Wilberforce Trust planning application approved

On 19 April the council’s Planning Committee approved the application by the Wilberforce Trust to build three three-storey blocks accommodating 30 apartments, and a two-storey office and community element, on its land to the east of St Leonards Hospice and The Square.

The full text of the decision, and conditions attached, will be made available in due course on the council website Here.

Dringhouses gears up for Dementia Awareness Week (14-20 May)

Organisations across York are gearing up for Dementia Awareness Week (14-20 May) with a series of events.

The activities form part of York’s work to become a ‘dementia friendly city’ which is welcoming, empathetic and accessible to people living with dementia and their friends, relatives and carers.

As well as the events taking place across the city, residents will have numerous opportunities to find out more about dementia and the work taking place to help York be a dementia friendly city.

Throughout the week visitors to the customer centre at West Offices will be able to meet with staff at City of York Council and get information and advice for people living with dementia and their families.

Partners in the York Dementia Action Alliance have also arranged a host of events:

·        On 16May the Alzheimer’s Society will have a stand on Parliament Street

·        On 16 May between 2 and 3pm Dringhouses Library are offering a Dementia Friends Session, for more information visit https://www.exploreyork.org.uk/event/dementia-friends-workshop/

·        On 17 May residents are invited between 1.30pm and 3.30pm to a forget-me-not café, Tang Hall, special entertainment and music session. For more information call York Alzheimer’s Society on 01904 567701.

On Friday 26 May, the week after Dementia Awareness Week, City of York Council is supporting a showing of Still Alice Film at the New Earswick Folk Hall. Still Alice tells the story of Alice Howland, a linguistic professor was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease shortly after her 50th birthday. Before the movie speakers from the council, Inspired Youth and Minds in Motion will briefly provide information on some of the local initiatives taking place to support people with dementia. Tickets are available now from the Folk Hall or online via www.filmfolkhall.com.

Martin Farran, corporate director for health, housing and adult social care said: “One in three people over the age of 65 will develop dementia and there are around 2700 people in York living with dementia at the moment.

“These events are all part of our work to help York towards becoming a dementia friendly city. By raising awareness and understanding of dementia we can start to make life easier for those living with dementia, their family and friends.”

Information how organisations in York can support people living with dementia visit: www.dementiaaction.org.uk/local_alliances/2934_york_dementia_action_alliance

Please look out for vulnerable neighbours over the Christmas period

City of York Council is urging residents to think of vulnerable friends and neighbours over the festive period.

Casserole_Christmas_Campaign_HeaderIt’s estimated that over half a million older people in the UK spend Christmas Day alone*.

Councillor Carol Runciman, Cabinet member for Adult Social Care and Health, City of York Council, said: “For many people, Christmas and the festive break is a chance to spend time with family and friends. But for hundreds of older and vulnerable people across the York area the holiday period can be a lonely and difficult time.

“I would urge people to pop in to check on vulnerable neighbours or make time for elderly relatives to make sure they have a warm, healthy and happy Christmas. No one should be lonely over the festive period.”

Top tips for supporting older or vulnerable neighbours, friends and relatives, include:

  • Make sure they’re warm enough – the temperature in their home should be at least 18oC, particularly if they are not mobile, have long term illness or are 65 or over, and they may need to wear several layers of clothes to stay warm.
  • Try to make sure they have regular hot meals and drinks throughout the day.
  • Check that they have enough medication to last the period that their GP practice is closed, so they don’t risk getting ill if they run out.
  • Information about social groups and activities for older people is available through www.connecttosupport.org/york or through contacting Age UK York on 01904 627995.

Christmas can also be a particularly difficult time for people living with dementia. For information about how to support people with dementia over the festive period, visit http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/ and search for ‘tips for Christmas support’.

For more information about Age UK’s national Spread the Warmth campaign visit http://www.ageuk.org.uk/ or see http://www.york.gov.uk/for more information about keeping well during winter.

*figures based on research carried out by Age UK in 2011

Carers Rights Day on Friday

Thousands of people looking after a disabled, older or seriously-ill loved one in the region may be missing out on vital benefits and support.


It’s estimated that there are over 18,000 carers in York alone, with around 1,300 under the age of 18.

Carers Rights Day (Friday 20th November) brings together organisations across the UK to help carers in their local community find out about their rights and how to get the help and support they are entitled to.

It’s hoped that the Day will help reach out to the 6.5 million people in the UK who care for an older, seriously-ill or disabled loved one, informing them of the rights, benefits and the services they are entitled to; including benefits, such as Carer’s Allowance, short breaks and access to equipment and technology which can help them in their caring role.

Carole Zagrovic, Chief Executive of York Carers Centre, said:

“It’s vital that we reach out to the thousands of carers in York and let them know about their rights and the support they could be entitled to. We will be able to provide carers with important advice and information to make sure they know how to get the financial and practical support they need, when they need it.”

Heléna Herklots, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:

“Every day, 6,000 people begin caring for a disabled, older or seriously-ill loved one. But when this caring journey starts, it can be hard to get the help and advice you need. Without this support, caring can take a serious toll on a carer’s health, finances and wellbeing. No one should have to care alone and Carers Rights Day events mean they don’t have to; carers can get the essential information and advice they need and connect with other local carers.”

Councillor Carol Runciman, Executive member for Adult Social Care and Health, City of York Council, said: “Carers are the unsung heroes of our communities. They provide care and support to friends and loved-ones, but are often unaware of the help and support they can get themselves. Often carers do not realise the importance or significance of the work they do. Carers Rights Day is an opportunity to celebrate the impact carers have in our society, while raising the profile of the rights they have and help available.”

Carers can download a copy of the Carers’ Rights’ Guide at www.carersuk.org/carersrightsguide or order a free copy by calling the Carers UK’s Adviceline on 0808 808 7777 or emailing advice@carersuk.org

For more information about York Carers Centre, please contact enquiries@yorkcarerscentre.co.uk or phone 01904 715490.

Case study: Leigh’s story  (more…)

Plans to provide more ‘extra care’ homes for older people submitted

Glen Lodge

Glen Lodge

Plans to meet the care and support needs of York’s older people are continuing to gather pace with the submission of a planning application to extend the facilities at Glen Lodge Extra Care facility.

The proposals are part of the council’s plans to modernise accommodation for older people in the city giving them more choice and control about the care and support they receive, as well as meeting the increased demand: in the next 15 years the number of people aged over 75 will increase by 50%.

The plans will go through the normal planning process and be considered by the Planning Committee in the new year.

They involve building 25 new flats and two bungalows, each having access to 24/7 ‘extra care’ support, providing residents with flexible care in their own home. Each of the homes has been specially designed to meet the meets of people with complex care needs, including dementia.

The proposals have met with support from residents and neighbours and, if approved, building will begin in 2016 and be completed by summer 2017.

Council set to consult people with learning difficulties

Adults (aged 18 and over) with Learning Disabilities and their family and carers are being invited to talk about their experiences of living in York as part of plans to improve services.

People are invited to attend one of two engagement sessions on Monday 14 September at Tang Hall Community Centre from 1-3pm or at the Priory Street Centre on Monday 28 September from 11am-1pm.

The sessions, which will be run by Inclusion North – an organisation promoting the inclusion of people with learning disabilities, their families and carers – will focus on a wide range of issues including:

  • Travelling in York.
  • Leisure activities and keeping healthy.
  • Keeping safe and hate crime.
  • Growing old and planning for the future.
  • Getting a job and learning new skills.
  • Young people moving into adulthood.
  • People being placed in services outside the local area.

The sessions have been organised by the Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Partnership Board, which is part of York’s Health and Wellbeing Board. (more…)

Welfare cuts to hit 31,000 residents in York

New research has revealed the extent of the benefit cuts that will affect local residents following the recent Conservative Budget. 

welfare cuts


New analysis has estimated that in York:

The four year freeze on working age benefits means 31,000 York residents on working age benefits and their families will lose an average of £260 per year.

This includes 28,000 working people whose families will have to make up an average £280 shortfall per year in working tax credits. 740 York residents in the Employment and Support Allowance work related activity group, considered only temporarily too ill to work, will lose a further £30 per week as their allowance is brought down to the level of Jobseekers Allowance (for those unemployed but considered fit to work).

Other measures include:

  • cutting the household benefit cap to £20,000
  • limiting Child Tax Credit to 2 children for children born from April 2017
  • ending automatic entitlement to housing benefit for 18-21 year olds
  • limiting child tax credits to 2 children
  • reducing the amount of tax credits anyone with an income of more than £3,300 can receive

Cllr Sheena Jackson, Liberal Democrat Councillor for Westfield, commented:

Cllr Sheena Jackson

Cllr Sheena Jackson

“These measures will mean big reductions for the poorest residents in York, particularly those who are too ill to work and those in work but unable to make ends meet. It will often be the local council that will have to pick up the pieces when people have nowhere left to turn.

“It is not possible to address the deficit without looking at the welfare bill; however, these cuts will cause problems for many local residents in York.

“We’re now seeing the Tories jump at the chance to implement all those measures that the Lib Dems stopped them from doing in Government, forcing those already struggling to make ends meet to shoulder a £12bn saving.”


York Council appoints new social care Director

City of York Council has appointed Martin Farran as the Director of Adult Social Care, subject to final recruitment protocols, to take over the post from Interim Director Guy Van Dichele from October.

Before taking on his role in Barnsley in 2005, he was a senior manager working across adults’ and children’s services at East Riding of Yorkshire Council. (more…)