Our Vision, Mission & Values

York Fighting Coronavirus Together grew from a desire to support local communities during the pandemic. We sought charitable status to underpin our activities, in recognition that coronavirus will have long-lasting impacts. Accurate, timely information remains essential to help us support ourselves and each other.


Our vision for the York area is:

Improved wellbeing and a safer place for everyone, through local efforts that enable individuals and communities to identify needs arising from coronavirus and respond by accessing or providing support.


Our aim is to:

  • Support local action related to coronavirus, by working with public bodies,
  • businesses, charities and community-led organisations to create and share information with the people in the wider York area.
  • Provide relevant updates, signposting to official services, and an open apolitical forum for feedback and questions through a website, Facebook and other media.
  • Be an independent voice in the city, responding with agility to the changing coronavirus environment and community needs.

Enable local initiatives to:

  • prevent coronavirus transmission and aid medical responses to coronavirus assist those in the community who need support, particularly relating to physical, social, or emotional wellbeing, thereby enabling people’s fuller participation in society.
  • identify and address challenges and consequences arising from coronavirus.
  • To promote the development of capacity and skills in local people and organisations, including socially and economically disadvantaged members of the community affected directly or indirectly by coronavirus.


We believe that:

  • Local communities, organisations and businesses are better off when working together and supporting one another.
  • Better individual physical, social and emotional wellbeing benefits everyone.
  • Developing local capacity and skills will produce positive results for the wider Community.
  • Developing lasting connections through inclusive and respectful relationships improves resilience against future challenges.
  • Providing factual, accurate, up-to-date information from reliable sources ensures that people have a sound basis for making decisions.
  • Recognising uncertainties both transparently and honestly builds trust among the community.
  • Enabling people to listen to experts, challenge decisions, and join the city strategy conversation, while avoiding bias or partiality, enables a more unified approach to tackling coronavirus issues and a clearer plan for the York area.

Meet our Trustees

Rachel Bateson

Chair of trustees

As a recent arrival in York at the start of the pandemic, I found the information and community spirit of YFCT tremendously helpful and reassuring. I live in the Bishopthorpe Road area, having moved to the city with my role at the Science Museum Group. My career began at the National Audit Office, followed by several years in charity audit, ending as head of financial accounts for the National Offender Management Service. While in London I served on the trustee boards of two small local charities. After coming to York for a master’s degree in Medieval Archaeology, I decided to pursue a lifelong love of heritage and moved into museum project management. I was keen to be involved with YFCT and joined the trustee board in April 2020. Now as Chair, it is my privilege to lead the charity in continuing the work begun by the founding members, supporting local communities through information.

Jason Rose

Exec director & trustee

Just as the reality of COVID-19 was hitting York in March 2020, many people were asking themselves and others how they could help. I was one such person, getting in touch with a community group in the Bishopthorpe Road area that was the first to organise themselves in York and get local attention. With experience in York’s communities and boundaries and a career in management I was asked to help out with a few things – a few unexpected personal challenges and coronavirus developments later and I had founded the first coronavirus charity in the UK with a social media leadership team, Trustee Board, and a few thousand people offering to help. I stepped down as Chair in our September AGM to focus on the day-to-day operations as Executive Director reporting into the trustees.

I’m still amazed that with zero people paid to assist at any time we have had millions of social media interactions and supported thousands of people as part of a city-wide joint effort. In addition to the day-to-day engagement and coordination, I’m also responsible for regular updates on coronavirus statistics; a background in data analytics, politics, journalism and research has helped prepare me for the most unpredictable of circumstances. I’m very pleased to be able to help supply reliable and honest information to York residents and I’m extremely proud of all of the work that YFCT volunteers have done for the city.

Ebony Collier

Treasurer & Trustee

Having moved to York to study psychology, I decided to continue living here and have lived in the Holgate area for six years. The YFCT page and Holgate group were very valuable to me right from the very start of the COVID-19 pandemic as it was a centralised place to access all the information I needed. Lots of misinformation and contradictory information was around at the start of the pandemic and it was easy to become lost and confused. As an admin for a local community group on Facebook, I knew the value of supporting communities through social media and particularly vulnerable individuals. As someone passionate about improving and supporting my local community, I wanted to become more involved and became a trustee for YFCT in October 2021. I have a background in research, data analysis and working with numbers which I feel has helped my role as a trustee for YFCT.

David Swallow

Secretary & Trustee

I first became aware of YFCT from the weekly updates on Facebook, which I found illuminating and reassuring during the dark days of lockdown. It’s easy to drown in the complex, often conflicting data on Covid, so I was particularly impressed with how the team communicated important information in a clear, honest, and open way. It was also helpful to have something pertaining to our local area, as the picture can vary so much around the country.

I was keen to be involved with YFCT in whatever way I could and joined the trustee board in October 2021. While this is my first position as a trustee, I am also a parish councillor for Dunnington, which I feel has equipped me with the transferable skills, experience, and confidence to help run the charity in an effective and responsible way. I also work as a web accessibility consultant, creating accessible and inclusive experiences for people with disabilities, something I hope to draw on in my involvement with YFCT.

Hannah Swierstra


Having seen the difficulties the people of York and the city itself was facing in light of the pandemic, I wanted to become involved in supporting York. I soon joined the main and my local (Holgate) York Covid-19 Facebook group and found myself checking in daily to access essential information about the pandemic and the services in York. I could see how important it was to keep these lines of communication open and provide York residents with up to date, accurate information with respect to the pandemic along with the support and resources available to them.

I have experience of volunteering and running local community groups which include ‘day to day’ running alongside funding applications and organising people & things and felt I could put this to good use. Like Alice, I am a keen nature lover and have had an allotment for 5 years which I endeavour to make as wildlife friendly as possible.

Become a Trustee

We are currently seeking new members to join YFCT’s Board of Trustees.

What is a trustee?

Charity trustees play a key part in making sure that York Fighting Coronavirus Together is run in the interests of the people it is there to support.

Our vision for the York area is improved wellbeing and a safer place for everyone, through local efforts that enable individuals and communities to identify needs arising from coronavirus and respond by accessing or providing support.

The Board of Trustees are responsible for the overall governance and strategic direction of the charity, developing the organisations aims, objectives and goals in accordance with the governing document, legal and regulatory guidelines.

What are the duties of a trustee?

  • Ensuring that the organisation pursues its stated objects (purposes), as defined in its governing document, by developing and agreeing a long-term strategy
  • Ensuring that the organisation complies with its governing document (i.e. its trust deed, constitution or memorandum and articles of association), charity law, company law and any other relevant legislation or regulations
  • Ensuring that the organisation applies its resources exclusively in pursuance of its charitable objects (i.e. the charity must not spend money on activities that are not included in its own objects, however worthwhile or charitable those activities are) for the benefit of the public
  • Ensuring that the organisation defines its goals and evaluates performance against agreed targets
  • Safeguarding the good name and values of the organisation
  • Ensuring the effective and efficient administration of the organisation, including having appropriate policies and procedures in place
  • Ensuring the financial stability of the organisation
  • Protecting and managing the property of the charity and ensuring the proper investment of the charity’s funds
  • Following proper and formal arrangements for the appointment, supervision, support, appraisal and remuneration of the chief executive (if the charity employs staff)

What are we looking for?

We feel that it is important that our trustees should have:

  • Commitment to the values of the organisation
  • A willingness to devote the necessary time and effort
  • Strategic vision
  • Good, independent judgement
  • An ability to think creatively
  • The confidence to speak their mind
  • An understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship
  • An ability to work effectively as a member of a team

We are looking to strengthen our existing Board of Trustees with individuals from a variety of backgrounds and various life experiences. We are currently particularly interested in adding skills and experience in the medical or scientific sectors, but that is not a requirement. Please do let us know about your other skills or experiences.

Why become a trustee?

Being a trustee is a very rewarding role. As a trustee you have the chance to support and shape the work and strategic direction of YFCT and make a significant difference to helping us achieve our vision.

As a trustee, you are part of a team and will have the opportunity to apply your unique skills and experience while learning from others. Working closely with a passionate team of people who have different perspectives is often one of the most enjoyable aspects of the role.

Benefits of being a trustee:

  • Contributing to a great cause
  • Strategic experience
  • Professional networks
  • Developing skills and experience
  • Team working

How much time does being a trustee take?

We hold monthly Trustee Board Meetings online using conferencing software. Meetings are currently held on the third Thursday of the month from 6pm – 7.30pm.

At meetings we believe that it’s fair to share the workload, so it is usual for trustees to sometimes take on small amounts of work between meetings.

There is usually ongoing communication between meetings within Microsoft Teams, for which you will be given upon becoming a Trustee. The application is straightforward to use and in addition to enabling open structured conversations about individual topics it also allows secure document storage and editing and enables private messaging. Once you are set up with your account, one of the existing trustees will take you through how to use it.

I’m interested, what next?

Registering your interest in becoming a trustee couldn’t be simpler, please click the link below which will take you to the application form, once complete simply click submit. Once we have received your completed form one of the trustees will be in contact with you for a chat.

To become a trustee, you must be a member of the charity and so we collect the same information we do for our members. As such by registering your interest in becoming a trustee you will also be registering as a member of YFCT.

Click here to register your interest in becoming a trustee