To celebrate the success of the Personalise a Plaque campaign we ran during lockdown, and commemorate the amazing individuals and groups that were nominated for their fantastic contribution despite adversity, the Trust are setting up a ‘wall of plaques’ in the Fairfax House courtyard as a snapshot of the positive responses to Covid-19 in York. You will also have the opportunity to participate and spread the positivity by nominating your own lockdown hero.

The Hero Wall will be up from Saturday 1st August (Yorkshire Day) as part of York’s wider ‘Our Heroes Welcome’ week and Key Worker Celebrations across York to say thank you to the city’s key workers for their commitment during the pandemic.

Interactive #YorkHeroes Wall

It was heartwarming to see the wall fill up fast with comments from the public over the opening weekend.

“Brilliant. Can’t wait to see them when I come to visit York. A great idea and a good way of appreciating local heroes.”

– Joyce Cook

York’s Lockdown Heroes plaque mural

As well as viewing the inspiring collection of nominees, the public was also encouraged to respond and comment.

“That’s amazing – we’re proud to be a part of this.”

– St Leonard’s Hospice

“A great wall of heroes here and much more amazing work represented behind these plaques.”

– Equality Cards

Lockdown Heroes Plaque Ceremonies

York’s ‘Lockdown Heroes’ received a personally made York Civic Trust blue plaque as a special memento of their amazing contribution to help others in difficult circumstances during the pandemic.

To say thank you to the amazing individuals and groups that were represented in the Personalise a Plaque campaign, York Civic Trust have created physical blue plaques for all of the nominees to keep as a special memento of their contribution to help others in difficult situations as a result of Covid-19. They ran as a series of small events at Fairfax House with limited numbers throughout August, and included a drinks reception and photographs with their plaque.

The events were a valuable opportunity for nominees to share their experiences and celebrate their efforts and successes despite challenging circumstances. It was also heartwarming to see that many who attended the events were meeting up in person for the first time after months of virtual communication. York Civic Trust are very proud to be associated with such inspiring groups of people, and to have been able to draw attention to their brilliant works.

The story has been picked by Radio York, The Press and will be featured on the front cover of the September edition of Our City, the City of York Council’s free newspaper which is delivered to every home in York. We have also been delighted with the response to the campaign on social media, with 66,000+ reached on Twitter alone – a third of York’s population – and our Facebook reach up by a whopping 1200%!

You can read more about all of the nominees here.

“We are very proud to announce that Covid-19 Visors York has been awarded a blue plaque.”

– Covid-19 Visors York

The first batch of nominees to receive their York’s Lockdown Heroes plaques were Kitchen for Everyone York, York Scrubs, Jake Fury from the York LGBT Forum and Covid-19 Visors – an inspiring collection of individuals who have done incredible things to help the people York during difficult times.

Top left: Jake Furby from LGBT Forum and his partner Robert

Top right: project lead, David Young, project coordinator, Joyce Bennett & Janet Scott of ISF with Lucy Burns who worked as part of Covid-19 York

Bottom left: founder of York Scrubs Dr Rebecca Brown alongside group administrator Lisa Parker-Gomm and seamstress Rachel Simpson

Bottom right: Jools Rebbeck and Marie Mortimer representing Kitchen for Everyone York

The 2nd ceremony for York’s Lockdown Heroes plaques was awarded to Move the Masses charity.

“Congrats! Move the Masses I love these awards – so well deserved. York has some incredible people making a huge difference in the city.”

– Claire Boardman

The 3rd ceremony awarded plaques to ‘The Ladies of Haxby Post Office’, James Sanderson and his family, and Steve Holding from Pig & Pastry on behalf of Supper Collective.

Left: Bryher Dunhill, Debbie Frith and Rachel Scott representing the ‘ladies from Haxby Post Office’

Middle: James Sanderson and his family

Right: Steve Holding, owner of Bishy Road’s Pig & Pastry cafe, and daughter, Ruby, collecting a plaque on behalf of the super Supper Collective

“Excellent, a service to the general public that each and every one will appreciate. COVID has tested us all but the service delivery and dedication to keeping the country moving cannot be underestimated – well done ladies!”

– John Dunhill

The 4th York’s Lockdown Heroes plaque ceremony moved inside due to torrential rain, and despite the weather, was a very positive and bright occasion. Recipients were York Hospital, First York buses and Dean Court Hotel.

Left: Steve Bailey, acting manager at Dean Court Hotel
Middle: Heather McNair, Chief Nurse at York Hospital, along with Steve and Karen Harrison, an A&E receptionist and ambulance technician.
Right: Neil McDermott, Forward Allocator, Chris Drury, Branch Chair and Driver Alison Bean collected a plaque on behalf of First York Bus drivers.

The 5th and final Lockdown Heroes plaque ceremony was hosted in the grand setting of the Saloon – thanks again to the fickle nature of the Great British weather! Thanks to everyone from St Leonards Hospice and Home Instead Senior Care York who came along to receive their plaque and made it such a lovely occasion!

Left: Luke Norbury, Owner, Lorna Hoegh and Kerry Galloway, Registered Care Managers, collecting a plaque on behalf of the team of caregivers at Home Instead Senior Care York.
Right: Emma Johnson, Chief Executive, and Dawn Clements, Director of Income Generation, collecting a plaque on behalf of all staff at St Leonards Hospice.

“The team have been amazing throughout and an absolute force of nature in supporting people.”

– Dawn Clements, St Leonards Hospice

“When things started to get challenging every single member of the team really put their clients first.”

– Luke Norbury, Owner of Home Instead Senior Care York

Jo Cole came along to Fairfax House to collect her Lockdown Heroes plaque in recognition of all of her fantastic work with Bereaved Children Support (BCSY) – a charity she founded four years ago to support recently bereaved families. During lockdown parents and family groups were unable to meet up in person, so Jo kept people connected by providing online quizzes and resources, organising zoom coffee chats, and keeping in touch regularly via email and over the phone.