What is community?

Somewhere where everyone belongs, feels accepted, valued and plays a part. Somewhere you know your neighbours and you feel safe to explore, challenge and try out new things together. Where you’re always happy to lend a hand or a cup of sugar as required. Differences are embraced, learning and visions are shared.

What does it mean to you?

We care. Here at the Priory Street Centre we are a voluntary sector and community hub. We have a children’s nursery, a suite of conference rooms including our elegant main hall and a sunny courtyard where you can have a slab of cake from Ann’s weekly café run by Brunswick Organic Nursery, weather permitting.

We host groups, activities and events as varied as meditation, 5 Rhythms, circle dancing, big formal conferences, yoga, tai chi, and everything in between.

We are proud to be home to Healthwatch York, as well as 19 charitable organisations, including YHLCOSA, Survive, and Older Citizen’s Advice York. We also provide a voice for our city community through our Forums.

For us, community involves creating opportunities and removing barriers. It means inclusion, being a part of something bigger. It is our band of willing volunteers being Ready for Anything if an emergency strikes. It is taking a stroll down memory lane together in a reminiscence session run by our social prescribing project Ways to Wellbeing – cream scones essential– in order to tackle social isolation. It is a frenzy of grinning children scrambling up trees and creating bug hotels on the allotments at Forest School.

It’s challenging the stigma about mental ill health through our Time to Talk Campaign or working together for equality, creating a friendlier, fairer place to live with York Dementia Action Alliance and York Human Rights City.

It is noticing when a colleague is looking a bit flustered in the office and taking two minutes out to put the kettle on, be a listening ear.

Community is nurturing. For us it means getting together, planting stuff and marvelling as it grows. It’s feeling safe navigating what can feel like the wilderness. And of course, not being afraid to get muddy along the way.

What does York’s Community Skyline look like?

A colourful caterpillar of all the fabulous community spaces in York in a wiggly zigzag.

What community places and spaces are important to you?

  • All our lovely parks: Rowntree, Glen Gardens…
  • Our splendid main hall
  • Yearsley Swimming Pool
  • The Golden Ball pub – community run
  • Tang Hall Community Centre
  • St Clements Hall
  • New Earswick Folk Hall
  • Allotments and paths through them
  • Space outside the art gallery
  • Museum gardens (plus new edible plants bit)