Children’s playground in the Westfield area have all now been reopened. Some are displaying “best practice” signs outlining health restrictions. Judging by the numbers in the Acomb Green play area this has proved to be very popular with children (and probably parents).
Over 450 children and young people across the city will have access to their own laptops this summer, as part of a national scheme to help vulnerable young people during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The laptops will be distributed by children’s social workers to children and young people they’re working with who don’t currently have internet access, as well as recent care leavers.
Several Councils been given laptops to distribute under a government programme covering children with a social worker, those who are leaving the care system, and Year 10 students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
It is understood that the move is aimed a ensuring that no child falls behind with their home work as a result of COVID restrictions.
The Council has yet to confirm that the equipment will remain the property of the local authority or what maintenance and insurance arrangements have been put in place.
The York Council took steps to secure playgrounds when the health crisis deepened in March.
Where playgrounds couldn’t be secured, some a attempt was made to surround equipment with barriers.
The intention was to stop transmission of the COVID virus through contact with the equipment. Similar campaigns were initiated on street gym equipment while the “wash your hands” message was continually reinforced.
After nearly 4 months, and with some children now returning to school, perhaps not surprisingly the lure of taking a turn on the play equipment is proving too be strong for some.
Children were playing on the climbing frame and on the zip wire on Foxwood Lane yesterday.
The Council needs to review its policies and – if appropriate – make additional efforts to discourage use of communal play equipment.
Primary school admission figures for entry in September show that 94.2% of York children have been given their first preference of school.
City of York Council’s figures published today (16 April) show that 98.6% of pupils got one of their first three preferences.
The percentage of children getting their first preference fell slightly on last year’s figures, by 1.7% overall. Those getting their second preference increased by 0.4% overall compared to last year’s data.
In 2020 all children within the local authority area have secured a primary school place. The majority of children got one of their first three preferences; with the number of children whose preferences were not able to be met increasing from 10 to 19. Most of these 19 applications only provided 1 school preference which was not their catchment school. The children have been allocated a place at their catchment school where spaces are available.
The total size of the cohort starting school in September 2020 is 1860 pupils, compared to 1,837 last year.
This year all parents will receive a letter to advise them of their child’s school allocation.
Parents are also able to log in to their parent portal account at www.york.gov.uk/parentportal.
Due to the current Covid 19 restrictions the Admissions Team is unable to answer queries by telephone. Parents are being asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org, using ‘Primary School Allocation’ as the subject if they have any queries about the allocation.
According to the Council their special offer on garden composting bins is still available. Details here.
Get a compost bin
We currently have a ‘buy one get one half price’ offer, meaning you can team up with family members, friends or neighbours to get a second compost bin at a reduced price. To take advantage of this offer:
- visit: www.getcomposting.com
- quote reference YNY08L
There are 2 sizes of compost bin available:
- 220 litre: £18.50
- 330 litre: £20.50
Delivery is an additional £5.99 per order. Compost bins are:
- made in the UK from 100% recycled plastic
- designed with a secure windproof lid and removable side hatch
- ‘carbon footprint certified’ by the Carbon Trust
- guaranteed for 15 years
The Council says that it has worked with York Mix https://www.yorkmix.com/promopost/food-drink/?promotag=delivery and Minster FM https://www.minsterfm.com/news/local/3067778/coronavirus—north-yorkshire-supermarket-opening-times-and-restrictions/ “to make sure information is published which shares details of shops or restaurants who are able to deliver food and provides updated information about supermarkets”.
“Following feedback, we are now exploring how to make this information available in print”.
Unfortunately none of the lists published by the commercial media so far is comprehensive. They often lack information about product rage, prices, pipelines, on line ordering and payment options as well as geographical coverage.
The Community Hubs are now delivering food to anyone who needs immediate help – this ranges from those who usually access foodbank support, to residents that are medically shielded but have special dietary needs which are not met by Government food delivery system. These flexible hubs are expected to deliver other sorts of help and all follow safe working guidelines, as far as is practical.
As part of steps to manage the impact and spread of Coronavirus, the Council has made the sad decision to cease all funeral services at the Crematorium with immediate effect [9 April 2020]. The cremations will continue as planned.
A number of precautions have already been taken at the Crematorium to reduce the risk to members of the public and staff. However, in light of new stricter and clearer government guidance relating to social distancing at funerals, we have had to make this difficult decision.
The council is taking into account the risks of infection spread outside of hospital settings and therefore, has to ensure that the health and well-being of everyone is protected, including the public, crematorium staff and partners, such as funeral directors. This has been one of the most difficult decisions we’ve had to make. At a time when family and friends are the most important part of our lives, we know this is going to be really difficult for many people who have lost their loved ones.
Council asks York businesses for help with PPE
City of York Council is appealing to the Government for additional personal protective equipment (PPE), and to local businesses for any spare PPE, so it can be used by the authority’s care workers.
Although the council’s care teams currently have sufficient PPE, stocks nationally are running low, and priority is being given to NHS staff. The Council has low stocks of PPE. Teams go through hundreds of single use items every day. As national stock levels are low, anything local businesses can do to help would be greatly appreciated.”
“The items we need are disposable plastic aprons, gloves, black bags, masks, eye protection goggles, alcohol based hand sanitiser and hard surface wipes.”
Anyone who thinks they may have useful PPE should email PPE@york.gov.uk
Coronavirus: Councils financial support package for residents
Over the past week, the council’s Customer Service Team have received over 1200 emails and 1000 calls requesting support.
During the same period, they received 278 applications for council tax support which are being processing. They have processed 68 York financial assistance support applications, 48 of these have already been successful completed and £4640 has been paid to those in need.
The council is also finalising the automatic award of additional council tax support. This will see all households on Council Tax Support receiving £150 towards their 20/21 bill.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak means that life is
changing for all of us for a while, and you might be feeling stressed, worried
But there’s some simple things you can do to help you take care of your mental health and wellbeing during this time.
Public Health England has shared ten top tips. Please read and share in your communities. This page includes information on getting urgent support should it be needed.
1. Stay connected with people
2. Talk about your worries
3. Support and help others
4. Feel prepared
5. Look after your body
6. Stick to the facts
7. Stay on top of difficult feelings
8. Do things you enjoy
9. Focus on the present
10. Look after your sleep
Schools, childcare and information for families
We have the bank holiday coming up this weekend.
Many schools and early years settings across York will remain open over the holiday period to support those who need their care most.
At the same time, City of York Council has developed lots of information to help support parents and carers in their home schooling.
To find out more or to download the pack, which includes:
- Easter Pack – online resources for mental wellbeing, online learning and staying active whilst at home
- Fact sheets to help explain coronavirus to children and young people
- Easy read information for children and young people with learning disabilities
- Parent pack – resources for family schedules and timetables
- And much more!
For more information on school support for key workers visit www.york.gov.uk/SchoolClosures
For more information on early years support please visit www.yor-ok.org.uk/families/Childcare/childcare.htm
The press statement is here: https://www.york.gov.uk/news/article/134/education-leaders-thank-school-and-childcare-staff
Household waste and recycling collections will be taking place over the Easter Bank Holiday. To check when your collections are due, visit https://www.york.gov.uk/WasteCollectionUpdates
We are also asking residents not put used tissues into the recycling boxes – which we’ve been seeing on our collection rounds today.
They must go into the household waste bin (black bin) and be double bagged. Please follow these guidelines and help protect our frontline waste staff.
Help us to ensure we can collect your waste by following these steps:
- Double bag your waste if you have symptoms of Coronavirus
- keep it separate from other waste and put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external household waste bin
- wipe down bins and boxes before and after collection
- minimise the waste you throw away
- park responsibly
City of York Council have today granted £17k to Explore York Libraries and Archives, in order to extend the current range of virtual services to support individuals, families and communities of York during the Coronavirus emergency. This will give residents access to a wider range of e-books and audiobooks for all ages, and free access to Press Reader, a huge archive of 7000+ newspaper and magazine titles updated daily.
The extra funding will also enable residents to use Explore’s ‘Virtual Rooms’ which uses specialist conferencing software to bring people together. This is a great opportunity for artists to collaborate, or for readers to join a communal book group.
Explore will also be working in partnership with City of York Council to provide internet access for isolated and vulnerable residents who lack broadband or confidence in using technology.
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 email@example.com 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”.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 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.
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
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 email@example.com 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
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
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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.
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.
Children from York have left a lasting mark on an innovative new building.
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.”