Skip to main content

Finnish Red Cross Olkkari – Lounge offers weekly activities at Tyyssija

On Wednesday evenings at 18–20, free-of-charge activities are organised for young adults (18–29 yrs.) at Tyyssija. The event, called Olkkari – Lounge, is usually held at the TYS n’ Chill premises but sometimes also in a smaller club room on stairwell C, next to restaurant Mood.

Lounge is hosted by youth workers of the Finnish Red Cross, Southwest district office, together with volunteers from the local branches.

Since a major part of Lounge-goers are international students, most of the programme and discussion is in English. The programme varies weekly. So far, we have played board games, done some casual painting with watercolours, baked cupcakes, and had a discussion evening hosted by people from the Youth Shelter. Apart from the programme, we always offer coffee and light snacks.

We plan the programme together with Lounge-goers for about one month in advance. In October, we had a small Halloween-themed party and practised first aid in case of vampire or werewolf bites. In November, there will be at least a movie night, Christmas card crafting, and Joulutorttu (Finnish Christmas pastry) baking.

The idea of bringing activities to the Student Village originated from the Loneliness Barometer published by the Finnish Red Cross in spring 2022. It showed that loneliness and feelings of isolation mostly affect people who live alone, have low income, and are under 25 years old. Most students belong to at least one of these groups. Many people studying in Turku have moved in from other places, making it harder to make new acquaintances – especially during the COVID restrictions.

We at the Finnish Red Cross would like to create opportunities for finding new friends and a chance to do things together, perhaps even to learn new things together. Through Lounge, students also get to know the volunteer work at Finnish Red Cross and easily participate in it if they wish. We are truly happy that TYS have provided these great facilities at Tyyssija for us to use. They have enabled the students to find us right from the start of our activities.

Lounge evenings are open to join without advance registration. You can find information about themes to come on TYS’s communication channels and in the Lounge’s own WhatsApp group. You can join the group by sending me a message at number +358 40 356 6062.

Kai Saarto
Project Worker
Finnish Red Cross