of life, in total of 91 cans of spray-paint were used.
- Marseille: a group of entrepreneurs and volunteers renovated a village school in rural Tourves. 40 people including local tradesmen and women came together and repainted walls, planted a herb garden and re-fitted a bathroom for the pupils. In total 250 school children benefitted from the day.
- Le Havre: local entrepreneurs and volunteers organised a Positive Women Day, a tailor-made workshop for vulnerable women, those that have been abused, neglected or escaped violent pasts or locations. 40 women and their families benefitted from a wide range of activities including employment assistance, coaching, beauty treatments and sport.
- Paris: volunteers and entrepreneurs organised the solidarity village at the Place de la République in Paris. The idea was to help local homeless people, including refugees. Entrepreneurs offered their services for free, providing food, hygiene products, clothing, hairdressing and more. A team transformed an old lorry into a shower cubicles to give everyone there a chance to have a wash. Local charities that support refugees and homeless people were also there to provide further support to a total of 400 people.
The events were all organised by Positive Planet France and involved 350 volunteers and 50 entrepreneurs that have been supported by their services. Claudia Ruzza, Positive Planet’s Marketing and Communication Manager was a key figure for the event and said:
“The Union makes France was a huge undertaking for Positive Planet but we are thrilled with the results, it was a massive success. Not only did over a thousand people reap the rewards from the activities but many of the entrepreneurs commented on how much they enjoyed the experience and the opportunity to really give back to communities that are in need.”