Sleep Well, the official youth hostel City of Brussels, has been providing a warm welcome and attending to the comfort of tourists from Belgium and elsewhere for the past 35 years. But the Hostel arose above all from a social project and works even today to put into practice the principles of a sustainable development policy in its daily management.
You will find below a brief history of the hostel as well as an outline of the fields in which we are active and projects which we realized these last years.
The story of Sleep Well has to be read through the various social projects which the hostel introduced and developed. When, during the course of the year on 1978, Gustave Stoop and the members of the Community of Finistère open the youth hostel, which will become Sleep Well afterward, they indeed pursue an exclusively social objective. They hope to make some profits to support “SOS Young people”, a reception center of six rooms for young people in state of distress which Gustave Stoop had accommodated, from 1976, in the same building. Very quickly, the cohabitation under the same roof of two groups of individuals whom everything separates turns out impossible: on one side, young people in trouble (given drugs, absconders, etc.) and on the other one, young backpackers. Since this time, the building of the street of the Laundry does not accommodate more than users of the youth hostel Sleep Well. But his activities do not limit themselves to the hosting of young travelers. The promoters of the Sleep Well wish more than everything to continue to support social projects. Having helped “SOS Young people” during several years, Sleep Well acquires the Abbey Saint Gérard de Brogne ( Mettet) in the middle of 1980s. It will become very fast a major regional cultural center and Sleep Well will develop also a Company of “Training by the Work” , today recognized, after its "relocation" a few kilometers away from its place of creation, under the name of “Ateliers de Pontaury” there.
GUSTAVE STOOP (1931-2012)
Gustave Stoop, founder and «soul» of Sleep Well, was a priest, a teacher, but especially an innovative and enterprising man always looking for an idea to help the most disadvantaged. He has marked a whole generation of young people, but also the hundreds of employees who have worked with him in the associative projects he created such as «Le grain de sable», «Infor Jeune» and «Inter Jeunes», «Infor Drogues», the free-clinic, «S.O.S. jeunes», «Prospective jeunesse», the Abbey Saint Gérard de Brogne, «Proximité santé», «Job in», «Transit», …
Sleep Well staff wishes to pay tribute to this great man who made of Sleep Well what it is today, a modern and effective accommodation, but also a place of exchange and encounter.
First eco labelized youth hostel in Brussels (ecodynamic label 2008/133/2), Sleepwell commits itself to minimize its impact on the environment. The initiatives which the hostel undertakes concern the waste management , energy and water savings, soft mobility and the use of sustainable supplies. CO2 émission connected to our gaz consumption are offset and our electricity is 100% green.
These efforts are rewarded by ecodynamic label renewal in 2012 and 2015 and the Green Key international ecolabel in 2013 and 2014.
Some green intiatives:
- The optimization of the sorting allowed a waste reduction from 20 % (57 m³/year).
- Every year Sleepwell participates to the “European waste reduction week".
- The used paper (printer / photocopier, brochures, flyers) is recycled or certified FSC (Forest Stewardship Council).
- The toilets are equipped with hunting " double buttons " (3L/7L) and showers are economic (6 liters of water per minute).
- The majority of the cleaning products used in Sleepwell are ecological.
- Our electricity is 100 % green.
- The halogen lamps of the patio and corridors were replaced by LED, the restaurant and the room Monnet Spaak also benefited from a relighting (economic bulbs versus halogen).
2013-2015 : we made big green investments : 2 condensing boilers, 1 dual flow ventilation and 1 cogeneration (combined heat and electricity production).
Qualifying training organised in partnership with the non-profit FOR.e.t. association
Since September, 2005, More than hundred persons followed a "housekeeper/houseboys" training in Sleep Well, 85% of them found a job after the training.
Since February, 2010, young workers (first employment - Local Initiative of Employment Development) are following a "apprentice chef" training course in the hostel.
In partnership with several associations, Sleep Well contributes to the rehabilitation of young people who have dropped out of school or who requires to perform community service.
Since 2005, about fifteen young citizen have performed community works and about ten young people in early school leaving made a training in Sleep Well (partners: SAS, Radian, Magic, Escale).
To promote Brussels artists, but also to promote sustainable toursim by the way of culture are also part of Sleep Well's missions. Let us note some achievements in these fields:
- We provide free permises for reharsels (music-theatre).
- We organize sociocultural activities: concerts, exhibitions projections, meetings, debates, etc.
- We work with different specialised partners (Tourisme autrement, the greeters, …)
- We promote soft mobility (Bike rental and pedestrian rally).
Sleepwell finances various projects:
Trough the Gustave Stoop fondation (2006-2011):
Created in 2006 on the initiative of Sleep Well and Rotary Club of Brussels, the Gustave Stoop foundation have for mission to support financially any project realized for the benefit of young people. In 2010, she rewarded the efforts of the NPOs " Solidarcité " and " Union of the tenants District the North " by offering them a grant to help them achieving their projects.
The board of directors, as well as the workers, are involved in the choice of the supported projects. In 2010, Sleep Well participated in the project " Ethiopia Mobility Cycle " initiated by UNICEF and supported by Brussels and Addis Ababa / Entoto Rotary Clubs. The contribution of Sleep Well served to pay the manufacturing and the delivery of 40 wheelchairs for young handicapped. These chairs were offered to the Hawassa Rehabilitation Center of Cheshire Ethiopia services - a center which takes care of the reinstatement of young handicapped people in their local community.