“Connecting people who need help with people who can help them”
Since December 2022, Christine Barbier has been an ambassador for the Fondation VINCI pour la Cité and has supported several solidarity initiatives.
Christine Barbier, an administrative assistant at Citeos in Beaune, already had experience in the charity sector when in December 2022, she decided to become an ambassador for the Fondation VINCI pour la Cité. She knew the Fondation and had built up her network of volunteers from local associations through her personal involvement in organising festivals in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. So, when her business unit manager, Quentin Monastier, suggested that she meet Marie Ouillon, the Foundation’s regional manager, about becoming an ambassador, she had no hesitation in accepting the role. At this meeting, she learned all about the foundation’s role and the solidarity missions it supports.
Christine quickly spotted the employability support association Défi 21, which was developing an agroecology farm along the banks of the Canal de Bourgogne on the outskirts of Dijon. She soon contacted them and met them in January 2023 to discuss ways to support their work. Christine presented the project to the Fondation and successfully obtained the funding to help with setting up an irrigation system. The organisation’s cause also appealed to Quentin Marechal, a business technician at Citeos in Beaune, who himself decided to sponsor Défi 21.
Then, while perusing the local newspaper, Christine discovered GREN, a non-profit employability support organisation based in Saint Colombe sur Seine in eastern France. The Fondation VINCI adopted their community garage project, supporting it with funding to buy and fit out their mobile workshop, which they use to help excluded and disadvantaged people repair their vehicles. The official presentation of the cheque will take place in October 2023. The association will also benefit from working with Laurent Monnet, a public lighting project manager at Citeos Beaune who has become GREN’s sponsor.
Christine’s keys to being a good ambassador
“As a volunteer at a theatre in Dijon and the Bourgogne-Franch-Comté festivals, I meet a lot of people who work for local charities. I make use of this personal network to raise awareness of the Fondation VINCI and look for socially responsible causes that could benefit from our support.
I also actively scan the media for projects that inspire me and I encourage my colleagues to keep their eyes open and do the same! I never hesitate to meet and talk with people. Being an ambassador for the Fondation VINCI pour la Cité really is rewarding! It’s not a social calling, but a role that involves connecting people who need help with people who can help them. It means going to meet associations, assessing their needs, raising awareness at work and bringing community focus into people’s daily lives.
After the training with Marie Ouillon, I asked my business unit manager if we could raise awareness among our colleagues during our QSE days. I also take the time to talk about the Foundation’s missions and about associations that we sponsor already or that need a sponsor. Depending on the association’s operational needs that we need to support, some employees turn out to be natural sponsors. They enjoy sharing their skills and helping out, and they have my sincere thanks.
As an ambassador, I come across committed people, extremely interesting ethical projects, and collaborators who are motivated to help and sponsor them. Not only am I convinced that human and social involvement is important for my business unit’s overall performance, I actively contribute to it and find it truly rewarding!
I also took part in the foundation’s annual event that brings together all its ambassadors in Paris. I was able to get to know the employees involved in my region better and meet some wonderful new people.”
Christine Barbier, Administrative Assistant at Citeos Beaune