Green Care methods help towards social inclusion
The Green Care project in Kuhmo implemented social employment with the help of various Green Care methods. Through employment services, jobseekers with a long history of unemployment were employed to do work tasks in which they could experience social inclusion and a community spirit. The aim was to improve their life management and their ability to work and function.
Through pay-subsidised employment in the form of Green Care, persons with a long history of unemployment found it easier to return to working life. Similarly, persons who were interested in working in companies were directed to paid work periods in companies in Kuhmo. This way, they gained experience in working in companies.
The Green Care operating model was developed and implemented in cooperation with the town of Kuhmo, the Kuhmo Green Care project, the TE Office of Kainuu, the ELY Centre for Kainuu, the multisectoral joint service promoting employment (TYP), rehabilitative work activities, job coaches and the other projects in the region.
Implementation of the good practice
The starting point of pay-subsidised work in Green Care was the empowerment of clients who had a long history of unemployment, not the profit made from the work. Green Care activities were based on different work tasks that were carried out as a group in nature. The work tasks took place in the forest, in gardens or at farms and, as appropriate, also in the urban environment.
The work tasks and the length of the pay-subsidised period (1–12 months) were tailored according to the client's ability to work and function. A special method by the name Kykyviisari ('Ability indicator') was used to assess the clients' ability to work and function. The ability to work and function was assessed at the beginning of the employment relationship and at the end of it.
The Green Care work groups were led by group leaders. Each group had between 5 and 7 clients. The work locations were chosen together with actors from the town of Kuhmo. The sites were genuinely in need of repair and the work carried out benefitted the town of Kuhmo, its residents and the employees of the Green Care work groups.
The work locations included
- Renovation of the area of the old Ikola parsonage according to a garden plan
- Building an outdoor trail in Lintumetsä
- Various smaller repair and garden work tasks: repairing stairs, clearing roadsides, chopping firewood, growing decorative and useful plants
- Nature folder "Mukulat vihertämään! Luontoa lapsille kaikilla aisteilla" for children for the use of the day-care centres of the town of Kuhmo.
- The social inclusion and wellbeing of clients increased and their ability to work and function improved
- The building work and tidying up carried out in the neighbourhoods of the town of Kuhmo increased the pleasantness of the residents' living environment.
- The Green Care activities developed in the project were established in the activities of the Kuhmon Työvire ry association and the activities continue in the environmental and employment project Ympäristö- ja työllisuusprojekti 2018.
How to take advantage of the good practice
Municipalities, towns and cities and different associations can use this good practice in the maintenance of nature trails and in different environmental and garden projects.
Anja Pääkkönen, Kainuu Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, tel. +358 29 5023 581, anja.paakkonen(at)ely-keskus.fi
Kuhmon Green Care (www.kuhmo.fi, in Finnish)
The picture of Green Care methods
Further information on the project:
Structural Fund Information Service S20346
Priority axis 5. Social inclusion and combating poverty
Specific objective 10.1 Improving the ability of those outside working life to work and function