COVID-19: Volunteering and community support

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Community hubs - helping our residents

Our community hubs are working to support the most vulnerable and medically shielded residents. They are working with community groups and our volunteers to

  • support the most vulnerable residents with delivering foods
  • deploy York's pool of volunteers
  • support people with collecting and delivering their prescriptions
  • support community pharmacies with deliveries, working with Move the Masses

People needing help because they are directly affected by coronavirus and have no other source of help or who are struggling financially, should email or call 01904 551550. The helpline is open seven days a week.

Read about how we're helping those who need food packages.

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Volunteering during COVID-19

Volunteers can register to help protect the emotional health and physical wellbeing of residents during the coronavirus situation.

Register to volunteer

While following government recommendations to stop non-essential social contact (to slow the spread of the COVID-19 infection), you can help to focus on those who need most support, including people who are likely to experience limited physical contact for long periods of time.

Volunteering tasks can be done remotely for those who are not able to meet people, for example:

  • speaking to people on the telephone
  • registering enquiries
  • bringing food parcels
  • finding and providing information
  • shopping
  • picking up medications

See government advice on coronavirus: how to help safely.

Organisations - voluntary or commercial - who are trying to help residents through the emergency, can ask us for volunteers to help them deliver services for which they don’t charge. Email and each request will be considered.

Read about some of the things our volunteers are doing across the city.

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Helping others safely

There are many people in our community who have the funds to buy food and are able to continue supporting local business, but are not able to leave their homes,

Find out how you can help the people around you safely who are unable to go shopping for themselves.

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Support from libraries

Libraries are now closed across York, with virtual service in place - they're working to deliver more online services, including:

  • eBooks
  • story times
  • other activities

We’re also considering how council services which currently run from Explore’s Library Learning Centres can be delivered differently; we’ll keep you informed about how we're adapting services, as soon as possible.

We've provided £17K of extra funding so Explore can extend services that support individuals, families and communities whilst they stay at home; the money will go towards:

  • a 12 month subscription to 'Press Reader' giving access to over 7000 daily newspaper and magazine titles from more than 100 countries
  • more eBooks and eAudiobooks
  • specialist conferencing software to bring people together in a virtual space, and invite them to challenge their imagination in new ways
  • support with getting online

Library loans, deliveries and collections

A service to safely deliver and collect books for those who can’t access the internet is being scaled up during COVID-19.

If you have library items on loan, you don’t have to return them until 30 June; you won’t be fined.

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Community learning

Our Community Learning Team, York Learning, is posting daily challenges online, together with virtual courses, to help you keep mentally active during the coronavirus lockdown.

Get further information about the classes and lifelong learning opportunities from York Learning or via Facebook: York.Learning.CYC, or twitter: @yorklearning.

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Avoiding radicalisation during lockdown

North Yorkshire Police and their community safety partners are supporting a campaign to tackle the threat of online radicalisation during the coronavirus emergency.

Co-ordinated by Prevent and with a focus on its Let’s Talk About It website, the campaign is aimed at young and vulnerable people who could be at risk of:

  • being groomed by extremist individuals and groups online
  • falling victim to radicalisation while following the current social distancing and self-isolation rules

Contact North Yorkshire Police on telephone:101, if you have an immediate concern.

If you see or hear something suspicious, trust your instincts and ACT. Report it in confidence at Your actions could save lives.

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Also see