Funding available to boost sport and wellbeing in York

Applications are being invited for the York Council’s two Sport and Active Leisure grants, to make clubs more accessible, offer more sports options and further improve safety and wellbeing standards.

The Small Grants Fund will see funding of up to £500 distributed, whilst the Hub Club Grants will award a max of £1,000 to 5 successful applicants per year. Both funds are open for applications before 31 May 2022. Payments to successful applicants will be made in June 2022.

To support club members’ wellbeing, all successful applicants are required to complete mental health awareness training. They will be given a small award to undertake this nationally-recognised scheme.

“I urge anyone interested to apply before the 31st May. To find out the criteria for applications and to apply please visit”

Applications for 2022/23’s Small Grants are welcome before 31 May so please find out more at

“Beam me up Scotty” Monks Cross electric vehicle charging point “energized”

Nearly 12 months after they were supposed to be brought into use, York’s two “hyperhub” electric vehicle charging stations have reached another milestone

A report to a meeting next week says that the Long awaited hubs now require only “snagging” work and testing before they are brought into use.

The report fails to give an opening date.

It does say that the “energisation” of the sub station at Monks Cross took place on 28th April. The report says, . “All legal work is now complete and our IDNO are coordinating with NPG to schedule the final connection”

At Poppleton Bar the failure to open the site is putdown to “some minor snagging and the need to establish a back-office setup”

The report also provides more background information on the long delayed project.

Hyper Hubs are an innovative combination of solar energy harvesting and storage with electric vehicle charging points, reducing the reliance of electric vehicles on the UK electricity grid, and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

By providing Hyper Hubs at Poppleton and Monks Cross Park and Ride sites, we aim to increase the use of electric vehicles for journeys in and to York, providing eight private vehicle charging points at each site.

By providing Hyper Hubs at Poppleton and Monks Cross Park and Ride sites, a solar canopy would be erected over approximately 100 parking spaces, providing space for 1,400 m2 of solar panels. This canopy is an elevated structure – essentially a roof below which cars can still park – with solar panels on the top. Adjacent to the canopy, but not on land currently used for parking, there would be an energy storage facility – a battery.

At each site there would also be eight charging points for electric vehicles. Electricity generated by the solar panels would be used to hyper charge vehicles plugged in to the charging points. Electricity not used immediately would be stored in the battery. When the battery is full, this electricity could be fed into the national grid.

The solar canopies would use the free space immediately above the vehicles to harvest solar energy to the site. Batteries would then store the electricity, providing it either to hyper charge electric vehicles when plugged in, or feeding it into the UK electricity grid.

The electric vehicle infrastructure element of the project is to purchase and install the DC ‘hyper’ charging points (faster than current ‘rapid’ charge speed points at 50kW) which will supply the energy to the vehicles. These will be installed in a Hub of eight car bays which can supply up to 150kW power output per car, with a typical charging session taking 10-20 minutes. By way of comparison, a typical home charging point takes around eight hours to charge an electric car

Partners meet to co-design York mental health hub

Mental health partners and residents who have experience of mental ill health have gathered to help co-design a vision for the first community mental health hub in York.

The York hub will be the first to be developed in North Yorkshire. Its co-production by a wide variety of interested and involved individuals and organisations, is part of the region’s Community Mental Health Transformation Programme, which aims to improve the lives of people living with serious mental illness and the way they are supported in the local community. 

By bringing local health, public, voluntary and community sector organisations together, and supporting them to work more closer with one another, the aim is to address people’s wider needs and support their overall wellbeing. Hubs are one of a number of ways of achieving this, as they allow people to meet a wide range of services, under one roof, without having to travel to different locations.

As part of the York Hub development, an online workshop was held with over 70 people attending. They looked at what a local Community Hub might look like and how it might fit into existing mental health provision.

Leading the conversations were the Innovation Unit, whose involvement in the Living Well UK mental health movement has put people’s lived experience at the centre of support and works to help people stay well as part of their community.

A small co-design team made up of staff from health, social care, the voluntary and community sector as well as people with direct experience of mental ill health and their carers will now take forward the advice and ideas from the workshop. They will begin to design the detail of York’s hub, ready for the ideas to be tested this summer.

York welcomes impact of under 5s speech and language pilot

Education, health and early years providers in York are celebrating after a pilot project to improve children’s communication skills proved successful.

City of York Council has been working with a group of primary schools, early years settings and childminders in the west of the city to look at ways of improving the speech, communication and language skills of children under the age of five years.

The Early Talk for York pilot has focused on this area of childhood development because of its importance in outcomes in later life. Good communication skills at five years of age are strongly associated with a range of positive whole of life outcomes; including literacy levels, employment, mental and physical health and wellbeing.

By providing specific language support training for staff in the schools and early years settings, routinely assessing children at the settings to identify any speech or language problems, and working closely with specialist speech and language therapists, children in the pilot cohort significantly improved speech and communication skills at age five years compared to children who did not receive the same programme of support.

Cllr Ian Cuthbertson,City of York Council’s Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education, explained:

We know that being able to communicate effectively can have a huge positive impact on a child’s life chances and it’s vitally important that we support parents, early years providers and schools to achieve the very best outcomes.  It’s also vital that  they are well equipped to identify any speech and language problems as soon as possible, and ensure that the children get the right help at the right time.

“I’m delighted that the Early Talk for York pilot has proved so successful and that we are now able to roll it out across the city to support more young children and their families.

“The pilot’s success has only been possible with the support of the schools, early years settings and childminders in our initial group.  I’d like to thank them very much indeed for working with us over the last two years and for their help in developing the programme.”

As part of their work in the pilot, 12 schools, nurseries and childminders have embedded Early Talk for York as a way of working, many of whom have been awarded ‘Communication Friendly Setting status’ accredited by Elklan, with ten per cent of their staff holding a specific Level 4 qualification in supporting children’s communication and language development.

Work is already underway to scale up this work with early years providers across the city being invited to get involved in the Early Talk for York approach, with access to specialist training and support, peer mentoring and screening tools to identify any issues as soon as possible. The aim is to ensure that all young children and families in York can access the support to improve their speech and language.

Work is also ongoing with CYC’s Family Learning team to look at the ways in which families can be empowered to support their children’s communication and language skills at home as well.

The Early Talk for York pilot has been supported by a wide range of partners across the city including York Schools and Academies’ Board, Vale of York CCG, Shine, York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the University of York.

York’s Family Information Service gains national quality award

City of York Council’s Family Information Service has been awarded the Families’ First Quality Award.

The award is a national quality assurance process and quality improvement framework designed to help local authorities provide gold standard information to families and keep families at the heart of their work.

It recognises the work York’s Family Information Service does to support York families, children and young people from conception up to age 19 years (or up to 25 years if the child has disabilities or additional needs) – as well as the professionals who work with them.

Not only does York’s Family Information Service support families to find Ofsted registered childcare, the team also provides information on local groups and activities and local and national support services around anything to do with family life in York.

This includes:

  • parenting courses
  • toddler groups
  • activities
  • after school groups for older children
  • bereavement support
  • emotional health and wellbeing

Cllr Ian Cuthbertson, City of York Council’s  Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education, said:

This Quality Award underlines the hard work and commitment of the Family Information Service team and is very well deserved indeed. The team has done a fantastic job of guiding and supporting parents, carers and childcare professionals, especially over the last two years, when covid has brought additional challenges to us all.”

More information about the service is available on or call 01904 554444  or email with any questions.

Residents can also follow York FIS on or @YorkFIS on twitter. Parents and carers can also sign up to a free online newsletter at

Electric bike hire in York – Usage figures revealed

A freedom of Information response has revealed the level of use of the “TIER” electric hire bike scheme which was launched in the City about 12 months ago.

The scheme was part of a trial which saw – more controversially – electric scooters also made available.

Usage figures suggest that the 80 E-Bikes which were deployed in the City are used, on average, only once ever two days. This may disappoint the organisers although they have faced major challenges with the pandemic restrictions which have been in place for much of the last year.

Not surprisingly., use of the bikes in the winter months is relatively low.

The scheme is subsidised by the government

Free meals support for York families this Easter

Thousands of children and young people in York will benefit from Free School Meals and access to a number of free and fun activities during the Easter Holidays.

Better late than never!

This is thanks to further investment from the Council.

With the cost of living increasing, the council has taken the decision to put forward an additional £57,000 to fund Free School Meals vouchers and provide additional support to help York residents. 

The support package is being split so eligible families will be able to access a £15 food voucher, funded by the council, and can also get access to the Holiday and Activities Food programme, supported by Government funding.  

In doing so, children and young people in the city can enjoy a wide range of fun and exciting free activities during the Easter holiday.

The programme is open to children in years reception to year 11 (reception aged 4 – 16 years old) and who are eligible for free school meals. As well as the exciting activities a free lunch is also included. You can find out more information at

Those who are eligible can access this support (vouchers and activities) through their school.