DAGTEK offers services for people with intellectual disabilities or autistic spectrum disorders as a part of Western Uusimaa wellbeing services county (Västra Nylands välfärdsområde in Swedish). The activities Dagtek offers are divided into several sections in different areas. The volunteer will assist either in our arts&crafts workshop or life skills activities – or in both if the volunteer wishes so.
In Dagtek’s arts&crafts workshop (Konst och hantverk in Swedish) there are four workshops with different textile crafts, visual arts, and ceramics. Each workshop has a coach who coordinates and leads the activities. At the moment Dagtek’s arts&crafts workshop community consists of 25 participants, who are mostly women with different types of intellectual disabilities or minor learning challenges, and four workshop coaches/mentors.
The participants of Dagtek’s life skills activities (Livsorienterad verksamhet in Swedish) need guidance and support in their daily activities. The life skills activities take place in small groups consisting of 2–4 people and are always planned according to the condition, interests, and needs of the participants. About twenty people take part in the life skills activities daily. The daily activities consist of music, arts and crafts, painting, games, and walks outside, for example. The goal is to encourage every participant to be active, get involved, make their own decisions, and affect the content of their daily lives, taking into consideration every participant’s individual starting point.
Creativity and culture, disabilities – special needs, inclusion – equality, health, and wellbeing
Dagtek is located in Ekenäs (Tammisaari in Finnish), which is a small town with about 15 000 inhabitants situated by the sea in Southern Finland. Dagtek is located in the centre of the town. The majority language spoken in Ekenäs is Swedish (81%) and about 17% of the population speaks Finnish. Ekenäs is a part of the Raseborg commune (28 000 inhabitants).
Volunteer’s role and tasks
Through European Solidarity Corps volunteer cooperation, we wish to offer our community members the possibility to build networks and get a wider perspective on the world around us. At the same time, we hope to have one more person to be present for the clients and assist them in the daily workshop activities, as well as in social and practical situations during the day.
In the arts&crafts workshop, the role of the volunteer is to support the clients with special needs in their textile crafts work, art activities, and all kinds of daily activities. According to their skills and interests, the volunteer can also organize activities and teach the clients new skills especially related to arts&crafts. Despite their learning disabilities or other special needs, many of the clients of Dagtek workshop are quite independent in their daily activities. The role of the staff and volunteer is to coach and guide them in the arts&crafts activities and to support their independence in different everyday situations.
The volunteer’s role in the life skills activities is to support the clients and give guidance for them. The volunteer also helps in the clients’ daily activities related to mealtimes, going to the toilet and to walks outside, as well as walking the clients to and from their car transportation when they arrive and leave Dagtek. According to their skills and interests, the volunteer can also organize activities for small groups or individuals. Dagtek values creative activities such as music, arts&crafts, and physical and outdoor activities. The clients appreciate possibilities for individual encounters, for example, talks or reading for them. The volunteer can also contribute to the production of pedagogic and visual support materials and the documentation of Dagtek’s activities through photography, for example.
We are looking for a volunteer interested in working with adults (18–60-year-olds) with different types of intellectual disabilities, autistic disorders, or minor learning challenges. It is important that the volunteer is socially active, flexible, and motivated to participate in community life, meaning being there for the clients and communicating actively with them. It is also important that the volunteer has open communication with the staff team and shares their ideas and observations with them. The working language of Dagtek is Swedish, so it is important to be motivated to learn Swedish.
Dagtek’s arts&crafts workshop can be a great match for you, if you have skills or interest in visual arts, handicrafts, or art in a wider perspective – ceramics, photography, or dancing, for example. Having a volunteer with an interest in arts would enrich the community and give you a genuine possibility to share your skills and experience.
If you feel like you have the ability to motivate and encourage people and awaken their interest in participating and being active, you can suite well into the life skills activities team! In the team, it is good to have good social skills and to be open to meeting new people. We appreciate flexibility and a positive outlook on life and other people. It is also important to be able to tolerate fast-changing situations. Experiences or skills in alternative communication methods are an advantage, but not a requirement.
If you are interested in volunteering in both the arts&crafts workshop and the life skills activities, you will be welcome to have tasks in both.
Accommodation, food, and transportation
- The volunteer will be accommodated in a local host family if a host family is found. Otherwise, the volunteer will live in a shared flat together with another volunteer of Dagtek.
- Lunch will be offered at Dagtek. Other meals will be provided by the host family or cooked by the volunteer (in which case the volunteer will get a food allowance).
- The possible daily commuting costs will be covered for the volunteer.
The physical environment of Dagtek is also suitable for people with physical or (minor) sensory disabilities, depending on the special needs of the person. Wheelchair access is possible and there is an accessible toilet in the building. Since Dagtek works with people with different disabilities, our staff has experience in providing extra support and can sometimes support the volunteer, if needed. However, there are no resources to provide continuous intensive support for the volunteer. If you have a disability, please, feel welcome to contact us for consultation via the coordinating organization Maailmanvaihto: firstname.lastname@example.org.