Coronavirus York updates; 5th June 2020

No further deaths

For the fifth successive day there have been no further deaths at the York hospital

Small business grant payments start – businesses encouraged to apply

City of York Council is encouraging eligible businesses to apply now for the upgraded scheme small and micro grant scheme, which has been created to support local businesses.

Grants payments between £1000 and £10,000 will support small businesses, including those in shared offices and flexible work spaces, science parks and incubators, regular market traders without a business rates assessment, nurseries, B&Bs paying council tax instead of business rates, and charity properties which all missed out under previous schemes are also eligible.

Small business and childcare nurseries                        up to  £10000

Micro business                                                              up to    £5000

B&Bs and market traders who live in York                    up to   £2,500

Self-employed with fixed property costs                       up to    £1000

To apply, businesses must have been trading before 11 March 2020, have a rateable value or annual mortgage of below £51,000, and demonstrate both an ongoing fixed property cost and significant financial impact of the coronavirus. It is not available to any business eligible for any other government COVID grant.

Grant payments are being processed in batches, with the first batch set to land in businesses accounts on Friday 5 June. The council is also telling businesses that have applied not to worry if they don’t receive their payment advice this weekend – there will be further payments every Friday over the next four weeks.

Councillor Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council, said:

“I’m pleased to see that our local grants payments are already being paid to small and micro businesses across the city, in order to help them through this incredibly tough time.”

“York’s small and micro businesses are at the heart of our vibrant economy and I would urge businesses who are yet to apply, to get in touch and apply for the support as soon as possible.  As restrictions are eased, more small and micro businesses are reopening, so we understand how important these cash injections can be.

“From the very beginning of this crisis, we have worked to ensure our local businesses received swift support from the Council, particularly those who did not meet the criteria for government support.  I am pleased that City of York Council has been recognized as one of the fastest local authorities in the country to distribute grants and rates relief, totalling £33m so far.”

“We will continue to make the case to Government, with our partners, to lobby for further financial support to support all our businesses, particularly as we work to put in place the foundations of our economic recovery.”

Councillor Andrew Waller, executive member for the economy and strategic planning, said:

“Staff across the council have worked quickly to process grants, with payments landing in businesses bank accounts shortly after the announcement of the scheme.

“Considerable effort and resource has been deployed to carry out the required checks as quickly as possible, in order to get these payments to businesses who need them after falling through the cracks of government support.

“I’d encourage businesses to check the eligibility criteria for these grants and apply as soon as possible if they are able to do so. We are already seeing the positive affect they are having for businesses during this incredibly difficult period.

“Businesses can check eligibility and apply at”

The council is using an additional £2.2m discretionary government fund to expand its own small and micros grant scheme, which has already supported over 3,000 local businesses affected by coronavirus.

The council acted quickly to distribute £110m of grants and rates relief to over 4000 York businesses, and created its own £1m grant scheme to support over 1000 more businesses, which did not qualify for government support.

Under the discretionary fund, local authorities have been given an additional 5% of the total value of grants already distributed in York, together with some government rules and outline guidance on which businesses should benefit. However, this means councils have to use local knowledge to decide how to fairly distribute the money, as to benefit as many businesses as possible in the city.

Companies that are in financial difficulties because they fall outside the Government set limits are asked to contact Make it York to discuss their options. They can email business@makeityork.comCOMMENT ON THIS PAGE

York Council celebrates all those caring for others

Carers: Unskilled Labour, Or Our Most Undervalued Resource?

In Carers Week (8-14 June) the council is inviting health and care services, schools, employers and businesses to celebrate and support the vital contribution by unpaid carers across the city.

This year in particular, tribute is paid to the enormous contribution made by unpaid carers during the coronavirus pandemic. They continue to play an essential role supporting friends and family who are older, disabled or seriously ill.  

Where social distancing or shielding means that carers can’t do what they usually do, volunteers across the city have come forward. They have helped ensure that vital food supplies and medication are delivered, and that companionship and caring welfare calls continue to help keep people cared for and in contact with others.

Many people have found that during lockdown they have had to take on more caring responsibilities than usual. The council is encouraging them to contact the city’s Carer’s Centre to benefit from the support and advice it gives 01904 715490 or email

Cllr Carol Runciman, executive member for health and adult social care, said: “This Carers Week, we want to thank carers across the city more so than ever, for the amazing part they play in these extraordinary and challenging times.

“During this pandemic, so many people in York are caring for all parts of our community in new and different ways. We’ve been celebrating them and their work and making them more visible through our #YorkKind campaign. I thank them all.”

Carole Zagrovic at York Carers Centre, said: “We are delighted to be part of Carers Week to highlight the huge contribution unpaid carers make throughout our communities, often with little recognition or support for themselves. 

“Making Caring Visible is about all of us taking some time to think about what unpaid carers do. That can range from a few hours to pick up prescriptions or help with shopping to providing personal care day and night to a child, husband or wife with complex and worsening health conditions.

“This is the one week when we as a society can show our appreciation of the challenges carers face, particularly through this difficult time, and to acknowledge and respect their value in our communities.”

Specially for Carers Week and with social distancing in mind, many individuals and organisations – including York’s Carers’ Centre – are hosting or getting involved with virtual activities, to help carers to connect to others and access advice and information. To find out more visit or go to .

For more information, support and advice please contact the Carers Centre on 01904 715490 or email

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

Carers asked for feedback on support services

Adult Carers receiving support services from City of York Council will be asked for their views on the services they receive over the next few weeks.

downloadThis survey, which is being run nationally, looks to find how services received by carers are helping them in their life and their view of services provided to the cared for person and where improvements can be made.

The questionnaire will be sent to over 900 carers across the city from next week and the consultation will close on 18 November. The survey will be undertaken in every local authority in England, and will result in the most significant pool of personal outcome information for those carers to date, providing an important resource for understanding services for carers and enabling them to make better choices about their support.

The survey looks to hear carer’s views on the quality of life of both themselves and the people they care for and looks to understand the impact that the services they receive have on quality of life.

Cllr Carol Runciman, Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Health said: “The information we get from this national annual survey of adult carers is incredibly useful in helping us to evaluate and improve our services for carers and cared for people in York.  As well as understanding the views of carers across the city this survey will enable us to compare the experiences of people living in York with those who live elsewhere in the country.

“I would urge everyone who receives a survey to complete it and return it as soon as possible and would like to thank carers and their families for their help with this process.”

Looking after someone? Know your rights: Carers Rights Day on Friday

Thousands of people looking after a disabled, older or seriously-ill loved one in the region may be missing out on vital benefits and support.


It’s estimated that there are over 18,000 carers in York alone, with around 1,300 under the age of 18.

Carers Rights Day (Friday 20th November) brings together organisations across the UK to help carers in their local community find out about their rights and how to get the help and support they are entitled to.

It’s hoped that the Day will help reach out to the 6.5 million people in the UK who care for an older, seriously-ill or disabled loved one, informing them of the rights, benefits and the services they are entitled to; including benefits, such as Carer’s Allowance, short breaks and access to equipment and technology which can help them in their caring role.

Carole Zagrovic, Chief Executive of York Carers Centre, said:

“It’s vital that we reach out to the thousands of carers in York and let them know about their rights and the support they could be entitled to. We will be able to provide carers with important advice and information to make sure they know how to get the financial and practical support they need, when they need it.”

Heléna Herklots, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:

“Every day, 6,000 people begin caring for a disabled, older or seriously-ill loved one. But when this caring journey starts, it can be hard to get the help and advice you need. Without this support, caring can take a serious toll on a carer’s health, finances and wellbeing. No one should have to care alone and Carers Rights Day events mean they don’t have to; carers can get the essential information and advice they need and connect with other local carers.”

Councillor Carol Runciman, Executive member for Adult Social Care and Health, City of York Council, said: “Carers are the unsung heroes of our communities. They provide care and support to friends and loved-ones, but are often unaware of the help and support they can get themselves. Often carers do not realise the importance or significance of the work they do. Carers Rights Day is an opportunity to celebrate the impact carers have in our society, while raising the profile of the rights they have and help available.”

Carers can download a copy of the Carers’ Rights’ Guide at or order a free copy by calling the Carers UK’s Adviceline on 0808 808 7777 or emailing

For more information about York Carers Centre, please contact or phone 01904 715490.

Case study: Leigh’s story  (more…)

Explore York Libraries and Archives presents “Caring for Carers”

On Wednesday 30 July, in the foyer at West Offices, a free exhibition of local care services will be held for carers.

Explore York Libraries and Archives are currently working with local carers to discover the benefits of using computers and being online, and this Caring for Carers event, presented by Explore York will give customers the opportunity to discover the wealth of support available to unpaid care-givers in the city of York.


York Council call for young carers to be given extra support


Liberal Democrats are calling for more support to be given to young carers in York by extending a successful national funding scheme.

The Lib Dems, along with groups such as the Carers Trust, are calling for Pupil Premium eligibility to be extended to include young carers.

The Pupil Premium is an additional allowance given to schools to support looked after children and those from low income families.

Children entitled to free school meals are eligible for the funding along with children in care, adopted children, children in hospital schools and service personnel children.

Schools in York have received £12.6 million since the Lib Dem policy was introduced in 2011.

Free computer and internet support for care givers in York


Explore York Libraries and Archives, in partnership with York Carers’ Forum and the Tinder Foundation, are offering free support to local paid and unpaid carers on how to use computers and get online.

Explore Digital Care is a free, six-part course which will help care-givers in York understand the basics of using digital technology which will give them access to online support and resources themselves and so help those they care for.

York Carers Week Starts

York is celebrating the work of carers next week as part of national Carers Week (9-15 June).


Carers Week is a UK-wide annual awareness campaign, which aims to improve the lives of carers and the people they care for and in York it’s a chance for unpaid carers to take a break and join in one of the many activities on offer.

On Monday 9 June at CVS (Priory Street) from 10am to 3pm carers can have a free health check, visit information stalls and hear short talks.  There will also be some live music, a free lunch and complimentary therapies.Please call York Carers Centre on 01904 715490 to book a place.

On Wednesday 11 June York Carers Centre have a stall in the reception area of York Hospital and a bus in Parliament Street where carers can call in. York Carers Forum are also holding a Carers Service at 1.20pm in York Minster, all welcome. At 5.30pm at City of York Council West Offices there is an information sharing meeting for carers who look after an adult on the autistic spectrum.

On Friday 13 June young carers are launching their new play at York St John University.

Carers will also be able to brush up their web skills thanks to a free six-part course offered by Explore York Libraries and Archives and the Tinder Foundation, in partnership with York Carers Forum.

Running from May to September, Explore Digital Care is a free six-part course for local carers.  Each carer who enrols on the course will be invited to attend six free lessons in using different aspects of the internet, including staying safe online, using email, searching the internet and using various carers resources and forums online, amongst other things.

Share the Care Week: Could you support disabled children?

Would you like to help another family? Do you like having children around? If so, then City of York Council wants to hear from you.

The authority is looking to recruit carers to help with its Short Breaks Service, which provides regular short breaks to children and young people with a permanent and substantial impairment or illness.