Help centre at Teollisuuskatu 9 in Vallilla.

Ukraine help centre opened in Vallila

The Ukrainian Association in Finland opened a help centre at Teollisuuskatu 9 in Vallilla, Helsinki on 16 March to support the Ukrainians arriving in the country. The centre will give the arrivals help with practical matters, counselling, service guidance, needs identification, mental support, food and clothing assistance, and possibly also transport help. The help centre is open Tue-Fri 10-15.30 and Sat 10-13.30.

“The help and support needed may include food or clothing assistance, accompanying and helping the arrivals deal with practical matters, or it may be service guidance related to the various measures of settling in the country. The help can also include peer support or mental and spiritual support. The help centre staff consists of a large group of volunteers, and a third party has provided the help centre premises free of charge for the time being,” says development specialist  Eliisa Saarinen from the City of Helsinki Culture and Leisure Division.

As part of a developer team, development specialist Saarinen organises volunteer work and organisational cooperation on the city level. The team of volunteers works in close cooperation with the Ukrainian Association in Finland. Ever since the crises broke out, the association has been working hard, with the help of more than 2,000 volunteers.

“Many companies have also wanted to support the help centre through several donations, and many organisations and communities have expressed their interest in cooperating with the association. Among others, Finnish Refugee Council, MIELI Mental Health Finland, SOS Crisis Centre, Uusimaa District of Mannerheim League for Child Welfare, Family Federation of Finland, Home Accommodation Network, Monika Multicultural Women’s Association, and Startup Refugees have expressed their interest in cooperation,” Saarinen says.

“We have established a partnership network for volunteer and organisation work related to the crisis in Ukraine that brings together various organisations and partners operating in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. The main task of the network is to share information, strengthen cooperation and channel the local residents’ desire to help to genuine need.”

Volunteer Helsinki website includes information on how you can help

The crisis in Ukraine has sparked a desire to help in the residents of Helsinki. At the end of February, the city granted EUR 350,000 in humanitarian aid to Ukraine and to help the Ukrainian people. Half of this aid, EUR 175,000, will be allocated through the Finnish Red Cross while the other half will be distributed through the Finnish branch of UNICEF.

The City of Helsinki’s Volunteer Helsinki website includes information on ways in which all of us can help. Various operators and opportunities for helping are listed on the website. A summary will be available on the website in the next couple of days, and the information will be updated as the situation evolves. Residents’ questions will be answered at: vapaaehtoistoiminta@hel.fi.

Additional information

Volunteer Helsinki website

Current information on the situation in Ukraine

City of Helsinki volunteer work newsletter

Ukrainian Association in Finland

Ukrainian Association in Finland

Товариство Українців у Фінляндії