COUNCIL bosses have today (Tuesday) shared details about how volunteers can help safeguard York residents in these "unprecedented times".

The move follows the Government recommendation to stop non-essential social contact to slow the spread of the coronavirus infection.

City of York Council confirmed it would reflect Government recommendations while helping the city focus on those who need it most, including people who are likely to experience limited physical contact for long periods of time.

Cllr Keith Aspden, leader of City of York Council, said: "It is encouraging that so many individuals and volunteer community groups has recognised the importance of coming together to focus on supporting those most in need.

"We want to make sure that support is directed to where it’s most needed, whether delivering food parcels, providing information, or sharing tasks like shopping or picking up medications.

"The physical and emotional health of residents is of the upmost importance and we are introducing a process to register, train and support volunteers."

Volunteering tasks can also be done remotely for those who are not able to meet people. Examples include speaking to people on the phone or registering inquiries.

The council said the situation continued to evolve rapidly and it was having to move fast. It said it would be contacting partners across the voluntary sector to discuss how to best work together to make the most of available funding and support those most in need.

Anyone interested in volunteering throughout should email and the council will send more details direct. Alternatively, call the Customer Centre on 01904 551 550 and register your interest with the volunteer scheme.

A spokesperson said: "We are working closely with partners about how to best support those at risk of food poverty and who claim free school meals, and further guidance will be issued.

"Furthermore, in response to today’s announcement about protecting the economy during the current outbreak of Covid-19, the council is working with businesses and city partners to support them in accessing all available support."

Cllr Andrew Waller, executive portfolio holder for economy and strategic planning said: “It is of some reassurance the government has recognised the value of service industries to the economy and how these measures will impact on their very livelihoods. These loans will go some way to alleviate short term cash flow however, it is for all of us to help these industries survive.

“We are pressing for details on the small business grants so that the cash reaches businesses as quickly as possible. We will be sharing how we propose supporting our unique economy, and in particular our small independents and service industries, on Thursday, with more information due from the government on Friday.”

Please visit for the latest advice for businesses.

Sharon Stoltz, the council's director of public health, added: “The Government shared the latest advice for individuals who need to self-isolate or are deemed to be in a vulnerable group.

“We ask that people continue to follow advice from reputable sources. Information, advice and support for people is available at and we are continuing to update our website at”