The popular Park Pal activities will continue in the summer. Photo: Iina Kaikko.

City of Helsinki’s volunteer activities to continue in the summer, while observing the restrictions of the emergency conditions

The City of Helsinki invests in volunteer activities that increase the participation of city residents. However, many of the activities are on a break this summer or only online, but you can still apply to become a Park Pal or a yard singer, for example. Current information is available in Finnish on the Volunteer Activities website and on Facebook.

It is hoped that the activities will pick up again in September, when the new and comprehensive Volunteer Activities website will be launched.

The coronavirus period has also brought about some good things, such as spontaneous neighbourly help, says Eliisa Saarinen, development specialist at Volunteer Activities: ‘People’s desire to help and good intentions have been tremendous. It has been wonderful to see people’s newly arisen empathy and desire to help people they don’t know.’ 

Summer volunteer activities
The popular Park Pal activities will continue in the summer with weeding out alien species and cleaning the environment. For example, a collective work event to weed out Himalayan balsam will be held on Lammassaari on 16 June. There is room for the first 30 participants. More information and a registration link can be found here: Good Things Grow in Helsinki.

If you want to volunteer as a Park Pal, you can organise collective work events in your area and invite other local residents to join in. Notify the voluntary work coordinator at puistokummit@hel.fi about the work, and she will add information about the work/event to the work list.

In senior services, volunteers have kept in touch with the residents of service homes by letter, and concerts and sing-along events and other activities have been organised in the yards. The Kamppi and Kinapori service centres will be closed all summer, but you can volunteer at service homes as a yard singer, troubadour or exercise instructor, for example. 

Online volunteer activities
At Kotoklubi Kaneli, children and parents learn everyday Finnish functionally together by singing, playing, moving and creating art. In the summer, Kotoklubi Kaneli will operate online. Things of interest to children can be found at Families with Children and on Facebook under the name Vetovoimainen leikkipuisto.
Peer activities in youth work and substance abuse rehabilitation and support person activities have partly moved online. For example, the substance abuse rehabilitation peer support persons of Partnership House Harjula have been on call via Zoom for the time being.

The volunteer activities of Helsinki City Museum are on a break, but a completely new Kaupunkiviljelyä album can now be found on the Helsinkiphotos service (in Finnish). The photos present urban farming as part of the lives of the residents of Helsinki today. The photos were taken by the Kuvaussakki volunteer group, which consists of photography enthusiasts. The exhibition was organised by the environmental organisation Dodo ry and Helsinki City Museum. 

Mediation and the framework for confidential encounters have been moved online. Online mediation provides a statutory opportunity to settle and resolve conflicts arising from offences and disputes. The mediation is carried out by volunteer mediators trained for the task, who work under the guidance of the professional staff of the Mediation Office. The Mediation Office will open the services at the beginning of June, taking safety and remote service instructions into account. Read more at Sovittelutoiminta.fi.

You can ask for more information by email at vapaaehtoistoiminta@hel.fi or by phone: +358 (0)9 3106 4884, +358 (0)9 3104 6940 and +358 (0)9 310 25870.