Corona Virus update – 28th March 2020

Aldi queue priorities for NHS & emergency services

Supermarket Aldi has said that nurses, police officers and firefighters will take priority in its queues.

In a statement, it said: “All day, every day, key workers in the NHS, police and fire service will take priority ahead of queues into our stores upon showing a valid ID.

“This is in addition to early access on a Sunday, where they can enter stores 30 minutes prior to opening.

Thank you from everyone at Aldi.”

York Council guidance updated

The latest council guidance can be found on this link.

Regrettably it still does not address the issue of “routine” food shopping, stock positions, “least busy time” advice  and the lack of delivery & contactless payment options (other than plans to use volunteers to help the needy – see below)

A national briefing on the position at supermarkets can be found here https://brc.org.uk/news/corporate-affairs/coronavirus-latest-retailer-announcements/

Financial support for residents

The York Council  have announced a details of emergency funds totalling £1.25m for residents affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents will be able to receive financial help from two funds, depending on their circumstances and how much help they need. The two funds are the:

  • Emergency hardship fund for residents affected by Covid-19
  • Council tax COVID-19 hardship fund

More information at at www.york.gov.uk/coronavirus

York Council community response and hubs

“We have invited people in need to contact us via the council’s standard number as well as via covid19help@york.gov.uk  Calls are being dealt with by the Customer Centre (now operating 7 days a week).  Any requests for help that fall outside of normal service requests are being forwarded to a unit that we have established to respond to individual need.   We are dealing with a wide range of requests for help.  We are responding according to the nature of the need, for example:

  • Referring to a voluntary organisation providing a relevant service
  • Sending a volunteer to do shopping for the individual
  • Arranging a delivery of food via the foodbank
  • Arranging delivery of food that we have procured
  • Arranging follow-up welfare calls using volunteers
  • Linking the individual into the local Facebook groups

To support this effort we are in daily contact with all the relevant voluntary organisations to understand their needs as well as what they have to offer.  We are working particularly closely with the foodbank to focus on food issues to understand demand and adapt our approach accordingly.

Our response will now be bolstered through the establishment of community hubs.  The hubs are part of the city’s co-ordinated response to the COVID-19 emergency. They are not open to the public and are at strategic locations around the city. In the first instance these respond to the government’s requirement to deliver food to the “medically shielded” (we will be provided with a list of who these people are) prior to a national door to door delivery system kicking in.  We expect our first delivery of food imminently to our central warehouse.  Our hubs will also provide a safety net for this system should any individual be missed. 10 hubs are now ready to pack food into boxes as soon as it is delivered.  A further 14 can be opened if required”.

Homeless support

We are aware of the government’s announcement about how council’s should be supporting homeless people. People sleeping rough in the city are among the most vulnerable in the city and it is important for their immediate and long-term health to get them into accommodation.  We have accommodation for those who are still outside. From there, we can provide them regularly with food and support for their other needs.The Government has asked us to triage people to different location according to any underlying health issues and we’re working on this. More information on our support we are offering was outlined in our  press release from earlier this week.

Business support

The business briefing includes how we’ve worked with Make it York, York BID and the LEPs to make the case for small employer support, and are raising some teething issues with over government-backed loans with the British Business Bank. Now we are asking businesses to tell us what other support their business needs by completing this short survey from Make it York – whether they are a member or not.

 Mental wellbeing

Public Health England has tailored Every Mind Matters to provide advice and tips on how to manage anxiety during social distancing and isolation. People can find guidance, advice and tips on how to maintain mental wellbeing while at home or are worried and anxious about the outbreak is the NHS site.

Service changes

Register office

 As of Monday 30 March, York Register Office is closed to the public following the Coivd-19 pandemic. Following Government guidance we are now asking people to register a death by telephone.  If you have been given a medical certificate of cause of death from a doctor, you will need to deliver this to the Register Office (post through the letter box) or post the certificate to us.

Before delivering or posting please ensure you add the following details, clearly, on the medical certificate of cause of death (MCCD) envelope:

  • name of the person who will register the death
  • a contact number and email address for the person who will be registering the death
  • the name of the funeral director (if known)

Once we have received the MCCD we will call you to arrange the registration. If you have not received a MCCD from the doctor, please call 01904 654477 or email registrar@york.gov.uk. We apologise for any inconveninence.

 Changes to public transport

Following the Covid-19 pandemic City of York Council have worked with York’s bus and train operators to ensure key workers and people making essential journeys are still able to get in and around the city.

After the Government announced guidelines stopping all but essential travel the number of people using bus and train services in the city has dropped substantially. In light of this we have worked with operators to remove non-essential services. We are also reminding those who are travelling need to consider social distancing whilst they move around.

 Bus services:

Bus operators and the council have looked at bus usage over the past week after restrictions were put in place to assess what trips are required for key workers, essential journeys, and also to gauge demand levels so services can operate within social distancing guidelines. Most services are continuing to run, but on a less frequent timetable. Some services will stop where there are other options for travellers. Specific changes are:

  • Park and ride services from Askham Bar, Poppleton Bar and Grimston Bar will cease from Sunday.  FirstYork will take park and ride tickets on adjacent services on their town network (for example, service 12 for Askham Bar, service 10 from Poppleton Bar and Grimston Bar).  The park and ride services from the Designer Outlet, Rawcliffe Bar and Monks Cross will continue to run, although at a half hourly frequency.  The car parks at Grimston Bar and Poppleton Bar will be closed, although the car park at Askham Bar will remain open.   The Hospital Shuttle Bus from Rawcliffe Bar will continue to run.
  • “Local” services in York will run at a reduced frequency.  Most of First’s network will operate at a half hour frequency, with half-hourly services becoming approximately hourly.  Service 13 (Connexions) will run hourly.  Service 20 every 2 hours, with frequency reductions also on services 24/25/26.  Service 19 will cease to operate, although its stops in Rawcliffe and Clifton will be served by the Hospital Shuttle Bus.
  • CitySightseeing services will not operate.

Longer distance services are also effected.

  • Coastliner services are combined with Cityzap and will operate every hour.  Service 415 to Selby will operate every hour, services from East Yorkshire have also been reduced.  Services 22, 30, 40 and 412 will operate but at reduced frequencies.

Bus users are asked to check operator websites before they travel for the most up to date information.  These can be accessed via itravel York website www.itravelyork.info Whilst these temporary changes are in place bus timetable apps and screens will not be displaying the correct information.

 Rail services:

Train companies are now offering a reduced service – ensuring key workers are still able to travel as required.  Timetables changes will be introduced from Sunday and full details are available via the National Rail Journey Planner and train operating company websites

 Car parking:

A reminder that free car parking for key workers and food workers:

Key workers who work in the NHS or are health and social care related services or work in supermarkets and food outlets without parking (this does not include takeaways) will be able to park for free in council car parks to support the fantastic work they are doing during the corona virus pandemic. Our only ask is that they put in the windscreen a letter on their employers headed paper confirming that they are a key worker in one of the services mentioned above.

During the outbreak the council are mindful that people may not be able to move their car whilst they self-isolate some discretion is being shown to people who park legally provided they are not causing an obstruction or wilfully breaking the law. Any urgent enquiries on this can be sent to parking@york.gov.uk where officers will get back to you as soon as possible.

Please note Fossbank and Piccadilly car parks are currently closed.

Healthy child service

In line with government advice, a few changes have been made to our healthy child service offer.

New parents will still be offered a face to face visit from a Health Visitor when they have been discharged by the midwife. Health visitors will call before they visit to ask about symptoms of coronavirus in the household. Health Visitors can support new parents with feeding, help to understand baby’s communication cues and answer questions relating to baby’s health, safety and development.

Health visitors and school nurses can still be contacted by phone and are on hand to provide advice and support. Please do not come to the centres, we will contact you by phone and visit only if it is essential and safe to do so.

The team can support over the phone with behaviour, toileting, sleep, healthy eating, ideas for activities during isolation and lots more.

Young people can contact the school nurses confidentially by text or call on 07833 437363 Monday- Friday 08:30-17:00

Our health visitors and school nurses can be called (Monday to Friday 8.30am -5pm) on:

  • The Avenues children’s centre 01904 551760
  • Clifton Children’s centre 01904 552322
  • Hob Moor children’s centre 01904 555475

COVID-19 guidance for Parents and Carers in York

Link to fuller information below

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement this week, City of York Council has been working with the Department for Education and with schools and early years settings across York to set out the plan for our children’s education across the coming months.

As you will know, many schools and settings are impacted by reduced staff levels as individuals follow government advice to self-isolate, to help slow the spread of COVID-19. In response to this, schools and settings must remain open whilst managing lower numbers of staff.

Schools, colleges, nurseries, childminders and other registered childcare settings will remain open for children of key workers and vulnerable children where they can.

It is important to note that all childcare and educational settings remain safe places for children. So the fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society.

The Government is advising that ‘every child who can be safely cared for at home should be’.  Their latest information for parents and carers is available online

Full statement about the situation in York click here

Calling all budding young artists and designers – North Yorkshire Police needs you!

Wondering what to do over the half term break? Don’t want to sit around bored? Well, how about entering our Lifestyle logo competition and having a chance at winning a Sony Cybershot camera?

We’re looking for talented young artists and designers to give our Lifestyle Challenge logo an overhaul.

Just in case you haven’t heard of it, our Lifestyle Challenge is a competition that we run across the summer holidays every year, where we challenge kids across York and North Yorkshire to come up with a great project which benefits their street, their local community or their environment and then deliver it! We then celebrate everyone’s success at a glittering awards ceremony at York racecourse later in the year.

So, we’re currently working away on plans for this year’s challenge, but in the meantime, we think our Lifestyle logo needs a redesign and who better to ask than they talented children of York and North Yorkshire!

A picture of our current logo is below, but we think you can come up with better.

You can use any colour, design, font or typeface you like. The only thing we ask is that you include the words – “LIFESTYLE – make a difference in your community!

Once you’ve created your design, take a picture of it, or if you have created it digitally, send it as a PDF attachment to lifestyle@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk by Tuesday 31 March 2020.

The winning design will receive a fantastic Sony Cybershot camera which will be presented at the Lifestyle Awards ceremony later on this year.

So get creating – we can’t wait to see what you come up with!!

Competition open to children in York and North Yorkshire under the age of 18

New tenant at Moor Lane youth club

The York Council says that discussions have been held with “Choose 2 Youth” whom are a charitable organisation which provides educational and social care services to young people with learning and physical disabilities, with a view of them occupying part of the Moor Lane Centre.

Moor Lane youth club

Choose 2 Youth are currently a Council tenant at the 68 Centre Youth Centre and after a review of alternative provision, Moor Lane Youth Centre has been selected as the most appropriate building to maintain and improve the provision of services for the young people with disabilities.

The Moor Lane Youth Centre is also used by the Councils Youth Justice Service during the day and hired out on an evening to other youth and community providers. Choose 2 Youth will occupy 106m2 of the building for a period of 3 years and pay the Council an initial rent of £8,500 per annum rising to £12,750 in year 2 and £17,000 in year 3.

A licence to document their occupation will be entered into which can be terminated by the council upon 6 month’s notice.

Hob Moor youngsters leave lasting mark on Centre of Excellence on Ascot Way

Children from York have left a lasting mark on an innovative new building.

Work progressing on Ascot Way centre

The Centre for Excellence will provide disabled children, young people and their families with community and overnight short breaks along with support from a wide range of professionals including clinical psychologists.

Children from the adjacent Hob Moor Primary Academy and Hob Moor Oaks school were asked to help with the construction by laying the first bricks and signing their names on the steel which forms the structure of the building.

The scheme – one of the first of its kind in the country – is a partnership between City of York Council and NHS England. It will enable many children and young people with complex needs to access the help and support they and their families need in York.

The brick laying and steel-signing marks a key stage of the project, which should be completed by summer 2020.

The project is being delivered by Sewell Construction.

Philippa Hughes, Housing Lead for the NHS Learning Disability and Autism Programme in Yorkshire and Humber, said: “The NHS is delighted to support this much needed development in the city of York. It’s heartening to see so many school children contributing to a build which will allow so many of their peers to live full and meaningful lives in their communities.”

Martin Standley, Sewell Construction Project Manager, said: “We feel it’s really important for the children to have as much insight as possible into what’s happening close to their school. This helps feed their curiosity but also helps them understand why it’s so important to stay safe near a building site. 

“Building the Centre of Excellence and redeveloping Lincoln Court is a real honour for Sewell Construction so we knew that the children would be just as proud to get involved and make their mark on the site.”

Richard Ludlow, chief executive of Ebor Academy Trust, which operates the Hob Moor academies, said: “We are fully supportive of City of York Council’s forward thinking plans for this Centre of Excellence and I’m pleased they have allowed our children to be a part of it. True partnership working is always at the heart of successful collaborative ventures.”

Councillor Ian Cuthbertson, City of York Council’s Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education, said: “The Centre of Excellence is a landmark building for York, providing a base where children and young people with complex needs and disabilities can receive help and support from a wide range of professionals within the city.

“I’m delighted that local school children have had the chance to put their mark on the building and to be involved at this point in the construction.”

New parents help Register Office raise £6,000 for York’s special babies

The team at City of York Council’s Register Office has raised £6,000 for the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) at York Hospital thanks to the generosity of new parents in the city.

York Register Office 56 Bootham, York YO30 7DA

Parents registering a birth are offered a folder in which to keep their new baby’s birth certificate. The folders are supplied free to the office so that every penny of the donations for them from the public goes towards supporting SCBU’s work with ill or premature babies.

The Register Office team, which also offers a death registration service at York Hospital Bereavement Suite and attends a local Sure Start centre to register births, has raised over £39,000 in the last decade.

Amanda Sykes, York Register Office Manager said: “We are delighted that our partnership with the Special Care Baby Unit is continuing to help ill and premature babies across the city.

“This is only made possible through the generosity of our visitors so I would like to thank everyone who has donated. Through our work we get a glimpse into the brilliant work of the Special Care Baby Unit so to raise over £35,000 in the past decade is amazing.”

Sister Beth Howarth from the Special Care Baby Unit said: “We are unbelievably appreciative of this generous gift and would like to say a massive thank you. Donations of any size allow us to go that extra mile for our families at what can be a difficult time. This wonderful donation will allow us to purchase additional equipment which otherwise would not be able to happen; so thank you.”

£5.6 million to be spent upgrading York schools

The York Council is planning to undertake maintenance work over the next few months at 13 schools in the area.

The largest part of the £5.6 million budget has been allocated to Huntington School which will see £987,000 spent on refurbishing the Science Lab with part of the roof also set to be replaced together with the provision of a new kitchen and improved insulation.

Clifton Primary school will receive £944,000. This will see Roofs, Gutters, Windows and External Doors replaced. The building will be rewired, and old pipework replaced.

Westfield school

The Westfield Primary school will get a £686,000 boost. A section of the building will be re-roofed, the playground resurfaced, and a new fire alarm system fitted.

Other work planned includes

The proposals are being discussed at a Council meeting next week.

York parents fined £1800 following prolonged unauthorised school absences

Three York parents have been handed court fines this month after City of York Council took action following their children’s poor attendance at school.

The prosecution was heard by York Magistrates and followed numerous attempts by the authority and schools to engage the parents to give the children the education to which they are entitled.

In all cases, the parents had failed to provide the schools with acceptable reasons for much of their children’s absence and the schools had therefore marked the absence as unauthorised.

The prosecuted parents had, prior to court, failed to engage with the schools and local authority to support their children’s attendance and had also been issued with a fine as an alternative to prosecution. They had not paid it, prompting the council to prosecute.

All three parents were ordered to pay fines ranging between £131 to £660.

Maxine Squire, Assistant Director of Education and Skills at City of York Council, said: “We want all children to receive a great education and benefit from the rich opportunities and high quality of education that are provided by our schools, and working with families and schools to promote and maintain good attendance is vital in achieving this.

“We will always attempt to engage with parents to avoid further loss of a child’s education before we prosecute. This is used as last resort in order to ensure that children receive the education to which they are entitled.”

Residents encouraged to nominate exceptional young people of York for Shine awards

City of York Council is seeking nominations for incredible young people and inspirational adults ahead of the Lord Mayor of York’s Shine Awards.

The annual awards will be held on 11 February 2020 at Vale of York Academy and will celebrate exceptional young people of all ages, from age five to aged 18.

The Shine Awards honour those who have helped others or contributed to their community or school in a positive way, whether as a volunteer or as an inspiration to others.

Nominations categories include arts, sport, voice and participation, young volunteer and community champion, with potential new categories created, depending on the submissions.

Nominees are also being taken for the Ann Mckeown Award for Excellence and Inspirational Work with children and young people, for adults aged over 18. In memory of Ann McKeown, former York Head Teacher and supporter of the Lord Mayor’s Shine Awards.

Adults submitted for the award may include inspirational teachers, youth workers or volunteers who have gone above and beyond to improve the lives of children and young people.

To receive or submit application forms, please email tim.waudby@york.gov.uk by Friday 20 December 2019. Nominations can also be made through staff or professionals that hold contact details of the young person.

The Rt Hon the Lord Mayor of York, Cllr Janet Looker said: “York’s community is incredibly charitable and inspiring, and I look forward to honouring the young people who have made a real difference to others and the city.

“I would like to encourage residents to nominate someone they know who has had a positive impact on the community, and deserves to be recognised and thanked for their contribution.”