Volunteering, patient organisations and peer support
in Päijät-Häme central hospital



OLKA® Lahti brings patient organizations and volunteer activities to the hospital to support patients and their families. OLKA® provides non-urgent encounters and support in adapting to the illness.



For patients and relatives

Would you like to have a (non-urgent) chat and get information about peer support? Need a guide or a friend to talk to during a hospital visit? A playmate or peer support while in the hospital? OLKA can help you find your way around the hospital, be a chatting buddy, provide peer support and share information about the support available from patient organizations.

For volunteers

Would you like to volunteer in a hospital? OLKA introduces hospital guides, chat buddies, performers, play buddies and peer supporters to their tasks and provides the necessary support and recreation during the activities. The support provided by volunteer bring joy to patients and loved ones. Volunteers gain a sense of well-being and meaningfulness from the activity.

For patient organizations

At the OLKA point, patient organizations can present themselves to patients and their relatives as well as nursing staff for example via leaflets and theme days. This is an opportunity to present the organization’s activities and tell people about what it is like to live with an illness. The OLKA point is constantly updated with information about the different organizations.

For hospital nursing staff

OLKA provides information on peer support and patient organizations to support their professional work in guiding and supporting patients. Hospital units can organize theme days at the OLKA point and tell about their work.



OLKA activities include:

1.      OIVA information service

OLKA point provides information on patient associations and the support they offer. It also provides information on OIVA and its associations and information on the support available to patients and their families. Organizations and hospital units can organize theme days.

2.      TOIVO peer support

Peer support is support based on experience, where a volunteer who has experienced a similar illness listens and supports the patient. The volunteer peer supporter is trained and has a duty of confidentiality.

3.      ILONA volunteer service

The hospital offers a wide range of volunteer activities, such as hospital guides, performers and (chat, play and game buddies). We provide an introduction to all tasks. Volunteers are supported in their tasks during the activities and enjoy a comfortable community.


Information, peer-to-peer and support at the OLKA point and units of Päijät-Häme Central Hospital. OLKA is nationwide activity initiated by HUS and EJY.


OLKA ® Lahti is a joint activity of LINK Lahti Organization Center and Päijät Häme Central Hospital.

The activity is funded by STEA through funds from Veikkaus and managed by LINK Lahti Organization Center in 2020-2022

OLKA volunteer work developer
Heidi Kirkonpelto

p. 050 3822 333 (also WhatsApp)




OLKA Lahti is also your OLKA.






Peer support is a type of support where person with same experience listens to other person in need. For example if you get a diagnosis, talking with someone with the same experience can help you feel better and get ideas what would help you with the new situation in life. More info in Finnish and in Swedish: vertaistalo.fi.

OLKA exists already in 12 cities in Finland: olkatoiminta.fi