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Listener Choice Awards 2017

Voting is now open in the first round of the There When You Need Them category of Minster FM's Listener Choice Awards 2017 sponsored by Switch Networks

You can read all about each of our entrants below and vote for your favourite at the bottom of the page.  Voting for the first round closes on Sunday September 24th at 23:59.  Following this, the top six will go through to the final round of voting with the winner announced at our Listener Choice Awards ceremony on Monday November 6th.


The entries are as provided by the nominees.


The Nominees

Be Independent

Be Independent's mission is simple - to promote lifelong independence. They provide services and equipment that help people maintain their independence and continue to live at home. These services re-define care delivery and offers people a future they can look forward to, whatever their circumstances, through life enhancing solutions. Be Independent have range of services including Telecare response services, equipment loan & purchases and an Accessible accommodation service to name a few. Being a social enterprise, Be Independent are a business with a purpose - supporting people to live independently in their own homes for as long as possible.

Why Should You Win?

Be Independent support thousands of people in York with their response services, helping them to remain in their own home with the reassurance that they are there if customers need them. Many people find it comforting to know that help is there should they need it, allowing them to maintain their independence. Be Independent help people in all sorts of circumstances including people who worry about living alone, people with long term health conditions or disabilities, they just need to press a button and Be Independent will get them the help that they need- be that contacting a family member or sending out one of their mobile responders. Be Independent are changing lives for the better in York and aim to help many more people live safely and happily as part of their community for years to come. There are thousands of people across the city who go to bed each night and wake each morning knowing that Be Independent are there for them, or the person they care for, day and night.


Birchlands Care Home Haxby

Committed to providing a homely environment where the care received by loved ones is delivered with kindness and compassion and our residents are treated with the utmost dignity and respect. Our people are at the core of our values and our staff receive training and development that is primarily focussed on the delivery of true person centred care.

Why Should You Win?

Birchlands really care for their residents, nothing is too much trouble for staff even thier catering needs, if there is nothing in stock the chef will go out and purchase from local stores. The residents look forward to thier annual events. The religous needs are also looked after. The staff provide lots of co-ordinated activities to keep residents busy.


Bluebird Care (York)

We are one of the nation’s leading home care and live in care providers. We deliver the services you want, how you want them, in the comfort of your own home. We provide homecare services throughout the city of York and surrounding villages. Bluebird Care has been providing care to people of all ages in their own homes since 2011 and has gained an enviable reputation for delivering top quality care.

Why Should You Win?

We are there when you need us. Our dedicated staff are committed to making a positive difference to peoples lives. Our services support you to maintain your chosen lifestyle. We believe that each customer is unique, with their own individual preferences and needs. So, we keep you in control and provide you with the home care and support that you want, where and when you want it. It’s your life and your care, so it must be your way. Our customers say we are “head and shoulders above the rest”. 100% of our staff say they are proud to work for us. What makes us different is that we put our customers first and aim to give them the same level of care that we would give to our own families


JLB Driving School

I make learning to drive stress free & fun. I'll always go that extra mile to help wherever I can. My reviews on Facebook kinda speak for themselves. Making driving safe & very enjoyable. Thanks!

Why Should You Win?

I feel that I should win because I'm more than just a driving instructor. I'm a shoulder to cry on, a friend, a voice of reason. Nothing is too much trouble for my pupils. Teaching to drive is only part of my job. I love my job.


Make It York

Our purpose, is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally - as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. Our remit covers leisure and business tourism, city centre management, festivals and events, business support and inward investment. Our Visit York team promotes the city as a world-class visitor destination, our business team promotes the city as a brilliant place to do business, supporting business growth and Science City York supports the city and its surroundings’ creative, science and technology businesses. Since forming in 2015, as the city’s new destination management organisation, we have worked hard to deliver on our mission to improve York’s competitiveness and effectiveness for the benefit of its communities and businesses. We’ve attracted new events such as the popular Great Yorkshire Fringe, Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre (pending planning) and the upcoming York Balloon Fiesta. We’re committed to bringing new entertainment options to the city and last year we introduced a new culture awards for York, so that we could reward and acknowledge the talent that is right here in the city. Make It York was also instrumental in bringing about the York Business Improvement District (the York BID) which works in close partnership with us, to help enhance the city environment, help create a safer city and support local businesses.

Why Should You Win?

Here’s just a small flavour of some of our recent activity…. • Facilitated £74k grant support for companies so far this year - 35 in the pipeline • Helped 91 local business start-ups • Supported 188 flooded businesses (this work carried on right through to March 2017), facilitating £336, 632 (York/North Yorkshire) of grant support • This flooding assistance involved co-ordinating the flood grant response. Our team has kept close contact with local businesses, continuing to support them • Out team has had 140 face to face business meetings so far this year, in 13 main sectors across the city to identify issues facing the business community; skills, training, recruitment • Our tourism team supports 630 tourism businesses across York and North Yorkshire • 300,000 viewers tuned in to watch our ‘York- the Original City’ adventure video – helping to bring vital income into the city • We’re helping to put York on the map through our innovative marketing and PR campaigns • Every year we help up to half a million residents and visitors at the Visitor Information Centre, 1 Museum Street • The annual York Residents Festival attracted up to 20,000 visits in January 2017 • We introduced a new residents’ newsletter; 7 Days in York, to help keep local people informed about what’s on • We’re working hard to transform the Shambles Market and the newly created Shambles Food Court has been welcomed by visitors and residents • Unesco City of Media Arts designation offers a great opportunity for York and we’re working closely with the Guild of Media Arts to deliver a new international arts festival for York in 2018 – the York Mediale Science City York supports the creative, digital, bio and agri tech sectors and we’ve launched a new Stimulating Innovation Project to enable these businesses to bring new products and innovation to market.


Nuffield Health York hospital

Nuffield Health York hospital offers rapid access to hospital treatment that you can pay for yourself. We are also licenced to deliver orthopaedic surgery on the NHS as well as a number of bone density and MRI scans to help manage waiting lists in the local area. As a not for profit organisation we can reinvest all of our surplus back in to services and facilities to enable us to keep delivering high quality healthcare to the people of York

Why Should You Win?

We build our service on feedback from our patients. As a not for profit organisation we can take our surplus and reinvest it in to the services and facilities that the people of York tell us they need. In recent times we have built a new static MRI suite and initiated a private spinal surgery service, both of which are firsts for the City of York. To reflect our service levels the Care and Quality Commission have recently inspected our hospital and marked it as 'Good' across all categories of assessment. Nuffield Health has also just been awarded the 'Healthcare provider of the year 2017' award at the recent Health Investor awards. We continue to look for the services and consultants that can offer a supportive programme of care to the local NHS in line with the local healthcare solution. In short if patients need us, we are here to offer an exceptional service at the time of need, whether that be on a private basis or as an orthopaedic NHS patient.


Spectrum Solicitors

Spectrum Solicitors is a friendly legal practice based in Malton and Leeds. Spectrum is a specialist practice dealing in property, family law and wills We deal with all types of property transaction from buying a house, or selling one, to developers looking to dispose of large volumes of properties.

Why Should You Win?

Moving house is stressful. This is mainly because solicitors are intimidating, slow to respond and expensive. Thankfully we are NOT NORMAL solicitors! When was the last time you heard of a solicitor who could complete end to end in 13 days? How many Malton solicitors are still open at 5.30pm (hint: that’ll just be us). We know that we are the only local firm actively promoting free advice and running ‘drop in’ sessions. We offer signposting to other professionals and we support local businesses, often leading to long standing relationships. Our costs are uber-competitive and we’re so proud of them we put them on the wall. There are no hidden charges and you can get a quote online that is actually the quote you end up paying - Radical I know! It’s hard to make solicitors ‘sexy’, we’re not a tech start-up, but what we’re doing would be labelled ‘disruptive’ in any other industry. We are trying to change perceptions about what a solicitor is and can do for you, and we are trying to make good quality legal advice accessible to all.


St Leonard's Hospice

St Leonard’s Hospice is an independent charity providing specialist palliative care and support for local people with life-limiting illnesses. We have an In-patient Unit, Sunflower Centre and Hospice@Home service. In this relaxed and friendly environment, every patient is recognised and treated as an individual. With our support, patients are able to enjoy the best possible quality of life. Our care also extends to support families and carers. In addition to a team of highly experienced doctors and nurses, we have specialists in a wide range of roles including complementary therapy, lymphoedema care, physiotherapy, social work, bereavement, occupational therapy and spiritual care. Our care is free of charge to patients and their families but not free to provide. As a charity we rely heavily on the generosity of the public to help raise just over £5 million that it costs to run St Leonard’s Hospice each year. This equates to £574 for every hour of every day. Although St Leonard’s does get some public funding, this would only fund the Hospice until mid-April, after which point the annual running costs rely on donations, events, fundraising and support from the local community.

Why Should You Win?

A hospice can seem like a scary place as, often, it means you or someone you love is nearing end of life. Patients and their families and carers often speak of how our staff were there when they needed it the most, and made things a lot easier at often one of the most difficult periods in their life. As well as the In-patient Unit, our newly redeveloped Sunflower Centre enables us to see patients a lot earlier in diagnosis and our Hospice@Home services gives patients the choice of receiving hospice care in their own home. Our care extends to families and carers too through the Sunflower Centre and then bereavement support following the death of their loved one. In 2016/17 we had 281 patients on the In-patient Unit, 933 individual attendances through the Sunflower Centre and Hospice@Home saw 498 patients in their own home. We have also been delivering end of life care training to organisations across the Vale of York including nursing and care homes, a homeless organisation, Benedictine convent and a Monastery. Last year we were inspected by the Care Quality Commission and we were delighted to receive an ‘Outstanding’ rating.



Washempress is a family run, service only laundry for washing and ironing, who's staff aim to go above and beyond for there clients.

Why Should You Win?

I feel we should win because we are amazing and a listener of minster fm. Not only do we provide a washing service but we are very helpful and listen to our customers intently. My mum purchased this business in 2009 when it wasn't at it's busiest and ready to close down, she has turned this business around with hard work and determination and turned it into a profitable business that provides a comfortable, relaxed, friendly atmosphere for all of be it to have washing/ironing done or for those who simply come in and have a chat.


York Mumbler

Yorkmumbler.com is a local website with everything you could want to know about being a parent in York. York Mumbler started as a FB group when owner, Emily Pickard, was expecting her first baby in 2012. The group now has 15,000+ members. It is about support, kindness & top tips from local parents. All types of parenting related questions are asked on there.  The website launched in 2015 with information on the most frequently asked questions such as 'where can I eat out with the kids' 'what's going on in York in the school holidays' and 'what classes can I go to with my toddler' among many others. The website now covers 27 different areas including more diverse but very popular areas like 'jobs for parents', ‘trusted trades’ and 'support & services' that lists a whole range of organisations & individuals who can help the parents of York when they need it the most. York Mumbler also runs events including a Free activity day, nearly new sales and the Big Weekend at Piglets where we raised over £1,000 for York Sands last year.  The Facebook group, website & events are all about making family life in York that bit easier. 

Why Should You Win?

York Mumbler is all about being there for local parents whenever they need it. Founder, Emily Pickard, felt passionately that York Mumbler would be a POSITIVE place where parents support and encourage each other at, what can be, a difficult time for anyone. There are a number of rules in the group but the main one is ‘BE KIND!’ With this as the backbone, there is an incredible amount of support and kindness there for all parent members no matter what time of day or night they post. A parent who is struggling to settle their newborn child at 3am.. when it feels like the rest of the world is asleep, can post on mumbler and immediately get a number of supportive comments. Just knowing that there are others out there in the same boat can be a lifeline. York Mumbler has been described as this on a huge number of occasions. Emily also posts anonymously on behalf of members when they really need advice but don’t want to reveal their identity. We believe this is the only service like this available to the parents of York and has proven invaluable on so many occasions. The website is updated daily and is extremely easy to use so parents are always able to find what they are looking for at any time of day.


York Vets4Pets

York Vets4Pets is a well equipped veterinary practice with a committed team of highly qualified and experienced colleagues. We pride ourselves on delivering outstanding patient care 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and providing complete and clear information to our clients, working with them to determine the best possible care for their pets. We are proud to be able to offer this excellent service to our clients and their pets, when ever they may need us, for the same price, day or night.

Why Should You Win?

We understand what an important part of your life, your pet is and we strongly believe in putting your pet first and treating them as we would our own, whenever they might need us. Our dedicated team of vets, nurses, veterinary care assistants and receptionist are at the practice, every day and night of the year, so that our clients can feel confident in the knowledge that their pet will always receive the care they require.


Yorkshire Doctors Urgent Care

Out of hours general practice service for York Selby Malton and Scarborough, that also runs the minor injury unit in Malton and the urgent care centre in Scarborough, supports some practices with telephone answering as well. Mainly deals with urgent general practice problems that cannot wait until your own GP is available.

Why Should You Win?

We took over the service in 2015, and have introduced a number of innovations to improve the urgent care service, supporting A/E in seeing primary care patients, appointments to rationalise patient waiting times, a better skill mix and working environment and demonstrably better patient care than was previously offered. Working in partnership with all the other community services we cover the 115 hours a week when your own GP isn't there to deal with urgent matters. We're the safety net you hope you never have to use, but want to be robust when necessary.



 York Rescue Boat

York Rescue Boat is a charity set up to provide a physical and proactive commitment to furthering the safety of the rivers in and around York.

We patrol the rivers Ouse and Foss in York on a Friday and Saturday evening through to the early hours, plus on patrol for special requests and further afield.  We regularly attend schools, colleges, universities and other groups on request with a programme of water safety education and awareness.  In addition we have a fully trained team on stand-by as an auxiliary service for Search & Rescue and community flood assistance.

We also provide a 24/7 call out team to assist North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue with water based incidents. We regularly train including for land based rescues utilising throw bags, conducting foot and boat based missing person searches along the rivers, swim and Flood / Swift water rescues. 

This year the 29 Operational Team members have attended 59 incidents, volunteered 3150 Operational hours and 1600 Training hours. In total, including the non-Operational Team, York Rescue Boat volunteers have donated just over 7000 volunteer hours to help keep the residents and visitors to York safe near the rivers.

York Rescue Boat also provide a National Flood Rescue Team alongside other Surf Life Saving GB (SLSGB) Flood Response Teams. They were last called out in January this year to coastal flooding in Scarborough and responded nationally in 2015 during storm Desmond and Eva.

Why Should You Win?

Our dedicated team of volunteers give up thousands of hours of their own time to try and make the rivers of York safer. We are always asked about how many hours we volunteer a year, how much does it cost to run York Rescue Boat etc, but for the team there is only one figure that is important, and that is one, if all the hard work that we do saves one person’s life then everything else has been worth it.

Last year the team undertook over 12,000 volunteer hours on fundraising events and operational activities, this does not include the many hours not recorded in the planning, preparation and background tasks that are needed to be completed to keep the organisation running, which without such an enthusiastic and committed team would not be done. Not one person gets paid for their time all monies raised goes back in to the organisation for training and equipment. All this on top of their day jobs.

Listener Choice: There When You Need Them

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