Let us be active!

Social inclusion of older people through volunteering in Estonia, Latvia and Finland

P4 Skilled and socially inclusive region

4.1. More people benefiting from stronger Central Baltic communities

Central Baltic

01.05.2015 - 28.02.2017

€264 007

€208 054

Project Summary:

ENDED_The project ‘Let us be active!’ aims at decreasing social exclusion and loneliness among older people in Estonia, Finland and Latvia through involving them in voluntary work. The problem is accurate as the population of people in retirement age is growing and loneliness influences negatively their overall health and wellbeing. The idea is to develop a programme that will allow older people to stay active and participate in their communities by doing voluntary work.

The project will analyse existing activities available for seniors, examine their needs in the area of volunteering and produce guidelines for social and health care workers to promote and support voluntarism of the older people. Workshops, meetings and events for seniors, health care workers and social workers will be organized to develop the new form of voluntary activities. At the same time, the information platform in each city will be established and is to be managed by seniors themselves. The experts from the World Health Organization support the project implementation.

As a result of the project social inclusion of older people is expected to improve. The project activities will contribute to the improvement of the health and well-being of older people and their communities. It is expected that at least 100 older people and their families in every municipality will be influenced by the results of the project. Ultimately, the project will strengthen and support the resilience of the communities in the Baltic Sea Region, contributing to the programme’s objective.

Lead Partner

Itämeren alueen Terveet Kaupungit ry

Country: FI

www.marebalticum.org

Partner budget: 84.103 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 63.077 EUR ERDF

Project Partners

Rīgas domes Labklājības departaments

Country: LV

www.ld.riga.lv

Partner budget: 54.648 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 46.451 EUR ERDF

Pärnu Linnavalitsus

Country: EE

www.parnu.ee

Partner budget: 45.837 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 38.961 EUR ERDF

Turun kaupunki

Country: FI

www.turku.fi

Partner budget: 79.419 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 59.564 EUR ERDF

Expected results

The project will produce the results important and relevant from the point of view of improving the social inclusion of the older people in the participating municipalities. The main project results include:
1. Established and tested the information and support system for the seniors in each participating municipality;
2. Mapped and promoted activities relevant and suitable for older people – in form of brochures, distributed during the events, through the city workers and information system;
3. Enhanced cooperation of health professionals, social workers and senior organizations for the better support of older people;
4. Improved capacity of older people to participate in the voluntary work in their communities;
5. Enhanced involvement of the older people in the voluntary work in their communities;
6. Elaborated and tested guidelines for establishing and supporting the volunteering activities for older people;
7. Improved awareness of the families about the opportunities of the older people to be active.

All of these results contribute to the improvement of the health and well-being of the older people and their communities and in this way it directly supports the realization of the Programme result indicator. It is expected that at least 100 older people and their families in every municipality will be influenced by the results of the project.

Achieved results

Improved community

Let Us Be Active! improved the community of elderly in three cities: Pärnu in Estonia, Turku in Finland and Riga in Latvia.

The project empowered seniors through a participatory approach and made volunteering options visible, for example at the call center in Riga or through the Tripfriend activity in Turku. The elderly got an opportunity to be socially active, do something meaningful, find fulfillment, find an activity that fits them best and establish friendship. In Pärnu a website on volunteering made activities available for seniors.

The project also changed the procedures and routines for professionals. They got a deeper awareness of senior volunteering and options that can be recommended to seniors. The guidelines for social workers on volunteering are available online in four languages, and the city administration in the partner cities have decided to continue managing the services after the project’s end.

The project succeeded to involve three times more participating seniors (300 > 862) and social workers/health care professionals (105 > 384) than expected.