Serene’s local volunteer work takes place at Turku Reception Centre and its surroundings in Pansio. The centre is run by the Finnish Red Cross. Together, Serene’s volunteers and employees organise group activities that support the well-being of the centre’s residents. Serene’s groups are mainly aimed at adult asylum seekers.
The purpose of Serene’s groups is to promote the mental health of asylum seekers by easing the symptoms of stress related to a challenging life situation. Due to burdens of the past, the uncertainty of the future, worries related to loved ones, and the new environment, asylum seekers typically experience many kinds of stress. Our groups offer things to do and experiences of social connection, which make it possible to focus on the moment at hand and get a short break from worry-related thoughts. Research shows that spending time in nature as well as practising art and relaxation support the well-being of both body and mind.
By being a part of joint activities and positive social experiences, Serene’s volunteers make an important contribution to the challenging life situation of asylum seekers.
Volunteering in practice
Before starting as a volunteer you will be orientated to our group activities, and throughout your time as a Serene volunteer, you will receive professional support from our employees. Our groups are always run in pairs. One of the instructors is an experienced volunteer or a Serene employee. Depending on your interest, you can volunteer in one or several groups. You can also decide how often you want to be involved in each group.
To be a volunteer, you need to be over 18 years old and to speak Finnish or English. You don’t need any other specific knowledge or qualifications. It is enough that you are positively interested and open to meeting people from different cultures and backgrounds and willing to lead open group activities. Our volunteer work is also suitable for non-native speakers of Finnish or English.
The tasks of volunteers include small practical preparations at the reception centre before the group starts and also cleaning up after the group. There is usually no need to prepare in advance otherwise. The most important thing is to make participants feel welcome and strive to create a safe and positive atmosphere in the group.
We organise recreational activities and training opportunities for our volunteers. You will be reimbursed for the travel expenses caused by your volunteer work. Volunteers working at the reception centre are required to sign a contract of confidentiality.
The nature group is absolutely wonderful. It makes you feel good – and at the same time you bring joy to others!Working as a volunteer has served me professionally. I have learnt at lot about operating in a multicultural environment.
Want to learn more or get to know our groups better by participating yourself?
Contact us: email@example.com