A virtual celebration will be held at the end of the school year, and outreach youth work will be intensified

The end of the school year is an important celebration for young people, which will be celebrated this year as well. Traditional end of year celebrations will not be held, but pupils will have class-specific celebrations at their schools. Only pupils can take part in the celebrations at schools, so there will be a virtual end of year celebration for everyone else. On the end of year weekend, youth workers meet young people by setting off to areas favoured by young people. The purpose of the operation is to meet young people under the age of 18 and talk to them, remind them of the rules of safe celebration and find suitable help when necessary, among other things.

Tune in to the celebration atmosphere virtually

It is now time to celebrate the school work done during the school year, the end of the school year and the start of the summer vacation, so a virtual end of year celebration has been produced for guardians, pupils and school staff. The virtual end of year celebration video will be released on Helsinki-kanava (helsinkikanava.fi) on Saturday 30 May 2020 at 8 am. The recording can also be viewed on Helsinki-kanava later. The video will include musical performances by the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and pupils, among other things. The video will also include speeches by pupils regarding the school year, their summer feelings and graduating from comprehensive school, as well as a ceremonial speech by the Mayor of Helsinki, Jan Vapaavuori. Liisa Pohjolainen, Executive Director of the Education Division, commends pupils, teachers and guardians for the work done during the school year: ‘I would especially like to thank everyone for their wonderful cooperation, flexibility and commitment in the coronavirus crisis situation.’

Safe celebration

In these exceptional times, it is good to remind young people of the rules of safe celebration: crowds should be avoided and gatherings should be done in small groups, close to home and with sufficient social distances. For example, hugging friends and eating shared snacks should be avoided. Outreach youth work will take place in Helsinki on 29–31 May and will be intensified on the evening and night of the school year ending day. There are about 80 professional youth workers and a number of experienced volunteers involved. The operation is organised by the City of Helsinki Youth Services in cooperation with the Finnish Red Cross, Aseman Lapset ry, Saapas activities of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Police and the emergency medical service of the Helsinki City Rescue Department. This year, young people will particularly be encountered in areas outside the city centre, as gathering restrictions will affect young people spending time together in the city centre. ‘Young people need to be reminded of safe distances even when celebrating and the fact that this year it is not a good idea to celebrate the end of school in parks or on beaches. We guarantee young people a safe adult presence and the opportunity to ask for help. Young people must also take care of their friends,’ says the head of the operation, Timo Kontio, from Helsinki Youth Services.