York and the East Riding Awards 2013

Beverley Community Lift (BCL) works in partnership with voluntary and statutory organisations to provide a whole range of transport for older and disabled people. BCL provides cars and drivers for hospital visits, affordable mini-bus excursions, social events and transport for local voluntary groups. All the BCL volunteers join in, the current CEO is a driver, and the Chair of Trustees is a bus driver. BCL is a much-loved and much-used service for the community, as 85 year old Molly and Anne said: “Without it we would be condemned to stay at home alone watching daytime TV.”

Christchurch Community Services CCS in Bridlington provides the community with a suite of services ranging from pre-school provision and IT training for employment skills to healthy eating, a toddler shop and used furniture store, dancing school and gardening skills — the list goes on and on. Whilst this is a church-based project and the church supplies many of the volunteers and some funding, CCS is an entirely separate entity. CCS supports the whole community in Bridlington and beyond, not just Christchurch congregation. Indeed, the beneficiaries of the scheme must outnumber the congregation by at least ten to one.

The Island in York is a mentoring scheme for children and young people from homes broken by mental health, overcrowding, crime or other issues. The children are supported and listened to in their often unhappy lives. Mentors, who are volunteers from all walks of life, also take the children out to simple activities which normal families enjoy. Mentoring has a profound affect on the child who will get a different view of the world and his/her place in it. The children are more likely to stay away from crime and go on with their education, all because someone makes them feel valued.

The Rotary Club of York runs the annual Dragon Boat Race on the River Ouse to raise funds for local community organisations. They have raised over £700,000 in the last nine years and not kept a penny of it for themselves!

Wilberfoss in Bloom is a group of 15 volunteers who came together as a result of the Parish Plan in which the residents requested better floral presentation in the village. So far they have created a scheme to install planters throughout the village, provided a village ‘pick your own’ herb bed and they plan to create a bog garden and wildlife meadow. They have involved other residents and the school in their project planning.

York CVS like other local infrastructure organisations [LIOs] supports local charities and voluntary groups by providing back office support/advice on management, constitutions and fundraising, etc. But unlike other LIOs, York goes further by providing meeting rooms and training facilities for local voluntary groups at minimal cost. Around 400 organisations contact York CVS in any one year.