As Christmas approaches and winter sets in, North Yorkshire County Council is putting in place additional resources to ensure that our most vulnerable residents in the county still have access to support with their everyday needs such as shopping and delivery of essential medicines. The Council’s Customer Services Centre will be open every day throughout the Christmas period for anyone who needs help and doesn’t have friends or family close by to call on. A mix of staff from the County’s Stronger Communities team and their Team North Yorkshire volunteers will be on stand-by every day to respond to any requests for help.
To ensure support is in place throughout the winter months, the 23 Community Support Organisations (CSOs)– set up at the start of the pandemic – have also had their funding extended until the end of March 2021- at the earliest.
The CSO charities continue to be the backbone of support to communities across the county. Since April they have supported nearly 70,000 people across the county and between them have delivered over 50,000 bags of shopping or hot meals and made nearly 40,000 befriending calls. This model of very local help, delivered by local groups to their communities, supported and coordinated by the Council has been impressive and hugely effective. Its record of being able to deliver vital support at this scale by utilising community assets, investing in community groups and partners working collaboratively with our communities demonstrates how we are ‘stronger together’.
This work has helped shape the County Council’s proposals for unitary government. It favours a single unitary for North Yorkshire and, building on the successful community support organisation model, the development of community networks and increased local decision making and service delivery is a fundamental cornerstone of those proposals. You can read more about the county council’s proposals for unitary government here.