Vapaaehtoiseksi / Tietoa vapaaehtoiselle

Good to know

Volunteering refers to unpaid activities performed by individuals for the good of individual people, the environment or communities, based on their own free will and motivation. Volunteering promotes participation and living a good life.

At the City of Helsinki, we define volunteer work as follows;

Volunteering refers to unpaid activities performed by individuals for the good of individual people, the environment or communities, based on their own free will and motivation. Volunteering promotes participation and living a good life.

Volunteer activities, motivated by the volunteers’ own desires, supplement the services offered by the City of Helsinki and promote

  • participation
  • opportunities to help and be helped
  • well-being and joy
  • experiences of relevance and agency
  • meetings between different residents of Helsinki on an equal ground
  • a sense of community and ownership in various neighbourhoods and the city
  • caring for the environment.

Principles of volunteer activities

  • voluntariness and work without pay
  • differentiation between the roles of a volunteer and an employee
  • confidentiality and the obligation of secrecy
  • reliability and commitment
  • equality and reciprocity
  • tolerance and equality
  • participation and communality
  • relevance and agency
  • the right to support and guidance
  • the joy of activity.
  • commitment to the values, instructions and principles of volunteer activities issued by the City of Helsinki
  • commitment to instructions and to respecting those who receive help through volunteer activities

Volunteer’s rights and obligations

Volunteers have the right to choose a task that is suitable for them:

  • They may commit for the time of their choosing.
  • They may decline tasks offered.
  • They may move on to other tasks.

Volunteers have the right to

  • receive familiarisation and guidance
  • receive support and instructions
  • receive information on whom to contact in case of problems
  • participate in training sessions and meetings
  • receive and provide feedback
  • be insured
  • draw joy and energy from volunteering

Volunteers are obliged to

  • commit to confidentiality
  • adhere to the values, instructions and principles of the City of Helsinki
  • act in a tolerant manner and respect everyone’s self-determination
  • keep appointments and promises
  • volunteer, not work as an employee
  • be intoxicant-free
  • notify staff of any shortcomings, vandalism or other concerns (e.g. customer needing help or vandalism of an environmental site, etc.)
  • notify the relevant parties of wanting to stop volunteering.

Agreement and insurance

Anyone participating in volunteer activities organised by the City of Helsinki must sign a written agreement on participating in volunteer work and thus commit to adhering to any instructions and regulations issued by the party organising the volunteer work and respecting the values of the City of Helsinki. The volunteer work agreement contains a confidentiality and data protection commitment, which remains valid even after the volunteer activities have ended.

The City of Helsinki has taken out collective accident insurance for volunteers. The insurance is valid during volunteer work and any travel directly to and from said work. The insurance only covers medical treatment expenses incurred by public health care, e.g. health centre, outpatient clinic and hospital fees as well as any medicine expenses connected to accidents and necessary and reasonable travel expenses. Your volunteer work contact person will provide you with further information on the insurance policy.

Please note that you can be issued with a certificate of participating in volunteer work and/or volunteer training upon request.