More hubs promised in York

The Council has issued a media release today saying that it will extend the network of hubs set up to counter the Coronavirus emergency. The 10 hubs formed part of the governments contingency -plan to get essential supplies to those who were being shielded from the virus.

The Council also asked for volunteer helpers and claimed that over 3000 had stepped forward. It turned out that most of the volunteers were little used while the governments arrangements, for supermarkets to deliver food parcels, meant that fewer than 1000 deliveries of food were organised from the hubs.

The council now says

Since the helpline and hubs opened on 23 March, over 1,300 calls for help have been answered. These were for a range of support, and includes delivering 850 food parcels, information about food suppliers, prescription collection, financial assistance, information about cleaning and dog walking, and much more.

Staff and volunteers at the hubs have made nearly 5,500 telephone calls to residents to check on their needs and wellbeing, and over 200 residents have been connected to volunteers for ongoing wellbeing calls”.

The Council now says it will be working with communities to “create more drop-in hubs”. (The present hubs are not open to the public)

Hubs are very expensive to run. There is no indication from the Council on how much the existing network is costing, much less who has authorised an expansion. The issue doesn’t seem to have been discussed by any of the Councils decision making bodies.

A “hub” operated at the Foxwood Community Centre before the health crisis forced its closure.

The have, of course, been several neighbourhood hubs operating in the City for over 2 years. These pre-dated the coronavirus scare. Several have been reasonably successful and they do provide a meeting point for the disadvantaged.

However, they have often struggled to attract volunteers and mainly rely on paid staff. Hence they are an expensive option.

The Council says that it wants to mobilise its 3000 strong army of volunteers.

So it should.

First it needs to find out what motivated them to offer to help and whether they will still be volunteers after the health scare has receded.

Many will, of course, be returning to full time jobs over the next few months.

So, there are a lot of questions to be answered before the Council embarks on a programme which, in the stark new financial reality, it may not be able to sustain.

Volunteers give over 3450 hours to help children and young people in York

Volunteers in York gave over 3450 hours of their time last year to help support young people and their families in the city.

The evaluation from City of York Council looked at volunteers across key areas in children’s services including Mentors; Appropriate Adults (supporting young people in police custody); Community Panel Members (working with the Youth Offending Team); Independent Visitors (supporting young people in foster care; and Early Years support volunteers.

The 200 volunteers range in age from 18 to 77, with some – particularly students -volunteering for relatively short periods of time, and others volunteering with the same service for years.

For general information on volunteering in York visit or for opportunities with children and young people email

Wanted more goose scarers in York – Never volunteer?

The old army motto, seems to have passed the York Council by.

In a report to a meeting taking place next week, the Council provides a long list of activities which are currently undertaken by volunteers.

  • ‘Sustrans’ uses many volunteers to help maintain the cycle route network. Volunteers also work with Sustrans to help promote cycling more generally. Some of these volunteers are also coordinated through St Nicholas’ Fields.
  • ‘York Health Walks’ organise the ‘Walking for Health’ programme. c25 volunteers lead the walks. They are currently advertising for an additional walk leader in the Foxwood area
  • ‘Bike Belles’ runs social bike rides, bike maintenance workshops and cycling with tots’ sessions.
  • Part of the grant given by the Council to “York Wheels” is a contribution to funding their ‘volunteer car scheme’. 28 individuals provide this important service which enables elderly and infirm residents to stay in their own homes.
  • Public Rights of Way Survey work 5-6 volunteers regularly give their time (every May and November) to undertake the rights of way survey. This consists of a random survey of 25% of the York rights of way network.
  • Air Quality Assessment One of the areas the Council believe ‘volunteers’ could provide significant assistance is collecting and replacing the diffusion tubes which are located on lamp posts around the city. The tubes – which are collected over two days each month – help give an indication of the air quality at those locations.

There area one or two less obvious potential pastimes on the Councils list

  • Gardeners – 112 In various parks – friend’s groups
  • Litter Pickers – 157 – individuals and groups- work over and above our visits
  • Lockers / Unlockers – 81- of various parks
  • Bailiffs – 12
  • Goose Scarers – 8
  • Trail Builders – 7
  • Snow Wardens – 214
  • Balsam Bashers – 3
  • Leaf Blowers – 4

Goose scarers sound a bit Elizabethan to us.

Police Support Volunteers sought in York

Police Support Volunteers are members of the public who give up their own time to carry out a range of tasks for the police service.

Uploaded by julie_dwyer

The police are currently recruiting Neighbourhood Support Volunteers in York. Click here to read the role profile and apply
About volunteering roles

Police Support Volunteers provide support and assistance to their local police service. They perform a range of roles from delivering vehicles to getting involved in major events such as the Tour de Yorkshire cycle race. They don’t replace employed staff, but the work they do helps to free up time for paid-for police officers and staff to concentrate on activities that only they can deliver.

These are just a sample of the our volunteering roles…

  • Neighbourhood Support Volunteers work in their local community with the police and partner agencies in a preventative role. They work on crime prevention initiatives and are trained to spot vulnerable people who might be in need of advice or support. Their work can vary from area to area depending on the local requirements. Bob and Oliver are both NSVs in Scarborough – watch this video about their work and why they became a police volunteer.


  • Survey Analysts contact victims of crime to conduct questionnaires to ensure North Yorkshire Police are delivering an effective and efficient service.
  • Drivers assist our transport services by moving vehicles and parts across the force area and support events through the driving of Police vehicles.
  • Force Control Room/Call Quality Monitors ensure North Yorkshire Police provides the expected service to the public by monitoring calls to our control room.
  • Role Players assist training services by taking part in a variety of role plays scenarios from training new officers to firearms exercises.


Community centre in Chapelfields organises post flood clean out

The incredible generosity of residents immediately after the Boxing Day floods in the City has left a storage headache for some voluntary groups.

floods childs toyMore material was donated than could be used by victims and much of it has remained in storage for the last 6 months.

The materials issue parallels a similar situation with financial donations. The York (Floods) Disaster Fund has still to allocate to victims over half of the funds that have been donated to it. 

Most organisation are now trying to move on although for some – such as the still closed Jorvik centre – recovery may still take many more months

Space is needed at the Sanderson Community House in Chapelfields where officials say the time has come for a final clear out and an attempt to return the centre to its normal day to day use.

They have set a date for the clear out as tomorrow MONDAY 18 JULY from 8am until 4pm.

A message says, “We are Inviting community groups and charities to pop along and collect any of the following items:

  • Cleaning materials (Bleach, clothes, mop buckets, mops etc.)

    Sanderson House community centre

    Sanderson House community centre

  • Bedding
  • Tinned foods and cooking sauces
  • Drinks
  • Cereals and biscuits
  • Pasta, pot noodles
  • Baby products (Baby food, Nappies, wipes)
  • Toys and books
  • Toiletries

We are also looking for volunteers to help on the day, whether you are available for a couple of hours or the whole day your time will be appreciated.  Tasks will include; moving items, transporting boxes to venues across York and cleaning up the centre.

If you want to collect some of the items listed above or volunteer on 18 July, please contact Charlotte on or for further information call 07850 001 002.

For all those volunteers you will be plenty of refreshments and snacks to keep you going“.

An inquiry team is currently looking at all aspects of the flooding crisis which hit the City over the Christmas period.

Several organisations, including the Council and some charities, were criticised at the time for being slow to respond, leaving the gap to be filled by willing – but largely uncoordinated – volunteers.  It is this state of preparedness that should be one of the major issues under the Inquiries spotlight.

We hope that the materials donated and money collected will all now be put to good use. 


LibDems take action as vandals strike west York

As we reported yesterday, crime levels are becoming an increasing concern in York.

Over the weekend a telephone kiosk on Thanet Road and a litter bin on Woodthorpe Green were both damaged.

Burnt out bin on Woodthorpe Green

Burnt out bin on Woodthorpe Green

Vandalised phone box

Vandalised phone box

Another unusual hazard has arisen on St Stephens Road. Bees are swarming in a tree there. We hope to get a bee keeper to take them away.

Bees swarming in a tree in St Stephens Road

Bees swarming in a tree in St Stephens Road

Elsewhere more mundane issues have been reported by Andrew Waller following one of his periodic inspection tours.

Speed cushion on Kingsway West is breakign up

Speed cushion on Kingsway West is breaking up

a speed cushion on Danesfort Avenue requires attention

A speed cushion on Danesfort Avenue requires attention

Dumping on Middleton Road has been reported

Dumping on Middleton Road has been reported

A pothole on Windsor Garth has been reprted

A pothole on Windsor Garth has been reported

Full poop scoop bin on the Foxwood Park has been reported for emptying

Full poop scoop bin on the Foxwood Park has been reported for emptying

Finally some good news with the flower tubs on Beagle Ridge Drive – which are sponsored by the residents association – having been planted out by volunteers

Volunteers have planted out the tubs on Beagle Ridge Drive which are beginnign to look good.

Volunteers have planted out the tubs on Beagle Ridge Drive which are beginning to look good.

What’s on in York: Volunteer Roadshow Week

Various : Mon 6 Jun – Fri 10 Jun : Various : Free

June 6_VolunteerDo you have a little spare time and are you looking for something new to get involved in?

Come along to find out about local opportunities.

We are running Volunteer Fairs throughout the week in a library near you.

Acomb Explore Library : Tue 7 Jun : 10.00am – 3.00pm : Free

Come and find out about our fantastic Volunteer opportunities we have at Explore Acomb Library.  We have new Volunteer roles to launch for all ages and an exciting new Reading Hack Volunteer Programme for 13 to 24 year olds!  We will also have representatives from Dementia Forward to chat about their volunteer opportunities.  Our Explore cafe will be open for refreshments.

For more information contact Explore Acomb Library on 01904 552651 or