Ryedale District Council

New support organisation will help boost communities

CFY roseRural Action Yorkshire (RAY) and the North Yorkshire and York Forum (NYYF) have merged to provide greater support, advocacy and networking opportunities to voluntary organisations and communities in Ryedale, and across North, South and West Yorkshire.

The new organisation, called Community First Yorkshire, will provide a vital link to helping communities and voluntary organisations to enhance the services they provide to local people. Both RAY and NYYF had a strong track record of working to support, connect and represent voluntary, community and rural organisations and social enterprises across Yorkshire since 1937.

Leah Swain, Chief Executive of Community First Yorkshire and former Chief Officer of RAY, said;

"Making the decision to merge is a momentous moment for any charity, but all the more so when we have been a trusted rural champion for the last 80 years. The Trustees and I feel confident that by being part of Community First Yorkshire we can still be a strong rural support organisation for North, South and West Yorkshire – and now we can also offer enhanced services to the wider voluntary and community sector. I am really excited about the potential of Community First Yorkshire and looking forward to working with those inspirational communities, groups and individuals that do so much good for so many people."

By securing this grant we can build on the good work of the previous service providers in supporting the voluntary and community sector in North Yorkshire. We are ambitious for the sector and are excited to be exploring new ways of providing support for a wide range of different voluntary and community groups. This is a significant financial investment by the County Council and the CCGs who are investing in the health of a sector that they value as a critical partner in delivering their services."

Maggie Farey, Community First Yorkshire Community Development Officer for Ryedale said;

"I’m really excited to be working for the new organisation, and to be working with new colleagues who all have such a wealth of experience in the sector and are so passionate about their work. The merger will help us to deliver greater support to those organisations and communities in the local area who need it most, and to provide a more specialised service to volunteers and voluntary organisations."

Clare Slater, Deputy Chief Executive at Ryedale District Council said;

"The merger of RAY and NYYF will enable increased specialised support for local people and organisations and has created an organisation with greater ability to support local communities to become more sustainable. Ryedale District Council has worked in partnership with both organisations successfully delivering improved outcomes for communities, most recently through ward planning, supporting affordable warmth and developing community led housing, with a wide range of expert support provided. The merger will enable them to continue to reach the people and places in Ryedale most in need of support."

Rural Community Council for North, South and West Yorkshire
Community First Yorkshire will continue RAY’s previous work as a Rural Community Council for North, South and West Yorkshire. The organisation works to promote rural communities and to enhance the quality of life to people. By securing funding, Community First Yorkshire will work on community development projects across North, South and West Yorkshire that enrich communities and the people who live and work in them. Previous projects include ‘Warm and Well in North Yorkshire’, ‘Ryedale Musical Memories’ and ‘Good Neighbours Schemes’. Current projects include ‘Ryedale Community Buildings network’ and ‘Amotherby Ward project’.

Community Support and Volunteering in North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) and NHS North Yorkshire* have awarded a £1.4 million grant to Community First Yorkshire to deliver support and development work to North Yorkshire’s voluntary sector.

The successful funding application was jointly submitted by North Yorkshire & York Forum (NYYF) and Rural Action Yorkshire (RAY). NYYF was the contract holder since 2011. Due to the merger the new contract will be delivered by Community First Yorkshire.

New services to be offered by Community First Yorkshire
Announcements about new services will be made in the near future. Keep in touch with Community First Yorkshire by signing up to our news bulletins by emailing tel: 01904 704177 or visit www.communityfirstyorkshire.org.uk

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