Following a first meeting in June this year (12 social garages supported by the PSA Foundation and gathered in Paris), the Foundation carries on its collective accompaniment by organizing a day dedicated to the representatives of the social garages networks.

The aim is to encourage the structuring and professionalization of social garages, through tailor-made support developed in partnership with AVISE*.

Several stages will follow in the upcoming months, ranging from the study of the economic model, the pooling of supply solutions, to the creation of practical guides and training sessions.

Around the table were several representatives for networks of social garages coming from various French regions, as well as the Avise organizing team and the PSA Foundation accompanied by the Groupe PSA expert for parts and services.

A first diagnosis...

The first results of the survey administered by the Avise to garages during the summer were shown :
- good practices were identified in common with brand networks (vehicle check before intervention, presence of a diagnostic tool in 78% of cases, team meetings ...), but maturity disparities between garages were noticed.
- a clear expression of needs: the garages surveyed are requesting technical documentation, continuous training, parts supplies and workshop products, recycling network, on-line assistance, equipment and tools, advises on technical inspection ...

Inter-network meeting of social garages
Inter-network meeting of social garages

The networks agree on the precariousness of the economic model of a social garage. Hence the need to tackle the issues they are daily confronted to.

But the national approach remains difficult because of the specificity of the territories that influences each associative structure in a different way.
And there are other complementary needs. For instance; sharing clear indicators with other networks, defining good practices and sharing them to allow each garage to question its own model rather than imposing a general standard that could hamper reactivity and miss out on the ground reality.
Any pooling, a common dynamic, must be sufficiently flexible and tackle concrete problems.
It is by relying on the complex and particular reality of social garages that we can move towards general models.

A notoriety to grow

Another observation emerges from the debates; there is a lack of knowledge among stakeholders about the existence of social garages, how they work and what they provide.

Inter-network meeting of social garages
Inter-network meeting of social garages

A concerted communication effort could facilitate and streamline the relationship of garages within their eco-system, whether to give them some visibility to the public or to provide guarantees of proper functioning.
Several types of public are still to be reached, including beneficiaries of course, but also prescribers and social relays, local authorities, businesses and donors.

Thanks to these exchanges, Avise and the PSA Foundation promised to best mitigate the lessons and come back quickly with proposals for action.

To be continued !

* Established in 2002, Avise is an association that accompanies the emergence, consolidation and scale-up of social enterprises. On the theme of inclusive mobility, it has been designated by the PSA Foundation for this long-term partnership in support of solidarity garages.