The City of Helsinki has created a Helsinki Helpline to contact the self-isolating older population. During the first week of operations, the service called over 10,000 residents over the age of 70 and received over 700 requests for help with trips to the shops and pharmacy. The campaign’s sponsors, joined this week by Yliopiston Apteekki, Posti, and Logisnext Finland, provide many practical aspects of the service.
”It’s wonderful that we’ve attracted new partners to this joint endeavour. Businesses and industries have been contacting us from the start. The desire to help and take social responsibility has been unprecedented during this exceptional time,” says Tiina Hörkkö, Helsinki Helpline’s director.
The Yliopiston Apteekki chain of pharmacies says that as a social enterprise, it wants to do its part to take care of the elderly population during the covid-19 pandemic.
”We are delighted to join in the collaboration. Our special concern is those seniors who don’t have family or loved ones to help them with their everyday needs,” says Hanna-Mari Store, director of Yliopiston Apteekki.
The delivery of food items will soon be propelled in part by electric power, when the postal service Posti and logistics manufacturer Logisnext Finland (formerly Rocla Solutions) team up to loan out 14 eco-friendly Kyburz scooters to the campaign. Logisnext Finland will be responsible for maintaining and servicing the vehicles, and Posti and Logisnext Finland will together instruct Helsinki Helpline drivers in their use. Scooter operators will also take care to follow all of the latest coronavirus precautions.
Posti and Logisnext Finland’s long-term cooperation made it easy for the firms to set their contribution to the Helpline in motion quickly.
”It’s great that the electric scooters that we had ordered could be temporarily mobilised for this purpose. We here at Posti are thrilled to be a part of a socially responsible project in this way,” says Kari Tuomala, Posti’s asset manager.
The scooters will be used solely for handling food deliveries, as special transport arrangements will always be arranged for medicines. Helsinki Helpline volunteers and employees will deliver items to seniors by car, bike and foot as well, but the addition of the electrically powered scooters will both hasten deliveries and increase potential volume significantly. The scooters are registered as mopeds, so it will be easy to park the vehicles near customer locations. In addition, one scooter with a trailer can carry up to 270 kilos at a time, and a single charge provides a range of close to 110 kilometres.
The three new sponsors join food retailer HOK-Elanto and call centre provider Genesys as official partners of the Helsinki Helpline, a joint project spearheaded by the City of Helsinki and Helsinki’s local parishes.
The Helsinki Helpline service is open every weekday from 9 am to 4 pm at tel. 09 310 10020.