The vehicle is being purchased for year-round use by Youth Services. In the past, Youth Services tried a similar activity by renting a campervan and received good feedback.
The new van should be ready for use in May, but by the end of the school year at the latest.
– On the school graduation weekend, we will have the entire staff doing mobile youth work, i.e. being out and about in the city. It is important that we give the van a baptism of fire then, says Youth Secretary Teemu Saarinen.
In use from Monday to Saturday during the summer
Vaasa’s youth centres are still open in May but will then close on a summer break. When the centres are closed, the youth workers move around to where the young people hang out.
The mobile youth centre is on the move throughout the summer during late afternoons and early evenings from Monday to Saturday. There are always at least two youth workers on board.
– In the summer, the importance of mobile youth work increases, and the van supports us well in that. We can easily come to different areas and reach out to more young people. The van is also a visible sign that we are there, Saarinen explains.
Gerby, Sundom and Suvilahti
The youth centres will reopen in August when the schools start, but the mobile unit will continue to operate throughout the year.
– We especially want to move in those areas where there are no youth centres, such as in Gerby, Sundom and Suvilahti. This wish has come directly from young people themselves, says Saarinen.
The van also travels around the Vähäkyrö region and can also be seen at various events.
Van movements announced on social media
The youth workers update information about the van’s movements and route during the summer on the Youth Services’ social media channels and websites.
– It’s worth following the mobile youth work’s Instagram account, which can be found under the name Fältistyö. The van’s main locations are also updated on the mobile youth work website at www.vaasa.fi/faltistyo (in Finnish). Through social media, you can also express wishes about where we will drive the van, Saarinen advises.
Cooperation is planned in the summer with, for example, the rescue services and the parish.
A base for youth workers
The campervan is a mobile activity point for youth workers. The active work takes place next to the van, but if necessary you can also peek inside. The van has a fixed canopy in case of rain.
Saarinen advises that in the summer, the Youth Services mobile campervan can also be seen on the pedestrian street in the city centre.
– During the summer we have permission to park on the pedestrian street in front of Citymarket in the city centre, which is a good and visible place to reach out to young people.