Become a volunteer at Victim Support Finland (RIKU)
Volunteers are RIKU’s most important resource. Our voluntary work is diverse and interesting. At the moment, we have approx. 300 skilled and enthusiastic volunteers carrying out our operations and approx. 40 mainly social and health care professionals managing and coordinating our work. We do not require any specific professional background from our volunteers. We train everyone who gets involved.
RIKU’s voluntary work is suitable for adults
- who are ready to committ to challenging and extremely interesting voluntary operations
- who have a balanced personal life
- who do not have personal experiences as a victim of crime in the near past
- who have not committed serious crimes
- who have the time and energy to help our customers, who are in difficult life situations
- who can occasionally also work, when agreed separately, during the day, e.g. shift workers, pensioners, part-time workers, etc.
- who are open-minded and have the skills to listen to others
What we offer
- meaningful and rewarding voluntary work in a friendly and enthusiastic team of RIKU workers
- a high-quality basic course, continuation course and supplementary training sessions
- regular work guidance
- professional support and guidance for supporting and helping the customer
- recreation as a balance for challenging operations
What is RIKU’s voluntary work actually?
Victim Support Finland offers practical advice and emotional support for those who have been the victim of crime, their loved ones and witnesses of criminal cases. Most of our customers are victims of various violent crimes. Our services are based on professionally managed voluntary operations. We do not pay a salary or remuneration for the operations, but we do compensate travel and phone expenses that are incurred.
Our volunteer workers may operate as on-call phone operators, in online work and as support persons:
- The on-call workers of the nationwide Helpline listen, provide advice and emotional support. If necessary, they refer callers to RIKU’s other services or to other professional help.
- The legal advice on-call workers are volunteers who have lawyer qualifications and work with criminal. Callers can check their legal rights and obtain guidance related to them.
- The support persons who work at our service points assist the customer personally. They stay at the customer’s side and provide emotional support and practical advice. A support person may join the customer to e.g. the police station, trial or other authority meetings related to the criminal case – therefore we emphasise the possibility of working during the daytime. Other customer meetings can be arranged at such a time, which best suits the customer and the support person.
- In online work, the on-call workers reply to questions on public discussion forums and RIKU’s chat.
Is voluntary work safe at RIKU?
Safety aspects are taken into account in all our operations. Clear guidelines have been set out for RIKU’s voluntary work, according to which we operate. For example, we do not visit the customer’s home, and we do not invite them to our own homes. A volunteer’s privacy is also protected in such a way that he/she only uses his/her first name when dealing with customers and public authorities. He/she shall also not disclose his/her own phone number to the customer. Our professionals shall also assess all safety issues for each customer.
How do I become a RIKU volunteer?
More volunteers are constantly needed. Although RIKU’s volunteers have proven to be more committed on average in their voluntary duties, it is natural that some will leave and new volunteers are needed to replace them. New volunteers are also needed when a new service point is established or the customer numbers have increased.
RIKU’s basic courses are informed on this site under training and seminars. In the same section, there are also instructions on how to contact. The basic courses take between 40-60 hours. The training includes information on e.g. the criminal procedure, traumatic crisis, emotional support, telephone and online support as well as encountering the customer.
Before the training, a joint assessment is carried out with RIKU’s employee on the content of the work and the suitability for the applicant. If there is no training due to start in your area in the near future, you can contact our nearest regional office or service point and provide contact details of your interest. You can also fill in the online form, which you can use to express your interest in working as a volunteer at Victim Support Finland. In Finnish | In Swedish
We check the criminal background of each volunteer from the Legal Register Centre (Act 148/2014)