From shack to summer paradise for children

From shack to summer paradise for children

On the small idyllic island of Lilla lökskär outside Mariehamn in Åland, there is a small red cottage that has become the centre of Folkhälsan’s summer activities.

The Talatta cottage has been owned by the association since the mid-1940s, but with the help of Paf funds, a complete renovation could begin in 2015. What was once a decayed building has now become a place full of life, movement and above all play.

“Originally, there was a big hole in the roof, and there were dead birds in here. There was not a single working window, and the walls were leaning,” recalls Joakim “Jocke” Svensson, the coordinator of Folkhälsan’s Children and Youth programme and the driving force behind the renovation of Talatta.

Thanks to Paf funding, a new roof was put on, the interior walls and exterior panelling were renewed, and the old wood-burning stove was restored to working order. The site also received a new sauna raft, which is popular with the children.

“We have also built a terrace and an outhouse. This year we will also install solar panels and make Talatta more accessible for people with reduced mobility,” says Jocke Svensson.

Youth coordinators on Folkhälsan Joakim Svensson and Mikaela Johansson.

Summer camp with swimming, treasure hunting and archipelago

When the renovation of the cottage was completed in 2018, the first group of children was welcomed to the summer camp. 

“At the camps, there is a lot of swimming and outdoor activities such as treasure hunts and hut building. The children also like to ride on an inflatable sofa after the boat. We have a good co-operation with the Åland Sea Rescue Association and the Åland Nature School who visit us and do activities for the children,” says Jocke Svensson.

Today, Folkhälsan on Åland also organises other events on Lilla lökskär, such as meetings and group activities. But it is the summer camps for children aged 7-10 that are most popular.

“The available seats are running out in ten minutes. It’s great that it’s so popular, and we hope to organise more camps,” says Jocke Svensson. 

Folkhälsan on Åland is one of Paf’s founders. Since 1966 over €447.5 million in Paf funds have been distributed to various beneficiaries.

04 July 2024

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