York voluntary groups given fresh hope of new HQ

27 Nov 2013 @ 10.33 am
| Charity
New man Garry Jones outside York CVS HQ in Priory Street
“Looming crisis in social care”: Garry Jones of York CVS

Fresh plans have been drawn up to find a new home for York’s voluntary and community organisations. York CVS has worked with the council to draw up another blueprint for a voluntary and community social care hub, after a previous scheme fell through.

Twelve voluntary organisations, now based at Holgate Villas, will be homeless when the lease expires at the end of January 2014.

Last year York CVS, previously York Council for Voluntary Service, was given the go ahead to take a 20-year-lease on former elderly people’s home Oliver House in Bishophill to provide a new home for the groups. Funding shortfalls scuppered this deal.

A report to go before the council’s Cabinet meeting on Tuesday (December 3) commits the city to establishing a long term health and social care hub by March 2017.

No suitable long term venue has yet been identified. In the meantime, officers are recommending that the council takes an initial two-year lease on a commercial property in the city centre.

The central location would allow council services, health, voluntary and community sector and social care partners, including York CVS, to share the space.

Two potential properties have been identified, but their locations have not been made public. Under the proposals, the rent for the building is expected to be covered by the voluntary and community organisations which are currently located at Holgate Villas.

The proposal would also enable the council to take forward its plans to sell Oliver House, potentially raising £400,000.

Garry Jones, chief executive of York CVS, said: “York CVS welcomes this firm and genuine commitment from City of York Council to work together with the voluntary sector in finding both an immediate and long term solution.

“The decision recognises the integral role of voluntary and community organisations, carers and volunteers, in supporting people through health and social care services. We will only solve the looming crisis in social care through a joint approach and this decision recognises and plans for that.”

Councillor Tracey Simpson Laing, Cabinet member for Health, Housing and Adult Social Services, said: “This proposal is a real step forward and demonstrates our commitment to support York CVS and the wider voluntary sector.”