Time to Talk Day 2021



A small conversation about mental health has the power to make a big difference, say city emotional wellbeing experts ahead of Time to Talk Day on 4 February 2021.

Research shows that the more conversations people have, the more myths can be bust and the more barriers can broken down, helping to end the isolation and shame and that too many people feel about mental health problems.

Time to Talk Day is when we’re all being encouraged to talk about mental health. This year’s event might look a little different, but at times like this open conversations about mental health are more important than ever.

This year’s focus is on the power of small, because however you have a conversation about mental health – whether it’s a quick text to a friend, a virtual coffee morning with colleagues, or a socially distanced walk and talk with your family – it has the power to make a big difference.

Here are some tips on how to start a conversation and help someone simply by listening and acknowledging what they’re going through.

An open ear reduces fear

Listening is often more important than talking. You don’t have to have all the answers – just listening can make a big difference. Show  you’re taking on board what they’re saying. You can do this saying something simple like “that sounds really difficult”.

2. Be a friend, don’t mend

You don’t have to fix it, just being there will mean a lot. It can be difficult to open, especially if you think the person you’re with won’t understand. Remember what they’re going through is real to them, so be the supportive friend you’ve always been.

3. It’s easy to say “that sounds tough”

Show you care and take on board what they’re saying. It’s OK to ask questions like “What kind of thoughts are you having?”, “How can I help?” Just try not to minimise what someone’s going through.

Emma Williams from Time to Change York, said: “We need your help to start the conversation this Time to Talk Day – together we can end mental health stigma. Find out more at www.time-to-change.org.uk/get-involved/time-talk-day.”

Cl(opens in a new tab)lr Carol Runciman, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care at City of York Council, said: “I’m delighted to see this campaign which builds on Time To Change’s ‘Ask Twice’ campaign. Simply reaching out to someone and asking how they are – how they really are – and listening to them, can make people feel so much better.

There is a range of tips and resources for better emotional wellbeing at www.livewellyork.co.uk/feelrealyork .

Coronavirus York Updates: 18th April 2020


 If anyone is struggling financially, or cannot access the internet to order food, please contact the Council on 01904 551550 or email covid19help@york.gov.uk. This telephone line is open daily, including at the weekend when it’s open 8.30am – 5.30pm Saturday and Sunday.

Explore update re free magazine and newspaper access

Press Reader – the app giving free access to thousands of newspapers and magazines – is now live and free to access for anyone with an Explore library card. Explore was able to buy a subscription to Press Reader with part of the grant awarded last week by City of York council from the Covid-19 general support grant.  The latest information is available at https://www.exploreyork.org.uk/digital/e-magazines/

 Every Mind Matters

 With data showing over 4 in 5 adults are worried about the effect that coronavirus (COVID-19) is having on their life right now, with over half saying it affected their wellbeing and nearly half reporting high levels of anxiety Public Health England are reminding people to take steps to look after their mental health during this challenging period for everyone.

 Their Every Mind Matters website includes new NHS expert tips and advice on looking after mental wellbeing and supporting your family and loved ones during this time.

 Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have narrated a powerful new film in support of campaign and to encourage people to look after their mental and physical wellbeing.

 The Every Mind Matters campaign will be supported through social media, digital, national TV and partner support activity, helping to reach the audiences most at-risk of poor mental health  link to the video.

 Business update

5,500 York businesses have now benefitted from over £100m of grants and relief as City of York Council continues to support businesses during the Coronavirus outbreak.  A specialist team have worked round the clock to ensure businesses get the government grants and business rates relief as quickly as possible, whilst carrying out rigorous checks to make sure that fraudsters cannot take advantage of the situation.

The £100m is made up of two main funding sources, business rates relief which accounts for £66m and a further £34m in business grants paid out to over 2500 accounts. We are working through the remaining payments as quickly as possible.

Community support- food update

A city-wide operation encompassing York’s foodbank, the Council’s community hubs, community meal providers and local food businesses are helping ensure people get the food they need.

To service the council’s community hubs with food, the Council has created a central depot with volunteer drivers and vehicles to transport goods to the hubs. There, food boxes are put together and delivered to people identified through the Council’s dedicated support line.

From making phone calls to thousands of residents, the volunteers in the hubs are building a picture of the amount of food needed and how urgently, meeting special dietary needs and adding to the Government-supplied food.

The council’s support line is also helping people who can afford to buy their shopping but can’t get a delivery slot, or who people who can’t order online.

An interim list of businesses offering doorstep deliveries has been published.

It can be downloaded from this link https://www.dropbox.com/s/pjyqazimgft8cbk/Coronavirus%20Food%20Leaflet%2017%20April.pdf?dl=0

NHS services

 Colleagues at the Vale of York CCG have issued an important message reminding patients that the NHS is still available for non Covid-19 related illnesses amid concerns patients may be putting off using NHS services for illnesses not related to coronavirus (Covid-19).

GP services, pharmacies, NHS 111, out-of-hours services and emergency departments are all still available to patients should they be needed.

For more information please see their press release https://www.valeofyorkccg.nhs.uk/ccg-reminds-patients-that-the-nhs-is-still-available-for-non-covid-19-related-illnesses/


The Council says that in the coming days and weeks residents will be getting information delivered to them:

  • A leaflet promoting how to be a volunteer and what to do if you need help together with a leaflet promoting health information with a letter thanking the city for its resolve and containing important health information for people to keep is currently being delivered
  • A special copy of Our City magazine, bringing together information about resident support and council services in one place will be delivered w/c 20 April
  • A leaflet sharing the names and contact details of local independent food suppliers who can deliver or arrange collection
  • A booklet providing more information to support your wellbeing over this extended lockdown.

Coronavirus York updates – 9th April 2020

Compost bins

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:

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.

 Mental health

 The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak means that life is changing for all of us for a while, and you might be feeling stressed, worried or anxious.

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!

Visit: www.york.gov.uk/COVIDSchoolsAndFamilies

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.

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

Corona virus updates – 26th March 2020

Self employed get help

Rishi Sunak announces Govt will pay self-employed people a taxable grant of up to 80 per cent of of their average profits over the past three years, up to £2,500 a month. The Chancellor says this will be available to anyone with profits up to £50k, and is only available to those who make the majority of the income from being self-employed

Community support

We understand that both the North Yorkshire County Council and the City of York Council are setting up local volunteer hubs. These will co ordinate the provision of services within local neighbourhoods.

In York there are expected to be 20 “hubs” spread around the City with the first starting work before the end of the week. The hubs will not be open to the general public but will direct volunteer efforts on food and other deliveries.

In North Yorkshire 23 community support organisations will be the single point of contact for the county and district councils and working with the local voluntary sector.
People needing help will contact the County Council’s customer service centre on 01609 780780 which will direct them to the contact point in their area. The role of the community support organisation in each locality is as follows:
• The single point of contact for those who are alone and isolated by the pandemic
• Signposting to what local support is available in the community;
• Act as local hub for individuals and groups wishing to volunteer in the community response;
• Provide information on local shopping options and trusted suppliers who are delivering directly to those who are self-isolating;

The Community Support Organisation will work with local voluntary sector groups to arrange:
• Collection and delivery of shopping using local volunteering resources. Shopping will be delivered in line with the safety guidelines and left on the doorstep or in a safe place, in order to avoid close physical contact;
• Collection and delivery of prescriptions using local volunteers. Prescriptions will be collected by a nominated person or organisation with the agreement of the GP or pharmacist;
• Caring for pets, for example walking a dog.
• Regular social contact via telephone, FaceTime, Skype or other methods that avoid physical contact with an individual in self-isolation.
• Delivery of books and magazines or materials to support hobbies, such as wool or knitting or art materials
The first thing people wanting to help should do is to think about and talk to family, friends and neighbours who may need help. The county council is also urging them to contact local voluntary groups already known to them mindful that the Government’s regulations must be observed at all
Volunteers must follow the Government’s safety guidance on keeping a two
metre distance from people and the regular washing of hands.
“If volunteers have specific or specialist skills to offer, again they should be in contact with local groups. They can also contact the county council customer service centre which can direct them to their local community support organisation which can process their offer of help.”

The county council is working with the community support organisations to bring in North Yorkshire Volunteer ID cards in line with Government guidance.


Information from City of York Council, “Whilst the Prime Minister announced the closures of places of worship and social events, however they did make an exception for funerals attended by immediate families. We are in close and regular contact with funeral directors and are following the latest government advice.

As part of steps to manage the impact of Coronavirus, and taking into account national guidance relating to social distancing, City of York Council has announced a number of changes relating to York Crematorium.

From immediate effect funeral services will still go ahead but with only 10 (ten) mourners to being allowed inside the White Rose Chapel and 5 (five) inside the Ebor Chapel. This is restricted to close family only (spouse/partner, parents/carers, brothers/sisters and children and their partners). This is to minimise the number of people gathering.

The council will seek to provide a recording free of charge and within 72 hours of the service the funeral director will receive the recording in an mp4 file format ready to pass onto to the family”. 


Stonegate completing – all others postponed

We have taken the decision to close down the active work site at Monkgate which is still more than a week away from completion.

The site will be made safe and works will not recommence until such time central government indicate it is safe to do so. Temporary traffic signals will still be in place at the junction but hopefully the network will still remain quiet as people avoid travel wherever possible.

Council leaflet

Information about volunteering and community support is being distributed to all homes in the city. These leaflets have already begun distribution.  “The delivery teams are working flat out, are working safely and within Government guidelines and the leaflets, as COVID-relevant council information, have been prioritised for delivery.” The information is the same as has already been widely distributed on social media.  

 The Council says that they are also producing postcards for each ward (with ward members contact details) and stay safe stay home information will be sent by royal mail early next week.

Current Available Mental Health and Wellbeing and COVID-19 Resources

Please find below a list of current resources that are available online to support Mental Health & Wellbeing as part of COVID-19 Response.

Mental Health & Wellbeing and COVID-19 – Adults

Looking After Your Mental Health during the Coronavirus Outbreak – The Mental Health Foundation

Coronavirus and your Wellbeing – MIND

Mental Health and Psychosocial Considerations During COVID-19 Outbreak – WHO

Coping with Stress during the 2019 n-Cov Outbreak – WHO

How to stay active while you’re at home – Sport England

Coronavirus Guidance – Carers UK

Easy Read guide to Coronavirus – PHE

Mental Health & Wellbeing and COVID-19 – Children & Young People

Helping Children Cope with Stress during 2019 n-Cov Outbreak – WHO

Talking to your child about coronavirus – Young Minds

Supporting schools & colleges: A guide to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of pupils and students during periods of disruption

There are also three videos, one for school staff, one for parents and one for children and young people which may be useful.

General Health & Wellbeing Resources

Every Mind Matters – NHS and PHE

Mood Assessment and Mental Wellbeing Audio Guides – NHS

Tips for Everyday Living – MIND

Scam advice

Police advice

York Council service changes

The safety of the public and staff is paramount, therefore we are ensuring  social distancing guidance set out by the Government is followed where ever possible. This has led to widespread changes to the services we offer.

This includes:


So far, 1,400 residents have signed up to volunteer which is a wonderful response. We’re still looking for more, so please sign up

Parking and Car Parks including free 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. They will not need to pay.
  • 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.

Public Toilets

Public toilets in the city centre will be closed until further notice.. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Parks and open spaces

All council-run parks in the city will remain open for exercise but we’re asking visitors to ensure they adhere to social distance best practice. From this weekend, Rowntree Park will reopen following the flooding earlier this year.

Play areas will be closed from today and this includes basketball courts, skateparks, caged five a side areas and tennis courts. Notices are being placed in all play areas instructing the public of this decision.

To ensure we follow the government’s guidance on social distancing the York Bar Walls are closed.


We are suspending all non-essential roadworks across the city, including replacing traffic signals on Monkgate, following the government’s advice on social distancing. If possible we will remove cones and temporary traffic light to ensure the minimum amount of disruption is caused for those making essential journeys. This also ensures that we are able to redeploy staff if necessary to ensure essential services, such as refuse collection, continue to run.

Bulky Waste Collections

Our bulky waste collection services, which collections bulky items from households has now temporarily stopped. This is to ensure we can continue providing essential services across the city, including collecting your household waste (black bins).

Household Waste Recycling Centres

Our Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC), including Hazel Court and Towthorpe, are now closed.

This is on the basis that a visit to the HWRC cannot be considered essential – in line with recent national advice

We will be keeping Hazel Court open for commercial use – e.g. small builders, as they are currently allowed to continue to operate whilst adhering to social distancing. They will be required to produce a ‘duty of care’ transfer note on arrival.

Register Office

Unfortunately all ceremonies have been postponed following the governments advice. We have contacted everyone who has made a booking to look at rescheduling for a later date. The Register Office is currently only open to register a death. We are asking people to only go to the register office if they have a pre-booked appointment and are not showing any symptoms. We’re are also asking for only one person to attend each appointment to ensure social distancing guidance is followed.


From immediate effect funeral services will still go ahead but with only 10 (ten) mourners to being allowed inside the White Rose Chapel and 5 (five) inside the Ebor Chapel. This is restricted to close family only (spouse/partner, parents/carers, brothers/sisters and children and their partners). This is to minimise the number of people gathering.

Adult social care

In partnership with the NHS, we are prioritising the safe and supported return home of people currently in hospital.

We’re closely working with care home providers to monitor capacity in care homes across the city.

We’ve shared updated Govt advice on shielding online to protect the most medically vulnerable residents.

Fraud prevention

Advice from Trading Standards on how to spot or avoid scams can be viewed here https://www.york.gov.uk/FraudPrevention


We’re contacting all vulnerable households and tenants aged over 65 to check on their needs.

All housing landlord services will be run online or by phone to protect tenants, their families and our staff.

No face-to-face appointments can be run at the moment and tenants are being asked to use online and phone services only.

We’re reminding tenants that they must continue to pay their rent, but any who are struggling with their rent should contact their Housing Management Officers (HMOs) as soon as possible. We’re taking a flexible approach on enforcement.

We’ve shared details of benefits advice and where to make new claims or update existing ones is people’s circumstances change.

Housing adaptations

The priority areas are for minor adaptations to residents’ homes to enable safe hospital discharge and to fit key safes to enable carers to support them at home.

Homelessness services

In addition to our established hostels, we are working with private providers to place single homeless people with lower support needs in single rooms. These can be used to self isolate if needed. We are currently sending food to these customers and plan to use volunteers to support staff doing this.

In our hostels we are mitigating risks with extra sanitising measures and using social distancing. We are staffing hostels at levels which meet residents’ welfare needs and protect staff.

Rough Sleeper services are operating in the same way: for a bed, please go to 63, Lawrence Street or call them on 01904 416562

We are continuing with our services for people concerned about being homeless, and these will be done online or by phone. Anyone concerned about homelessness should call City of York Council on 01904 554500 or visit www.york.gov.uk/homelessness/housing-options.

Noise nuisance

We ask residents to show tolerance and consideration for neighbours at this difficult time and as we get used to new ways of living: it’s important that we all work together.

We are asking people to think about what they can do to live with levels of noise from neighbours, such as using a room in a quieter part of the home or using headphones to help concentrate. If this doesn’t work, in most cases, being neighbourly and considerate can resolve the majority of problems.

Our service is here to investigate criminal levels of noise nuisance and activate legal enforcement. If you do not think that what you are experiencing needs this, please consider safe contact with your neighbours to reach an agreement.

Stray dogs

Our stray dog service is currently suspended.  If you find a stray dog or have lost your dog please phone our Dog Warden on 01904 552299 who may have had contact from owners and finders and can put you in touch.

Free parking for NHS staff and other key workers at York Council car parks

  • 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. They will not need to pay.
  • 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.

£1m business emergency fund to protect York  businesses and jobs during coronavirus outbreak

City of York Council today announced a £1m local emergency fund to support businesses in dealing with the impacts of Covid-19.

The fund will target a range of support at around 1000 small and micro firms, who are not set to benefit from the recently announced Government support packages.

The council is working closely with partners to make sure the fund delivers the most effective support and targets those who are least likely to benefit from existing measures.

In addition to the creation of a business support fund, the Council is also taking a series of action to alleviate pressures on local businesses during this difficult period.

These include:

  • All 350 council commercial rents deferred for three months.
  • Supporting key suppliers, including: 
  1. Paying those providing services to council and maintained schools, and bus providers for tendered routes and concessionary fares
  2. Paying in advance where possible, and for planned annual activity.
  3.   Exploring the potential for short-term loans
  • All planned increase in fees and charges are suspended (unless set by the government)
  • A license fee ‘holiday’ for businesses which can’t use them
  • Suspending debt recovery efforts

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

“These measures are designed to protect jobs and help local businesses who are having to adapt to extremely challenging circumstances and fall outside the remit of any government support.”

“In addition to the £1 million emergency fund for business, there will be a separate hardship fund of £1.25m to support residents, which we’ll announce details of soon. In the meantime, any resident facing financial difficulty should apply to our hardship scheme immediately.

Councillor Andrew Waller, executive member for the economy, said:

“We want to get help to businesses as quickly as possible to assist them at this critical time. We would encourage other property landlords to take the same approach.

“We’re also working with the York BID, LEPS and other partners to connect businesses to all the available advice, guidance and support, so we’d urge any business to visit www.york.gov.uk/BusinessSupport to see what is available to them.”

The council is engaging with business support services and partners to make sure the fund delivers the most effective support, with full details to be announced in the coming days. 

Any resident facing financial difficulty can see all the available support, and apply for the York Financial Assistance Scheme, at https://www.york.gov.uk/COVIDFinancialHelp 


York Mental Health report being considered next week

A report York’s Mental Health Partnership work covering the period May 2018 to August 2019 will be considered by a Council meeting on Wednesday.

The York  joint health and wellbeing strategy for 2017-22 identifies four principal themes to be addressed. One of these themes is mental health and wellbeing with the key priority for that theme being ‘to get better at spotting the early signs of mental ill health and intervening early’.

Other aims in the joint health and wellbeing strategy in relation to mental health are: Ø

  • Focus on recovery and rehabilitation Ø
  • Improve services for young mothers, children and young people
  • Ensure that York becomes a Suicide Safer city
  • Ensure that York is both a mental health and dementia-friendly environment  
  • Improve the services for those with learning disabilities (to be addressed in its own strategy)

The report can be read by clicking this link

What’s on in York: Sad Poets’ Doorstep Club

Sad Poet Image For Website

Acomb Explore Library :

Thu 10 Jan :

5.30pm – 6.30pm :


A poetry circle event with a mental health slant, this is a chance to explore your thoughts and feelings about mental health issues in a safe and supportive environment.

Please bring along a poem or short story that you have written to share with the group. Organised in an Open Mic format you will have the opportunity to read or perform aloud, or simply to listen.

There is a three minute limit for each piece, but there will be multiple rounds of the circle so plenty of opportunities to showcase your work.

Strictly 16+
Contains adult themes

Please visit our ticketing website to book a place.

Liberal Democrat’s look to end discrimination in mental health

The Liberal Democrats are calling for reform of the Mental Health Act in a move to remove discrimination in the UK’s mental health services and support our mental health services in York and across the country.

In a new policy passed at Liberal Democrat Autumn Conference, the Liberal Democrats are campaigning for:

    • Substantially more funding for mental health services to match the same levels of funding given to services that treat physical illnesses.
    • To give mental health services the same policy focus at Whitehall, as other health services currently receive.


York mental health support shortlisted for national BBC Radio 4 award

The team behind City of York Council’s mental health support line and crisis bed service have been shortlisted for a national award, selected by BBC Radio 4.

The service has been shortlisted in BBC Radio 4’s All in the Mind awards which looks to celebrate people’s experiences of exceptional mental health care and will recognise the unsung heroes who helped make the difference. The team is one of three that have been shortlisted in the group category from a total of over 1,000 nominations. The winners will be announced on the All in the Mind show on Tuesday 26 June.

What’s on in York: Seeing Happiness: How To Change Mental Health To Happiness Health

May _19 Seeing Happiness

York Explore Library :

Mon 21st May :

6.30pm – 7.30pm :


Feeling stressed, anxious and just simply not as happy as you would like?

Have you been made redundant, broken up from a relationship, lost your business or frankly, just lost your way in life and would like to learn to dream again? Perhaps you would like to gain more clarity and certainty that things will change for the better.

Janet Jones, author of Happiness Millionaire: Positive Images for a R.I.C.H and Powerful Life is a Happiness Expert. On the 19 May, she will share practical advice and scientific evidence about how to use the visual part of your brain to kickstart a new chapter in your life.

Find out more about Janet on