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A message of thanks ahead of Volunteers’ Week

Roles taken on by CYC covid volunteers: Supporting community hubs: 509, distributing food: 42, driving: 124, IT support: 26, Specialist support: 36, Stewarding: 153,

Published Friday, 28 May 2021

Ahead of Volunteers’ Week 2021 and as we emerge from the pandemic, a huge thank you is being given to York’s thousands of covid volunteers who will now all be managed by York CVS.

With the Government’s roadmap progressing and as we move out of lockdown, new arrangements for COVID-19 volunteering will be in place from the start of Volunteers’ Weeks on 1 June. As part of this change, all volunteering for roles related to the pandemic will be managed by that Centre for Voluntary Service (York CVS). Anyone who signed up for covid volunteering through the council can now opt in to sign up with the CVS.

From March 2020 to May 2021, City of York Council’s covid volunteers have performed over 1,120 individual tasks. These ranged from calling residents to support their wellbeing, to helping people get online, to stewarding at vaccination or testing centres. Volunteers from across the city’s community groups continue to work hard to combat social isolation due to shielding, illness or lockdown. Since the start of the pandemic those city volunteers have performed around 1,400 acts of kindness, from calling round for a chat on the doorstep, to going for a socially distanced walk or making a cheerful phone call.

Councillor Darryl Smalley, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communities, said:

Ahead of Volunteers’ Week, I want to thank our city’s very generous residents for their outstanding work to help York through the pandemic. Our morale has been uplifted time and again by the kindness of ordinary people doing extraordinary things in unprecedented times.

“Whether it is individuals being good neighbours, residents joining a local voluntary organisation, community groups supporting their area or businesses donating expertise or goods; every good deed has helped us all.

“I’m delighted that all covid-related volunteering will now transfer to our partners and experts at York’s Centre for Voluntary Service (CVS) where the city’s culture of volunteering will continue to thrive.”

Alison Semmence, Chief Executive of York’s CVS, said:

The Volunteer Centre run by York CVS was established in October 2020 to support people in York to volunteer for local charities and to support covid-related volunteering. We welcome new volunteers and want to thank everyone who has volunteered over the past year for giving their time and making such a difference.”

COVID-19 volunteering

York’s CVS welcomes any new requests to volunteer for covid-related tasks at York CVS where current volunteering opportunities are offered. If you or your organisation needs volunteers to support your work, please call 01904 621133 or email

Volunteering for future emergencies

To be ready for future emergencies, people can volunteer with and be trained by Ready For Anything, run by North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum. These volunteers operate across York and North Yorkshire and provide support to people whose lives have been affected by an emergency. The variety of roles could include setting up a rest centre for evacuees or supporting people taking shelter there, or helping warn or inform residents by knocking on doors. Anyone aged over 18 year is welcome: no specific skills are needed, just a desire to help others. For further information and to register your interest, please go to Ready for Anything.

Volunteering with the council

There continues to be ongoing volunteering opportunities with the council. From being a snow warden or litter picker, to being a school governor or supporting a young person in care, you can find out more about volunteering opportunities with the council or email or call 01904 551832.

You can also find out more about volunteering in York at volunteering from Live Well York