The school year, overshadowed by the coronavirus, will come to a close this coming weekend. Due to coronavirus restrictions, traditional school spring term celebrations will not be held, but class-based celebrations will be enjoyed in schools. Only students/ schoolchildren can attend the spring celebrations on site at the schools.
The City of Helsinki and the police are hoping that young people will celebrate moderately over the closing weekend. The police and Youth Work of the City of Helsinki will be present where young people are. As in previous years, the police will step up their monitoring of young people's substance use and general safety. The focus of the monitoring is, in particular, on possible gathering places for young people, such as parks, beaches and yards in day care centres and schools.
The aim of the visible police presence is to prevent disturbances, accidents and the victimization of young people. On the school closing evening, the police will co-operate with the City of Helsinki's Youth Services and other volunteer youth workers on foot throughout the Helsinki area.
Young people helped in the centre and surrounding areas
The City of Helsinki’s Youth Services is organizing a youth assistance operation in the city centre and its surrounding areas on the evening and night of the school closing day on 5 June. The purpose of the operation is to meet and help young people under the age of 18, for example, by talking to them, but also by giving them first aid on the streets and referring them to hospital treatment, if necessary. Several different foot patrols of the City of Helsinki and other organisations will tour the areas of the centre of Helsinki, as well as other places that are generally popular with young people. The operation will begin at 15:00 and continue as needed for as long as young people are present.
The assistance operation involves 70 professionals and 30 volunteers. The mission is organized by the City of Helsinki's Youth services, in co-operation with the Red Cross Helsinki and Uusimaa districts, Saapas activities, Children of the Station, the youth services of the cities of Vantaa and Espoo, Snellu (special youth work of Helsinki parishes) and the police and emergency care.
Health safety instructions related to the coronavirus must be kept in mind even at celebrations
There is a great need to see friends and acquaintances and to gather with even a larger group, but the possibility of being exposed to the virus or falling ill with coronavirus still exists.
Therefore, recommendations and guidelines related to coronavirus safety must also be followed on the school closing day. Crowds should be avoided and gatherings should only be made with a small group outdoors, close to one’s home and with adequate safety distances in mind.
Guardians are hoped to be available
Young people in possession of alcohol may receive a penalty fine and will be reported to both the young person’s guardians and child protection authorities. Alcoholic beverages will be seized from the young people and disposed of. The police would like to remind guardians that contact from the police may also come from an unknown phone number.
The role of intoxicants in youth celebrations has diminished and partying has generally calmed down. As a result, disruptions and excesses have also decreased over the years. However, the police hope that parents will agree on common rules of the game with their children and young people before the evening. It would be good for parents to be in touch with their children during the evening and be available.
The City of Helsinki and the police urge the young people take care of each other and seek help immediately if something unfortunate happens during the evening. Assistance can be obtained on the spot from the police and youth workers, or by calling the emergency number 112.
Additional information on spring party arrangements
In arranging spring celebrations, Helsinki follows the recommendations of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area coronavirus coordination group on the organization of public and private events.
Image: Eetu Ahanen