18/06/2013 Press Release: Rural Charity talks snow at summer events

Rural Action Yorkshire is going on tour this summer, alongside an inflatable snowman, to urge country show visitors to plan ahead and be better neighbours in cold weather.

The rural charity works with communities across North, West and East Yorkshire and now wants to highlight the effect which wintery weather has on our villages and their residents.

Acting Chief Officer Tina Chamberlain explained “we believe there are lots of simple ways which villages can be ready for the arrival of bad weather and have chosen summertime to get people thinking about it.  New initiatives can take a while to organise, so whilst thoughts may be on ice lollies, it’s also worth considering icy conditions on paths and roads in later months”.

Rural Action Yorkshire (RAY) will be attending several country shows and events, including the North Yorkshire Show and Ryedale Show.  Visitors will be able to find out about how they can set up a Winter Weather Agent scheme in their village and address the needs of vulnerable neighbours and residents.

RAY has also recently launched a new publication to help parish councils and community groups to set up local schemes, following a popular programme which has been run in 24 rural communities this winter, with funding from the Department of Health via North Yorkshire County Council.

Winter weather poses various problems for rural residents and the ‘Winter Weather Agents’ project received many requests for help with equipment and materials for clearing snow and ice and for gritting.  Teams of volunteers can be set up to ensure that the most vulnerable residents can access shops and local facilities.  Communities have also been given help with identifying who needs help and whether befriending services need setting up, or a 4x4 rota for emergency transport.

Anyone spotting the RAY snowman should come and talk to the Rural Action Yorkshire team to find out more.  There is also information about Winter Weather Agents on RAY’s website: www.ruralyorkshire.org.uk

 [ENDS]

Editor’s notes

To arrange an interview, or for images, please contact Rebecca Craven on 0845 313 0270.

Rural Action Yorkshire

Based at Askham Bryan, near York, RAY is one of 37 Rural Community Councils in England.  It isan independent charitable and voluntary organisation working across rural areas of North, South and West Yorkshire and the City of York, to help communities improve the quality of life for all people living and working in rural Yorkshire. Key work includes:

* Providing advice and grant support for sustainable multi-use community buildings, which can act as a focal point for village services

* Helping local communities carry out community led plans, which identify the strengths and weaknesses of village life and plan how the local community sees future development taking place

RAY and the other rural community councils in England form the Rural Community Action Network (RCAN).