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Covid slowdown hits theme park profits, cuts funding for children's charity

The Central Union for Child Welfare is to make cuts as an indirect result of the Covid crisis.

Linnanmäki was quieter than usual in 2020. Image: Lukas Rusk / Yle
Yle News

The Central Union for Child Welfare has announced job cuts and furloughs after losing 90 percent of its funding for 2021 because of a drop in income from the foundation that runs the Linnanmäki amusement park.

The Children's Day Foundation was founded in 1950 by six organisations dedicated to child welfare.

It normally hands over 4.5 million euros a year out of the profits it makes from Linnanmäki, but thanks to a drop in tourism the foundation only has a tenth of that to give away this year.

The union normally receives two million euros in funding each year but will only get 200,000 euros in 2021, making cutbacks unavoidable.

"Our target was to hand out 4.5 million euros in grants to six founding organisations as in previous years," said the Children's Day Foundation and Linnanmäki Managing Director Pia Adlivankin. "Because of corona we can only give half a million euros, which will be shared out between the six organisations."

Covid restrictions shortened the Helsinki attraction's season by some ten weeks, and visitor numbers over the whole year were well down causing turnover to drop by half.

Some thirty staff work at the union, with twenty of those receiving their salaries from the Children's Day Foundation. Three jobs were cut and other staff face furloughs following co-determination talks with unions.

The union does not work directly with children and young people, but rather focuses on improving child welfare services in Finland and internationally, and improving dialogue between workers in the field and decision-makers.

Last year some 86,000 child welfare reports were made in Finland, and that figure has doubled in a decade.

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