May I help you? — What we learned
‘As a decision-maker, I have heard the words local service, customer orientation and the third sector countless times. They are words that are constantly used to justify different things. Less frequently, it is asked what they mean, and perhaps even less often, they can be justified in ways that everyone can accept. I am glad that I have been involved as a decision-maker, a NGO active and a citizen in this project, which really first sought feedback from the customers— the users of the service—in the areas of customer understanding, value creation, creating an operating model, getting acquainted with participatory budgeting and choosing the criteria. Based on them, the concept was chosen from many good ideas, the indicators were created and measures were agreed on which concept was to be taken forward. The result was the concept of “May I help you”. This concept fulfils all the things I mentioned at the beginning. Young people help older people in everyday life, gain experience, raise their self-esteem, and get meaning in their lives. The concept is implemented together with the Social and Healthcare Division of the Kainuu region, municipalities, organisations and many other partners. It has an effect on the life management of young people and the quality of life of the elderly.
In this project, there were workshops where ideas were devised in different groups: young people, old people, decision-makers, representatives of organisations and citizens together. From time to time, we had Think Tanks: we filled walls with Post-Its and sought the best concept by voting. The workshops had a lot of energy, joy and laughter: genuine communality. The “May I help you” concept is waiting in the Kainuu region to be realised. I believe that these ideas, created in cooperation with residents, organisations, and decision-makers, will become a reality and become an effective everyday practice that others can learn from. To the decision-maker, this has been a process that has once again given us the belief in people’s desire and the ability to find solutions and to work together, even in thoughtful, fun and touching ways.’
—Raili Myllylä, Chairman of the Board of the joint municipal authority for Kainuu social welfare and health care.
Read about more experiences from the project in the May I help you? publication.