Culture

Credit: York Barbican

Rare Snook sculpture signed by renowned figures to be auctioned

Starstruck-Snook-Jack-Whitehall

This is your chance to own a truly unique masterpiece, taking home your very own Snook sculpture autographed by the shining stars that have performed at York Barbican.  

The unique four-and-a-half-foot sculpture, named Starstruck Snook, has taken centre stage at York Barbican since the start of the Snooks Trail from 2 March and has come across many big named stars, including; comedian and actors Jack Whitehall, David Walliams and Lloyd Griffith; news reporter, Jonathan Pie (aka Tom Walker); and the band members from Scouting for Girls. 

As a beacon of community and culture, Starstruck Snook is a celebration of the arts, supporting the incredible work of St. Leonard’s Hospice, and promising some starlit surprises along the way. 

With nearly 30 signatures from notable stars on this special Snook sculpture, it sure will be a favourite to bidders among the 21 sculptures up for bid at the Snook charity auction taking place on Thursday 9 May 2024 at York Barbican.  

Don’t miss this opportunity to own a masterpiece while making a meaningful impact. By taking home one (or two) Snook sculpture, you will not only own a unique works of art but also contribute to making a tangible difference in the lives of those in support. The event aims to raise funds for St Leonard’s Hospice, who provide life-changing support for families across York every day, and for York Creates Fund, a micro-fund that supports cultural and creative activity in the city.  

You’re invited to join us for an exclusive auction experience, whether in person or via our live online stream. Secure your spot now for in person for just £5, as tickets are limited. 

Bids can be made online or by attending a special charity auction: 

What: Snooks Charity Auction  

Date: Thursday 9 May 2024 

Venue: York Barbican 

Tickets for in person, £5: Book your tickets today. 

The event is set to be an exciting event with our host is Derek Matthewson from TV series Bangers and Cash and presented by Mad Alice from the award-winning The Bloody Tour of York. Don’t miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity. 

 

ENDS 

 

Notes to Editors: 

Pictures: can be downloaded here Credit: York Barbican 

 

The Starstruck Snook sculpture at York Barbican has been signed by:  

Sarah Millican 

Phil Wang 

Simon Reeve 

Lloyd Griffith  

Jack Whitehall 

James Martin 

Jonathan Pie 

Gary Davies  

Sophie EllisBextor 

Rick Wakeman 

Jon Richardson 

The Hollies 

Emma Kenny 

Stuart Michael  

Professor Brian Cox 

Dawn French 

Elvana 

Jesse Dayton 

Samantha Fish 

David Walliams 

Toyah  

David Mahoney 

Harry Redknapp 

Lloyd Cole 

Leigh Francis aka Keith Lemon 

Scouting for Girls 

Luke Whitehouse  

The Commoners  

York Guildhall Orchestra 

 

About the Snooks Trail 

There were 21 sculptures that made up the popular Snooks Trail, York’s first character trail across the city, running between 2 March and 25 April 2024. The Snooks were the brainchild of artist Sian Ellis, and each one of the unique four and a half foot characters, has been decorated by different talented artists to create its own identity and style. More information on the trail can be found on our website: visityork.org/snooks 

About Make It York 

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. Its mission is to grow the economic prosperity and wider wellbeing of York and its citizens. In practice, this means delivering a range of projects and programmes based around our corporate strategic priorities. These are: City positioning and profile-raising; Ensuring an exciting city centre; Delivering the city’s ground-breaking Cultural Strategy.  

About St Leonard’s Hospice 

St Leonard’s Hospice is an independent charity, providing specialist palliative care, and support for local people with life-limiting illnesses. We’re dedicated to providing support tailored to the specific needs of patients, and their families and carers, with a wide range of services offered in a relaxed and friendly environment where care is taken personally. 

About York Creates Fund  

York Creates Fund is a micro-fund that supports cultural and creative activity in the city. The York Creates Fund will provide opportunities for local creatives to produce new work through micro-grants, commissions and competitions. The fund will be held by Make It York and administered in reference to the objectives of York’s Creative Future, the city’s Culture Strategy. 

Rare Snook sculpture signed by renowned figures to be auctioned Read More »

Rugby in York to benefit from transformational Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025 legacy programme Impact ‘25 

Download high-res images here. 

  • Impact ’25 will be delivered by the Rugby Football Union (RFU) in partnership with UK Government, Sport England and UK Sport. 
  • £12.13m already committed to the women’s and girls’ grassroots game across the country.   
  • Rugby World Cup 2025, a joint venture between World Rugby and the RFU, will be a spectacular celebration of women’s rugby and an era-defining tournament that will set new standards, attract new audiences and provide a catalyst to nationwide rugby growth. 
  • York Rugby Union to be one of the many clubs chosen to benefit from the Impact ‘25 programme 
  • York Community Stadium will be Rugby World Cup host venue in next year’s tournament. 
  • The legacy programme is designed to supercharge the growth of women’s and girls’ rugby throughout Yorkshire and the Humber and beyond 
  • Today also marks 500 days until the tournament kicks off at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light on 22 August 2025. 

 
The RFU has today celebrated Impact ’25, a transformational legacy programme that has already seen £12.13m of Government funding committed to women and girls’ grassroots rugby as part of Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025, with the aim of growing the game throughout the country.  

Impact ’25 will be delivered by the RFU in partnership with UK Government, Sport England and UK Sport. The programme will provide substantial improvements in facilities and greater opportunities for females at all levels of the game in England, with a range of support being offered to clubs across four key pillars: Facility Development, Coaches and Match Officials, Playing and Volunteering, and Community and Fan Engagement.  

To mark 500 days to go to the curtain-raiser of Rugby World Cup 2025, the tournament legacy programme was celebrated today by Councillor Claire Douglas, York Rugby Union Youth Section and the Rugby Football Union. 

Thanks to Impact ‘25, 25 clubs have been awarded funding to upgrade toilet facilities and 23 have been provided with sanitary packages, with 3 larger grants for clubs to develop social spaces and changing rooms, all aimed at making rugby clubs more welcoming and inclusive of female players.  50 coaches and match officials have been supported with their development in order to increase the number, quality and visibility of female coaches and match officials in rugby and 27 clubs have received grants to start up U12s activity to bring more girls who have never been involved in the sport, into rugby clubs. 

York Rugby Union (YRUFC) is one of the organisations set to benefit from the impact programme. Established in 1928, over 400 young boys and girls now play for the club, with the need for an increase in female players being outlined for the 2024/2025 season. Funding from the Impact ‘25 Programme will allow infrastructural updates to the rugby grounds and enable volunteers to attend England Rugby Union courses to ensure they have the coaching skills required to inspire the next generation of players. 

The aim of Impact ‘25 is to accelerate the growth of women’s rugby and help the RFU achieve its ambition of 100,000 female players by 2027. The women’s game in England is already flourishing from the grassroots level through to the elite; the Red Roses are currently ranked the number one team in the world, while the participation number for women and girls have risen to over 40,000 with more than 800 clubs offering women’s and girls’ rugby.  

Next year’s Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025 and its legacy programme will be a game-changer for women’s participation across the sport, shaping positive perceptions at all levels of the game and benefitting local communities. The tournament promises to be an era-defining celebration of women’s rugby with unprecedented levels of engagement throughout the country and beyond.  York Community Stadium is among eight host venues for the tournament. The World Cup kicks off in Sunderland on 22 August 2025, with the final being held at the iconic Twickenham Stadium.  The ambition is to sell-out Twickenham and break the current world record attendance of 58,498 set by the Red Roses in April 2023.   

Impact ‘25 funding began in the 2022-23 season and was awarded for four years until 2025-26. The funding is being utilised increase access to rugby for women and girls, in line with the RFU’s Every Rose action plan and the tournament’s goal to reach new audiences and inspire a generation of fans.​ All home nations will benefit from funding to help develop female coaches and match officials. 

Councillor Claire Douglas, Leader of City of York Council said: “It was great to visit York RUFC to meet some of the junior teams and see the incredible work the club is doing. Hosting the Women’s Rugby World Cup next year is already having an impact with some funding being made available to improve facilities at community sports clubs and encourage new players to take up the sport. 

“York RUFC is one of a number of community sports clubs doing fantastic things across the city. In York, we are really looking forward to hosting the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025 and welcoming world-class athletes from a range of nations to our city in only 500 days time. Our hope is that this tournament inspires a new generation of players into rugby and other sports, in line with our Council Plan ambition to help people to live happier, healthier lives.” 

Bill Sweeney, CEO, RFU said: “The opportunity to grow the women’s game was a primary driver behind our bid to host Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025, and we are very grateful to Government for committing funding to this transformational programme as part of the tournament. 

“Working together with Government, UK Sport, Sport England and World Rugby we will create a legacy for women’s rugby in England and the home nations, both in terms of attracting more fans and people to play, coach, officiate, and volunteer. 

“We are already seeing huge strides forwards being made thanks to Impact ‘25 and look forward to seeing further progress over the coming months and years.” 

Stuart Andrew, Sports Minister, said: “The UK is world-leading when it comes to hosting major sporting events, with the benefits of these events starting well before they kick off, and continuing long after they end. 
 
“With the Women’s Rugby World Cup round the corner, this legacy programme is already impacting communities, and will continue to ensure greater opportunities for women and girls to play sport for many years to come. 
 
“Impact ’25 will help with our target to get 3.5 million more children and adults active by 2030 and is on top of £400 million being invested by the Government in high-quality grassroots sports facilities around the UK.” 

Lisa Dodd-Mayne, Executive Director, Place at Sport England, said: “Rugby has so much to offer women and girls – from better physical and mental health to the development of sporting skills and a sense of community and belonging that only sport can give.   

“Encouraging and enabling more women and girls to find their way into sport and physical activity is at the core of our Uniting the Movement strategy.  We support the RFU’s target of getting 100,000 women and girls playing rugby by 2027.   We have made progress towards this and the Rugby World Cup 2025 and the Impact Programme will play a key role in achieving this.  It is important we work together to maximise the impact that the World Cup will have, ensuring that more women and girls get the opportunity to participate in their communities and enjoy the benefit of great facilities and other support to realise their potential.” 

Sarah Bern, Red Roses prop said: “We’ve seen huge developments in the women’s game over the past few years and the investment from Impact ‘25 and the awareness next year’s Rugby World Cup will bring to rugby is only going to help drive that growth even further. I am so excited to see the impact that next year’s tournament will have on growing the sport that I love so much.” 

Amber Reed, Red Roses centre added: “It’s so great to see the ever-growing number of opportunities to get involved in rugby whether that be through playing, being a match official, as a coach or in a volunteer role. Rugby has given me so much and I’m so excited to see other women and girls have their lives positively changed by our sport thanks to Impact ’25 – I’d strongly encourage anyone who’s interested to get involved in the sport.” 

Sarah Massey, Managing Director, Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025, said: “The Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025 will be a generational moment for rugby that will inspire the next generation of players and welcome new fans to the sport. 

“Impact ’25 provides an unprecedented opportunity to grow the game, benefitting local communities across the nation by creating more opportunities for women and girls to get involved in playing, officiating and coaching. 

“This significant investment will be crucial for our host cities and local stakeholders, who are committed to developing women’s rugby in their communities and providing an inclusive environment for everyone involved in the game.” 

Ends 

Notes to Editor 

Photo credit to Make It York 

Cllr Claire Douglas and players from York Rugby Union Youth Section. Left to right: Ella Briggs, Tilly Goforth, Isabella Hill, Ieuan Murray-Cook, Bea Steel, Emelia Wood, Amelia Turnbull, Hettie Rigby and Henry Steel. 

Rugby in York to benefit from transformational Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025 legacy programme Impact ‘25  Read More »

12 Organisations Awarded York Trailblazers Community Grants 

Twelve York-based charities, community groups and VSCE organisations have been awarded community grants by Make It York and York Civic Trust as part of the York Trailblazers project, available thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund.  

A total of £30,000 was made available for organisations to cover projects, events or initiatives that celebrate York’s history and heritage, uncover lesser-known heritage stories of York, enable community activity, and reduce resident isolation.  

The projects that will be funded by the York Trailblazers Community Grants are: 

  1. Converge – a series of 10 history and art workshops for adults with mental ill health, unlocking the often unknown 121 years of The Grand Opera House through music, performance and creative writing. The workshops will explore and interpret stories from forgotten theatre directors, wrestling matches, bingo halls and roller discos. 
  1.  Eimaan Culture and Community Services CIC – celebrating the heritage and history of Ugandan refugees who settled in York 51 years ago through a series of community events, which aim to reduce loneliness and isolation, as well as building confidence. 
  1. Friends of Rowntree Park, “Unravelling the Evolving Nature of Rowntree Park’ – a series of historical walks/talks, displays, informative trails and website material to promote community engagement, encourage the sharing of memories, stories and experiences from local residents, and inspire sustainable development practices in the future.  
  1. Good Organisation CIC – a series of collaborative workshops, promoting skill development in archive research, creative writing, photography, graphic design and associated editing software, to create a 50-page book exploring York’s ‘alternative’ history through the eyes of 10 individuals affected by homelessness.  
  1. Live Music Now North East, “The street where I lived” – a creative musical project around the street names of York, encouraging older people in residential care settings to explore heritage and share stories of their favourite streets. 
  1. Next Door But One, “Important Like Me” – 10 creative workshops engaging a number of diverse community groups, particularly young adults with disabilities, young girls, unpaid carers and LGTQ+ adults, to explore inspirational people from history and local contemporary culture, and produce a short collaborative YouTube video. 
  1. The Yorkshire Philosophical Society – a series of creative activities for school and community groups, including drawing, drama, video, scrapbooking, research and storytelling, to encourage involvement in archaeology and celebrate the heritage of the Yorkshire Museum and Gardens, unearthing hidden stories of local people. 
  1. Theatre @41 and We Are The Groves – a 10-week programme of creative writing and performance for adults from the local community, finding ways to express moments of significant local history and understand their importance, as well as providing access to the arts 
  1. Thrive Outside CIC – heritage crafting sessions to bring older residents together to share skills, knowledge and memories of traditional outdoor craft and use of seasonal flora 
  1. York Dance Space – celebrating 100 years of Tang Hall social estate by working with community groups of Tang Hall and creating a dance theatre piece to tell the story of the people who live and used to live there 
  1. York Learning and All Saints – a series of workshops to celebrate Dame Emma Raughton, the Anchorite of All Saints, which will see participants researching her incredible life and working alongside local stained glass artist Ann Sotheran to develop their own designs, which will be produced and showcased around the city 
  1. York Travellers Trust – 10 workshops which will provide a safe, welcoming space for young Gypsy and Travellers to share their experiences and explore their culture, resulting in the creation of artwork which will form an exhibition at the York Travellers Trust.    

Helen Apsey, Head of Culture and Wellbeing at Make It York, says “The applications we’ve received for the grants really showcase the breadth and diversity of cultural and community initiatives taking place across the city to support local people’s wellbeing. It’s also brilliant to see how keen local community groups are to learn more about their history and heritage. 

We’re really pleased to be able to fund these community initiatives through the Trailblazers community grants and are looking forward to adding these to the exciting programme for York Trailblazers in 2024.” 

ENDS 

 
For more information: 

Livvy Golby-Kirk, Marketing & Communications Officer at York Civic Trust 

events@fairfaxhouse.co.uk  

Brittany Guymer, Communications & Marketing Executive at Make It York  

Comms@makeityork.com 

Notes to Editors: 

About Make It York 

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. Its mission is to grow the economic prosperity and wider wellbeing of York and its citizens. In practice, this means delivering a range of projects and programmes based around our corporate strategic priorities.   

These are:  

  • City positioning and profile-raising  
  • Ensuring an exciting city centre 
  • Delivering the city’s ground-breaking Cultural Strategy 

About York Civic Trust  

York Civic Trust is a membership organisation open to all who wish to protect and enhance York’s architectural and cultural heritage, to champion good design and to advance the high place which York holds amongst the cities of the world. Founded in 1946, it has the key objectives of “Promoting Heritage—Shaping Tomorrow” at the heart of its work. Since an extensive conservation-repair programme in the 1980s, the Trust has restored Fairfax House on York’s Castlegate to its former grandeur. It is one of England’s finest Georgian townhouses and now a museum and offices of the Trust. 

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund 

Using money raised by The National Lottery, we Inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future. www.heritagefund.org.uk.  

Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund 

Since The National Lottery began in 1994, National Lottery players have raised over £43 billion for projects and more than 635,000 grants have been awarded across the UK. More than £30 million raised each week goes to good causes across the UK. 

12 Organisations Awarded York Trailblazers Community Grants  Read More »

Digital Arts Commissions Live for York Trailblazers 

Applications are now open for a series of exciting digital arts micro-commissions as part of York Trailblazers, a collaboration between Make It York and York Civic Trust, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.  

Five digital commissions, which will enhance a city-wide heritage sculpture trail taking place in summer to autumn 2024, will be awarded to local artists: celebrating the artistic talent of York’s creative industries sector and the city’s status as a UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts.  

The digital commissions are: 

  • Film (three commissions available): Local filmmakers, storytellers, poets, and artists are invited to create a short film creatively reflecting and celebrating the legacy of a York trailblazer. These films will highlight the impact remarkable individuals have had on the city and its communities. The finished short films, no longer than six minutes, will be displayed at an accessible location in York city centre and may tour to other locations throughout the trail period. 
  • Audio (one commission available): This commission is designed for storytellers, poets, or creative writing practitioners who will collaborate with secondary school-aged students. They will create a suite of recorded stories, soundscapes, or poems to accompany select trail markers. These creative outputs will aim to capture young people’s responses to the stories of trailblazers, enhancing the visitor experience. 
  • Web Game (one commission available): A small web game will be commissioned to engage trail visitors. This game will be for family audiences and accessible primarily through mobile and tablet devices. 

Each commission will be awarded £2,000 to cover all costs related to production, development, and delivery. 

Artists are invited to apply to take part through the Make It York website. Applications are open until noon on 30 November 2023. 

Celebrating York’s Trailblazers 

The York Trailblazers project is a city-wide initiative celebrating some of York’s lesser-known trailblazers. The project explores individuals from York’s past and present who’ve made significant contributions to their communities, industries, and the city. The project is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and is set to feature a temporary sculpture trail for residents and visitors in Summer 2024. Additionally, it includes workshops and trips for schools and young people, as well as community-led activities to make heritage accessible to more people in York. 

The digital commissions aim to complement and augment the trail experience, highlighting York’s rich cultural heritage and the city’s thriving contemporary creative sector. 

For more information about the wider York Trailblazers project and the sculpture trail, please visit the project page here

Application Details 

Artists and creative professionals are encouraged to submit their proposals for the micro-commissions. The timeline for creating and delivering these commissions range from January to April 2024. 

Find out more and apply here

For inquiries or to discuss potential trailblazers or community collaborations, please contact culture@makeityork.com for an informal conversation. 

Don’t miss this opportunity to be a part of the York Trailblazers heritage sculpture trail and help celebrate the city’s rich heritage and creative talent. 

ENDS 

 
For more information: 

Livvy Golby-Kirk, Marketing & Communications Officer at York Civic Trust 

events@fairfaxhouse.co.uk  

Brittany Guymer, Communications & Marketing Executive at Make It York  

Comms@makeityork.com 

Notes to Editors: 

About Make It York 

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. Its mission is to grow the economic prosperity and wider wellbeing of York and its citizens. In practice, this means delivering a range of projects and programmes based around our corporate strategic priorities.   

These are:  

  • City positioning and profile-raising  
  • Ensuring an exciting city centre 
  • Delivering the city’s ground-breaking Cultural Strategy 

About York Civic Trust  

York Civic Trust is a membership organisation open to all who wish to protect and enhance York’s architectural and cultural heritage, to champion good design and to advance the high place which York holds amongst the cities of the world. Founded in 1946, it has the key objectives of “Promoting Heritage—Shaping Tomorrow” at the heart of its work. Since an extensive conservation-repair programme in the 1980s, the Trust has restored Fairfax House on York’s Castlegate to its former grandeur. It is one of England’s finest Georgian townhouses and now a museum and offices of the Trust. 

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund 

Using money raised by The National Lottery, we Inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future. www.heritagefund.org.uk.  

Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund 

Since The National Lottery began in 1994, National Lottery players have raised over £43 billion for projects and more than 635,000 grants have been awarded across the UK. More than £30 million raised each week goes to good causes across the UK. 

Digital Arts Commissions Live for York Trailblazers  Read More »

York chosen as one of the host cities and venues for the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025 

From one exhilarating Women’s World Cup to another, there are exactly two years to go until women’s rugby returns to York, as the city is chosen as a co-host and venue for the Rugby World Cup 2025.  

World Rugby and the RFU, with support from the UK Government, have confirmed that York and York Community Stadium will be one of the eight host cities and venues that will provide the stage for the biggest-ever celebration of women’s rugby. 

Kicking off on 22 August and concluding with the Rugby World Cup final, on 27 September, the 10th edition of the showcase event has accessibility as its core and will be the most accessible games to date. The countrywide format means an unparalleled opportunity to see, engage with, and support the stars of the women’s game. 

Following a competitive selection process, the final roster of host cities and venues reflects the tournament’s core mission of growing the sport, taking rugby across the country and engaging with diverse communities. All will provide a family-focused festival of rugby.  

For the first time ever, the elite women’s rugby tournament will be hosted across eight venues and cities around the country with 16 teams competing to be crowned world champions. 

The biggest-ever celebration of women’s rugby – the host cities and venues  

  • Brighton and Hove – Brighton and Hove Albion Stadium 
  • Bristol – Ashton Gate 
  • Exeter – Sandy Park 
  • London – Twickenham Stadium 
  • Manchester – Salford Community Stadium 
  • Northampton – Franklin’s Gardens  
  • Sunderland – Stadium of Light  
  • York – York Community Stadium 
      

While the full match schedule and ticketing details will be announced next year, the milestone two-year celebration and confirmation of dates and venues provides the ability for fans across England to start to plan their Rugby World Cup 2025 experience.  

Canada, England, France and New Zealand have already qualified for Rugby World Cup 2025 after finishing in the top four of RWC 2021, with the remaining positions to be filled via World Rugby’s new women’s international 15s tournament, WXV, and regional competitions in 2024. 

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “Following the record-breaking success of Rugby World Cup 2021 in New Zealand, women’s rugby has built an incredibly strong foundation and as one of the fastest growing sports in the world, RWC 2025 is set to take the game to the next level as the biggest celebration of women’s rugby with fans and players very much at its heart.  

“We look forward to continuing to collaborate with all our partners as we strive to deliver a world-class and historic event that will leave a lasting legacy, both in England and around the world as we aim to inspire millions of new players and fans and continue to grow the game we love.” 

Councillor Claire Douglas, Leader of City of York Council said: “I want to thank all the partners involved in our successful bid to host the Women’s Rugby Union World Cup. It is fantastic that once again York will play host to a world cup, with world-class female athletes living and playing in the city for a number of weeks. 

We see time and time again the impact sport can have on people’s lives. This is demonstrated by the legacy of the Rugby League World Cup held in the city last year, and also the recent successes of the Lionesses in inspiring a new generation. Sport brings people together and can be great for our physical and mental wellbeing. We hope this tournament is a catalyst for increased participation at any of our fantastic community clubs.” 

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director of Make It York, said: “We are absolutely delighted that York has been chosen as one of the host cities for the Rugby World Cup in 2025, and that we’ll be welcoming such fantastic international teams to our city for the tournament. This will be such a key event in the city’s calendar and really showcase York on the international stage with a sport that is forever growing in popularity. We look forward to working with the Rugby World Cup and local organisations across York to make this a fantastic celebration of women’s sports, that both residents and visitors can enjoy.”  

Glen Coultish, York RUFC Junior Chairman, said: “York Rugby Union are delighted to be playing a part in the Women’s Rugby Union World Cup. The timing is perfect as this season we have dedicated to growing the girls section to 80 plus girl players. The opportunity to see world cup squads play and train is fantastic for the whole club.” 

Cat Tottie, Manager at York RI Women, said: “Women’s rugby has grown fast in recent years – when the Roses packed out Twickenham last year we proved the sport wasn’t just for the boys. As someone who didn’t start playing until I was an adult, I hope the Rugby World Cup coming to England will inspire a new generation of girls to look at our amazing sport and think – I want to get on pitch and be just as strong and fast as them. 

From grassroots teams to Premiership, the community that comes with women’s rugby is infectious, and there is no better time to start playing than now.  And anything you can do to plug girls and women to start playing at York RI would be fab – we are recruiting now!” 

Notes to Editors: 

The women’s Rugby World Cup 2025 is supported by its official partners Mastercard, Capgemini and Gallagher. 

The Rugby World Cup Impact Programme, delivered by the RFU in partnership with the UK Government and Sport England, will create opportunities for females across all levels of the game through its volunteer, coaching and internship programmes. 

 WXV | Official Site (wxvrugby.com) 

For more information, please contact: 

Brittany Guymer, Communications Executive at Make It York  

Comms@makeityork.com 

About Make It York 

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. Its mission is to grow the economic prosperity and wider wellbeing of York and its citizens. In practice, this means delivering a range of projects and programmes based around our corporate strategic priorities.   

These are:  

  • City positioning and profile-raising 
  • Ensuring an exciting city centre 
  • Delivering the city’s ground-breaking Cultural Strategy 

York chosen as one of the host cities and venues for the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025  Read More »

York Trailblazers Community Grants 2023 

York-based charities, community groups and VSCE organisations can apply for the 2023 York Trailblazers community grants, with an overall fund of £30,000 available. 

In a collaboration between York Civic Trust and Make It York, with funding made available through the National Heritage Lottery Fund, organisations are being invited to apply to grants up to £3,000. These projects will contribute to the overall aims of the York Trailblazers project, which celebrates York’s heritage, and uncovers lesser-known heritage stories of York – through community workshops, a large-scale sculpture trail, community grant funding, partner events and marketing. 

Organisations can apply for community grant funding for projects, events or initiatives that celebrate York’s history and heritage, uncover lesser-known heritage stories of York, enable community activity, to reduce resident isolation and support wellbeing, and which work with people affected by isolation/loneliness, people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, minority and protected groups. 

The grants programme aligns with the York Culture Strategy, which commits to ensuring that culture is accessible to everyone, and which supports people’s health and wellbeing through meaningful engagement with arts and heritage.  

Applications will open on Monday 17 July and close at 12pm on Friday 11 August. The grants are available for projects running anytime between September 2023 and 27 September 2024. 

Helen Apsey, Head of Culture and Wellbeing at Make It York said: “We’re delighted to be able to fund community initiatives that celebrate York’s history and heritage, while also supporting people’s wellbeing, through the Trailblazers Community Grants. We’re looking forward to receiving people’s applications and seeing how the projects we fund will together help to create a really exciting programme for York Trailblazers throughout 2023 and 2024.”  

Apply for a grant: 

The grants programme will open on Monday 17 July, and be open for a four-week period, closing at 12pm on Friday 11 August 2023. Applications must be submitted by this time to be considered. 

The grant information, criteria for applications and the application form (an online form) will all be available on the Make It York website from 17 July here – https://www.makeityork.com/events/york-trailblazers/grants/. If you are unable to access the online form, and would prefer a printed copy instead, please email culture@makeityork.com and we will ensure you can pick up a printed copy instead.   

Applications will be assessed and award decisions made by Friday 25 August 2023.   

If you have any queries, please email culture@makeityork.com  

Grant workshops:  

We will hold two workshops on zoom that any prospective grantees are free to attend, to explain the grants process, key things that prospective grantees must demonstrate in their applications, and to answer any questions that applicants might have. Workshops will take place on the 20th July and 3rd August. You can register for the workshops here – York Trailblazers (makeityork.com) 

ENDS 

 
For more information: 

Livvy Golby-Kirk, Marketing & Communications Officer at York Civic Trust 

events@fairfaxhouse.co.uk  

Brittany Guymer, Communications & Marketing Executive at Make It York  

Comms@makeityork.com 

Notes to Editors: 

About Make It York 

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. Its mission is to grow the economic prosperity and wider wellbeing of York and its citizens. In practice, this means delivering a range of projects and programmes based around our corporate strategic priorities.   

These are:  

  • City positioning and profile-raising  
  • Ensuring an exciting city centre 
  • Delivering the city’s ground-breaking Cultural Strategy 

About York Civic Trust  

York Civic Trust is a membership organisation open to all who wish to protect and enhance York’s architectural and cultural heritage, to champion good design and to advance the high place which York holds amongst the cities of the world. Founded in 1946, it has the key objectives of “Promoting Heritage—Shaping Tomorrow” at the heart of its work. Since an extensive conservation-repair programme in the 1980s, the Trust has restored Fairfax House on York’s Castlegate to its former grandeur. It is one of England’s finest Georgian townhouses and now a museum and offices of the Trust. 

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund 

Using money raised by The National Lottery, we Inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future. www.heritagefund.org.uk.  

Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund 

Since The National Lottery began in 1994, National Lottery players have raised over £43 billion for projects and more than 635,000 grants have been awarded across the UK. More than £30 million raised each week goes to good causes across the UK. 

York Trailblazers Community Grants 2023  Read More »

Seven organisations awarded Cultural Wellbeing Grants 2023 

Seven York-based charities, social enterprises, community groups and individuals have been awarded grant funding by Make It York and City of York Council, made available via the Better Care Fund. The Cultural Wellbeing Grant funding will support a range of initiatives for York residents, which are designed to support mental wellbeing and reduce loneliness and isolation.  

A total of £26,775 was made available for organisations to help engage isolated people in their communities through cultural engagement to combat mental ill-health, improve physical health, or access employment and learning opportunities. Organisations were invited to apply for grants of up to £6,000 to aid initiatives throughout the city, which will be taking place between Summer 2023 and March 2024.   

The projects that will be funded through the Cultural Wellbeing Grants 2023 are: 

  1. New Visuality – “200 memories Colourised and Chronicled by York’s elders” – reducing loneliness and isolation by creating both an online and physical archive of photographs and memories from elderly community groups, and teaching invaluable digital skills.   
  1. Tang Hall Smart CIC – “Friday Music” – a musical/art programme that will enable those with entrenched difficulties, such as addiction, homelessness and poor mental health, to explore self-expression, creativity and relationship-building.  
  1. ‘The Artery for Health’ led by heritage and cultural learning consultant Karen Merrifield at York Hospital – establishing a programme to provide support and rehabilitation for stroke patients through art therapy and art interventions. 
  1. Accessible Arts and Media – “Movers and Shakers” – providing a social support network through a series of physical sessions such as musical theatre, dancing, singing, playing instruments, writing and storytelling.   
  1. School of Arts and Creative Technologies, University of York – “Supporting refugees through music” – creating opportunities for participation in music/arts workshops to develop personal/group empowerment, belonging and mental wellbeing. 
  1. Converge – “Creative Writing Heals”– supporting marginalised people, and those with ill mental health, to confidently claim their space within York’s cultural offering and improve their sense of community belonging. 
  1. Riding Lights- “Acting Up! Youth Theatre” – creating a safe space for young adults with additional needs or disabilities to socialise, learn and create together through the use of weekly theatre workshops. 

Cllr Jo Coles, Executive Member for Health, Wellbeing and Adult Social Care at City of York Council, said: “There has been a huge increase in demand for mental health and wellbeing support for residents over recent years. Thank you to all those organisations who applied for grants to enhance the support being provided across the city. These grants will improve access to learning, employment, cultural and creative activities for hundreds more residents, making our city a better, fairer place to live.” 

Helen Apsey, Head of Culture and Wellbeing at Make It York, says: “This year’s Cultural Wellbeing Grant projects reflect the immense breadth and diversity of cultural initiatives taking place in the city to support people’s mental wellbeing. The activities range from creative sessions for refugees in the city, to digital workshops for the elderly, through to a programme of theatre and acting workshops for young adults who feel isolated because of additional needs or disabilities.  

The Cultural Wellbeing Grants are a really important scheme to support residents’ wellbeing, which is at the heart of the York Culture Strategy. It’s a privilege to be able to support these vital initiatives through Make It York.” 

ENDS 

For more information: 

Brittany Guymer, Communication Executive at Make It York 

Comms@makeityork.com 

Notes to Editors: 

Further information for the Cultural Wellbeing grants can be found here: Applications open for Cultural Wellbeing Grants 2023 (makeityork.com) 

About Make It York 

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. Its mission is to grow the economic prosperity and wider wellbeing of York and its citizens. In practice, this means delivering a range of projects and programmes based around our corporate strategic priorities.  

These are:  

  • City positioning and profile-raising 
  • Ensuring an exciting city centre 
  • Delivering the city’s ground-breaking Culture Strategy 

Seven organisations awarded Cultural Wellbeing Grants 2023  Read More »

Giant Tansy Beetle in the Museum Gardens teases York Trailblazers Trail 2024 

A giant Tansy Beetle will be taking centre stage in the Museum Gardens on Wednesday morning (28th June) to tease the exciting new heritage trail that takes place in York in May 2024. 

York-based artist, Wim Standish, will be creating the Tansy Beetle artwork in the Museum Gardens and encouraging residents and visitors to get involved with the new trail, which will run between May-September 2024.  

As part of the wider Trailblazers project in 2024, the Tansy Beetle sculpture trail will appear across the city, with local artists commissioned by community and heritage groups to customise 20 giant Tansy Beetles to tell the stories of York’s greatest and lesser-known Trailblazers. 

Known as “The Jewel of York”, the endangered Tansy Beetle has been chosen as the emblem of the Trailblazer project, reflecting its special status as a York resident given its riverside habitat along the banks of the River Ouse. The Tansy Beetle’s perseverance echoes the rich history of people from York who have blazed trails locally, nationally and globally, leading the way in their spheres of influence to make the world a better place. 

Trailblazers will be an interactive and inclusive city-wide programme of events and activities across 2023–2025, celebrating York’s heritage. Created by York Civic Trust, in partnership with Make It York, Trailblazers will uncover lesser-known heritage stories of York’s people and places, empower new generations to discover the city’s history anew, and inspire people to make history by taking up the mantle of trailblazing into the future. 

York Civic Trust and Make It York are developing and delivering the project together, leading on their areas of expertise within culture, community and heritage in York. A mix of 40 organisations, from small voluntary groups to big institutions, supported York Civic Trust and Make It York’s bid to make Trailblazers a reality. The project is made possible by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and National Lottery players. 

Andrew Morrison, Chief Executive Officer at York Civic Trust, said: “Our project York Trailblazers will be a fantastic opportunity for people to discover and celebrate the heritage stories of people who are important to their communities. The National Heritage Lottery Fund’s support of our project is an incredible boost and will enable the project to reach out to all parts of the city.” 

Helen Apsey, Head of Culture and Wellbeing at Make It York, said: “We’re really excited to be able to reveal the theme of the York Trailblazers trail, and huge thanks to Wim for creating today’s incredible Tansy Beetle artwork. As a powerful emblem of environmental heritage, the 2024 trail’s giant Tansy Beetle sculptures will represent and be unique to York – and we’ll be combining their symbolism with the artwork that’s created on each sculpture, which will represent York’s trailblazing residents throughout history.” 

“We’re incredibly grateful to the National Lottery Heritage Fund and to all the organisations who have come together to support York Trailblazers. This funding will make such a difference and enable Make It York and York Civic Trust to develop a really meaningful celebration of our history and heritage, engaging with residents, schools and community groups.”   

York Civic Trust, working in partnership with Make it York and partners across the city, has been awarded £249,999 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to deliver the York Trailblazers project.  

You can find out more about the Trailblazers project at https://www.visityork.org/york-trailblazers 

Download high-res images here – https://we.tl/t-kh5Xx3HUyT 

ENDS 

 
For more information: 

Livvy Golby-Kirk, Marketing & Communications Officer at York Civic Trust 

events@fairfaxhouse.co.uk  

Brittany Guymer, Communications & Marketing Executive at Make It York  

Comms@makeityork.com 

Notes to Editors: 

About Make It York 

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. Its mission is to grow the economic prosperity and wider wellbeing of York and its citizens. In practice, this means delivering a range of projects and programmes based around our corporate strategic priorities.   

These are:  

  • City positioning and profile-raising  
  • Ensuring an exciting city centre 
  • Delivering the city’s ground-breaking Cultural Strategy 

About York Civic Trust  

York Civic Trust is a membership organisation open to all who wish to protect and enhance York’s architectural and cultural heritage, to champion good design and to advance the high place which York holds amongst the cities of the world. Founded in 1946, it has the key objectives of “Promoting Heritage—Shaping Tomorrow” at the heart of its work. Since an extensive conservation-repair programme in the 1980s, the Trust has restored Fairfax House on York’s Castlegate to its former grandeur. It is one of England’s finest Georgian townhouses and now a museum and offices of the Trust. 

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund 

Using money raised by The National Lottery, we Inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future. www.heritagefund.org.uk.  

Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund 

Since The National Lottery began in 1994, National Lottery players have raised over £43 billion for projects and more than 635,000 grants have been awarded across the UK. More than £30 million raised each week goes to good causes across the UK. 

About Wim Standish 

Wim paints portraits and murals, locally and internationally, and has spent ten years painting copies of famous ceilings for tourists outside York Minster. He performs as a street artist, ‘cellist, and live video artist. He currently resides in the woods near Castle Howard teaching bushcraft skills to children. 

Giant Tansy Beetle in the Museum Gardens teases York Trailblazers Trail 2024  Read More »

Applications open for Cultural Wellbeing Grants 2023

York-based charities, social enterprises, voluntary and community groups are being urged to apply for the 2023 Cultural Wellbeing Grants, with an overall fund of £26,775 available.

In a collaboration between Make It York and City of York Council, with funding made available via the Better Care Fund, organisations are being invited to apply to grants up to £6,000 to aid initiatives throughout the city which will reduce loneliness and isolation and combat mental ill-health.

With applications open until Friday 9th June 2023, organisations can apply for funding to help engage isolated people in their communities through cultural engagement to combat mental ill-health, improve physical health, or access employment and learning opportunities. Funding can be used for a wide range of project costs – including everything from materials and venue hire to set up costs, marketing, transport and administration time. The grants are available for projects running anytime between July 2023 and March 2024.

The grants programme aligns with the York Culture Strategy, which commits to supporting people’s health and wellbeing through meaningful engagement with arts and heritage, through social prescribing and community-based cultural initiatives, as part of a joined-up and whole-person approach to healthcare provision.

Last year, nine different charities, social enterprises and community groups benefitted from the grants funding from Make It York and City of York Council. Spanning a diverse range of creative art forms and social activities, the grants supported everything from creative activity sessions for sanctuary-seekers in York, to an art exhibition by patients at Foss Park Mental Health Hospital, through to a programme of performance techniques to combat social isolation in women over 25.

Pauline Stuchfield, Director of Customer and Communities at City of York Council, said: “We’re proud to offer these grants again. Their proven benefits have a lasting impact on residents.

“If you’re involved with a project which supports or improves residents’ wellbeing through cultural activities, please apply for this funding. We’re want to reach often overlooked groups and support innovation, while building on the city’s fantastic voluntary sector which helps residents live the lives they want.”

Helen Apsey, Head of Culture and Wellbeing at Make It York said: “The Cultural Wellbeing Grants are a really important scheme – they support residents’ wellbeing through cultural and creative activities that reduce isolation and loneliness and support mental health, which is at the heart of York’s Culture Strategy. We’re looking forward to helping many more projects through this year’s programme, alongside City of York Council.”

Apply for a grant:

To apply for a Cultural Wellbeing Grant, please download and complete the application form and return it to carl.wain@york.gov.uk by 9am, Friday 9th June, 2023. 

Application forms must be completed and submitted by 9am on Friday 9th June 2023 to be considered. These will be assessed you will be informed if you have been successful by Friday 16th June 2023. If you have any queries or need support to apply, please email: Carl.wain@york.gov.uk

END

For more information:

Brittany Guymer, Communications Coordinator at Make It York 

Comms@makeityork.com

Notes to Editors:

About Make It York

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. Its mission is to grow the economic prosperity and wider wellbeing of York and its citizens. In practice, this means delivering a range of projects and programmes based around our corporate strategic priorities.

These are:

· City positioning and profile-raising

· Ensuring an exciting city centre· Delivering the city’s ground-breaking Culture Strategy

Applications open for Cultural Wellbeing Grants 2023 Read More »

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