In Finland, we continued and extended our youth-focused security guard project in cooperation with the NGO Youth Service Association. Security guards for youths (Noja®) are now available in Iso Omena, Koskikeskus, Myyrmanni IsoKristiina, Trio, Columbus and IsoKarhu. The specialised youth-focused security guards serve not only a security function, but also as trusted, reliable adults that youths at our centres can contact for any issue, big or small. This project has received very positive feedback and good results including awards.
Young people's need for social interaction has not disappeared despite COVID-restrictions. In our centres, where youth spend a lot of time not only in "normal times" but also in the midst of corona restrictions, the Noja-guards have continued their work. They have been available for help and support and to meet youth in ten Citycon shopping centres throughout the year.
SOSTE Finnish Federation for Social Affairs and Health has awarded the 2018 SOSTE Prize to Citycon. The purpose of the award is to draw positive attention to building an equal balance between welfare and economy and to the importance of welfare investments. The award was handed over to Citycon by the Prime Minister of Finland during the annual SOSTE conference. According to the jury, Citycon has been a pioneer in the inclusion and consideration of young people in the shopping centre business. This is demonstrated most clearly by the long-term cooperation with the NGO Youth Service Association and security service provider Securitas, and implementation of the youth-focused security guards.
According to the jury, “The consideration of the needs of young people when designing shopping centres, and the youth-focused security guard project, make shopping centres better suited to the wellbeing of young people. As young people spend time in shopping centres in any case, it is a great idea to go about changing the shopping centre and its atmosphere so that young people enjoy themselves and feel welcome, hence decreasing disorderly conduct.”
Read more about the SOSTE Awards here (only in Finnish).