Youth work boosts outreach services, arranges star-studded livestream to celebrate Vappu

The City of Helsinki is reaching out to young people this May Day holiday with targeted selection of digital entertainment and support. Groups of youth counsellors will also patrol the streets to meet up with teens that may be congregating outdoors.

Helsinki residents are being asked to stay home this May Day holiday, which means that some young people who don’t feel safe or comfortable in their own homes might be in need of someone to talk to or things to do. The City of Helsinki’s Youth Services have boosted their online, social media and neighbourhood outreach activities to support teens and tweens during this trying time.

Online, the city has arranged a package of concerts from up-and-coming artists and content from YouTube celebrities and famous vloggers, in addition to special content from local youth centres. Peer mentors, the name given to young people who have volunteered to help out with youth work, have come up with interesting activities for their age group that are accessible via the Instagram, Whatsapp, SnapChat and Discord social media accounts of Helsinki’s youth centres.

Individual counselling is also available via the Sekaisin chat service, designed especially for young people. This service gives youth personalised support, direct responses to worrying situations, and help in assessing the individual needs of the kids using the service. Over the Vappu holiday, 33 trained youth counsellors will be answering messages via the national Sekaisin chat, which will be open every day from 9 am to 12 midnight.

Rising young talents in a livestream

The City of Helsinki’s virtual programme, Vappu at Home, has plenty of content for young people on its Helsinki-kanava video service.

Vappu Eve will get started at 5:45 pm with the traditional crowning of the Havis Amanda statute, but this year the entire downtown Helsinki ceremony will take place in virtual reality. The night will continue with a gig from the band JVG in the Virtual Helsinki online environment. People tuning in are encouraged to create their own avatar and dance along.

Later that night, performances will be streamed directly from the Tiivistämö stage in the Helsinki district of Suvilahti. Starting at 9 pm on 30 April, the Stella Polaris theatre group will put on an interactive and music-filled Vappu Improv Session that viewers will be able to direct in part from their living rooms. The rap artist and DJ Yeboyah from the D.R.E.A.M.G.I.R.L.S rap collective will continue at 10 pm. Her debut single “Broflake” in 2017 sealed her reputation as one of the most promising upcoming rappers in Finland, and in 2019 her Elovena EP earned an Emma Finnish music award for Best New Artist and a mention on radio channel YleX’s TOP5 breakthrough list.

On 1 May at 3 pm, rhythm and blues and hip-hop artists, including singer-songwriter Ilona Gill, rap/pop artist Renée Böök, R&B performer Nisa from D.R.E.A.M.G.I.R.L.S, pianist and singer Elo Umukoro from the Talent Finland TV show, and Basso Noste winner Kieran Atticus will perform.

And to finish, the band Marjo Leinonen & Viranomaiset’s groovy punk and roots sound will round off the Vappu roster on Friday starting at 6 pm.

Stella Polaris - Thursday, 30 April at 9 pm
Yeboyah! - Thursday 30 April at 10 pm
Tiivistämö Live - Friday 1 May at 3 pm
Marjo Leinonen & Viranomaiset - Friday, 1 May at 6 pm