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York is recognized as a city that elevates and supports citizen engagement and volunteerism. The city offers a broad range of volunteering opportunities to its citizens, from looking after green areas to mentoring fellow residents. York makes it possible for people of all ages and backgrounds to volunteer in the city to help others, develop their own skills, and gain new experiences.

The city is at the start of its journey to becoming an asset-based place that focuses on citizen’s abilities, rather than their inabilities. With this approach in mind, York plans to build strong and resilient communities by harnessing the untapped skills of its people through its active citizen engagement and volunteerism programs.

York has been a member of the Cities of Service coalition since 2016.

City of York Council Chief Executive Mary Weastell

Mary has lead responsibility for the strategic direction of City of York Council, supporting members on ensuring delivery of its key priorities for the city and also delivery of excellent quality of services for the communities and residents of York. She works in partnership with key stakeholders to ensure the city realises its ambitions and everyone reaches their full potential for the city and surrounding neighbourhoods to be great places to live, enjoy life, study and work.

Mary has a number of lead Chief Executive regional roles including Tourism and Culture and Flooding. Mary is also sub regional Chief Executive representative for housing for North Yorkshire, York and East Riding.

Head of Commissioning Joe Micheli

As Head of Commissioning, Joe Micheli leads the early intervention, prevention, and community development programs in the city, including Local Area Coordination. Joe previously worked as the head of service for stronger communities at Barnsley Council for 17 years, with responsibility for the development of the Council’s area arrangements and the Council’s Cities of Service program, which mobilizes volunteers to address local challenges. Previous roles have included head of social inclusion and lead on neighborhood renewal.

York CVS Chief Executive Alison Semmence

Alison Semmence is Chief Executive of York CVS and has over 20 years experience developing organisational strength and resilience in the Third Sector. Previously, she has worked as Director of Volunteer Centre Chelmsford, followed by CEO of SAVS, supporting the Voluntary and Community Sector in Southend. Alison’s expertise includes managing complex change, policy and strategy development, volunteer management, income generation and leadership.

She is passionate about volunteering and the role volunteers play in strengthening communities.

She joined York CVS in November 2018.