City hosts sign off, but they’ll be back for Christmas

City Hosts Coppergate Centre

The York BID City Hosts have been a reassuring and friendly presence on York’s streets throughout the summer to assist visitors as they return to the city.

However, this weekend the York BID’s team of volunteers will hang up their City Hosts vests as the scheme comes to an end.

The York BID (Business Improvement District) organised the City Host programme in recognition that people needed reassurance and advice as lockdown eased, helping visitors and residents as they moved around the city which has undergone significant changes under Covid-19. The hosts have acted as ambassadors and champions for York, to welcome, guide and assist visitors and help them feel safe.

The City Hosts came from a pool of City of York Council volunteers. They are York residents with good knowledge of the city, who can provide a friendly advice service to the public. This advice may be in the form of directions, or knowledge of the cities processes and restrictions in the current environment.

One hundred volunteers have acted as hosts over 11 weeks, with 4 co-ordinators liaising with Carl Alsop, Operations Manager at the BID.

Carl said of the scheme, “We’re really pleased with the way the scheme has gone and have had a lot of positive feedback. Because of this we are planning to bring the hosts back again for the Christmas period when we anticipate visitor numbers will increase.”

The aim is to have the City Hosts back in the city for the busy weekends in the run up to Christmas to once again provide friendly advice and assistance to anyone who needs it.

Nicola Staff, one of the Co-ordinators said, “I am so proud to be part of the City hosts project. The volunteers have been fantastic, investing their time to support the city through this recovery period, and help locals and tourists feel welcome back in the city.”


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