A shipyard for the social reintegration of young people in Bordeaux

ARPEJe is an association for the psychosocial reintegration of minors and young adults who find themselves in a situation of exclusion and great social and/or psychological instability. Based in Bordeaux, it offers several services including accommodations, medical and psychological care and therapeutic workshops. Since 2009, a community shipyard has been opened and is an important support tool.

A word from the sponsor

The social and health characteristics of ARPEJe make it a unique and particularly adapted structure for these young people requiring material, educational and clinical support.
The shipyard is at the center of many initiatives that serve the goals of rehabilitation and reintegration. Through interaction and mutual aid, this workshop promotes diversity, collective engagement and the inclusion of young people in society.

Benjamin Descroix


Food and Pharmaceuticals Sales Manager,
Industrial Merchant activity, Southwest Region

ARPEJe, a collaborative social environment

Every year, ARPEJe welcomes nearly 130 young people in difficulty. A multidisciplinary team of about fifty employees supervises them for a personalized follow-up. The shipyard is among the levers of social and professional reintegration. “Our goal was to propose an activity that complements the psycho-social-educational project of the ARPEJe,” recalls Julie Lagardère, project coordinator. “When a 22m schooner was entrusted to the association, we seized the opportunity and planned its restoration with the young people.”

An educational project for a priority: socialization

The ARPEJe community shipyard is an open and dynamic site that aims to promote the potential of young people and provide a tool for supporting well-being. Professionals on the restoration site, including marine carpenters and woodworkers, are trained in coaching and participate in the monitoring meetings of each. “The strength of this place lies in offering a wide range of workshops,” explains the coordinator. “This of course consists of giving a second life to the boat by learning to work a high-quality material. Nevertheless, some young people have trouble integrating into a collective group or are not interested in boat restoration. In order to meet their needs, new workshops for the manufacture of wooden objects have been specially established for them.” Because the goal is above all to allow young people to get out of isolation, to engage in manual work and to interact with supervisors and other young people.

Building a life course

The endowment of the Air Liquide Foundation allowed the purchase of restoration equipment: wood, electronic equipment, tool for the rigging of the boat… After 8 years of care, the mast was finally laid on September 29th and the Hippocampe schooner was soon ready to go back to sea. “This does not mark the end of the workshop, on the contrary!” projects Julie Lagardère. “The Hippocampe can accommodate educational sea trips and new boats can be entrusted to ARPEJe.” The association is thus preparing a new project, that of the integration of young people through an adaptation of work situations where “the work done on the boats will be remunerated and will then constitute, via a protected environment, a phase of adaptation to active life.”