THE Archbishop of York has given thanks to the key workers during the Covid-19 pandemic during a reception in the grounds of Bishopthorpe Palace.

Archbishop Stephen Cottrell and his wife Rebecca invited people who were recognised by work colleagues, neighbours and local churches as "going the extra mile" during the pandemic.

The Archbishop said he was "humbled" to host the event for the frontline workers and added that it was "amazing" to speak to so many people who have dedicated their time and effort to help relieve suffering during the pandemic.

"I was very keen to invite those on the ground, those working in the NHS, care workers, emergency services, those who have helped keep our supermarkets open, driven the buses and delivered the post, staffed the food banks, taught children in school, volunteered at Covid vaccination centres, or those who have simply been incredible neighbours", the Archbishop added.

Cheryl Bothamley, a domestic assistant who cleans at Castle Hill hospital in Cottingham, said: “I was pleased to be able to do my bit during the pandemic. It was very special to be part of a team caring for people and keeping our hospital clean so our nurses and doctors could do their job. This is a great thank you but this is not just for me, it’s for all my colleagues.”

Meanwhile, Anna Diget, who works for York Neighbours - a team of people who have been working hard to try and make sure that help was available for older people in York - was also invited to the reception.

Anna said: "I remember the early months in particular were incredible as so many in York generously offered their time and help. It was wonderful to see the generosity of people in the city. It was also tiring and the needs were potentially overwhelming, but the team did manage to get a system in place that meant that those needing help did get support.

"In amongst the heartbreak, as we saw the struggles of older people, their gratitude and the kindness of volunteers kept us going and still keep us going today.”