Our Plague year

Now, the ability to organise large scale events seems redundant in a pandemic, but the skills we’ve learnt over the years as event coordinators have been put to good use during the pandemic.

The York Conferences team spent 2020, (or as it will soon be known the year that shall not be named) pitching in and organising the volunteering and welfare efforts run by the University for both the students on campus and the local community. So here’s what York Conferences did during plague year:

University of York Central Hall

NHS training day

One event we did manage was our socially distanced NHS training day back in August Putting on any event in 2020 was a rarity, but we were lucky enough to host this amazing training day for our NHS heroes. This event also gave us the ability to test run all of our social distancing protocols for conferences and events going forward, and it did so well, we welcomed them back last month for a second event! Proof that events can work no matter what the circumstances.

Multitasking madness

We pitched in wherever we could and with campus on lockdown and some staff unable to work, there was a lot to do!. Our team rolled up their sleeves and led a team of amazing volunteers to help keep the University running smoothly. We became expert cleaners, dashing drivers and laundry legends and helped build and organise a non symptomatic testing centre on campus!

We worked with Morrison’s to arrange food deliveries to isolating students on and off campus to ensure they were provided with essential groceries, especially over the holiday period, which brings us to…

Goodie bags and christmas hampers

The holidays are hard when you can’t get home, so when students couldn’t leave campus due to restrictions on travel, we stepped up to help make their time in lockdown a lot better. Working with YCL Catering, York Sport and local Nisa stores, we pulled together a goodie bag filled with treats, competitions, decorations and Monopoly (because what better way to help students who can’t leave the house than by starting an argument!)

To make Christmas even more bearable we arranged some special christmassy hampers to be delivered from Morrisons, to all students both on and off campus to spread the festive cheer! Over 2,000 Christmas hampers, catering to individual dietary requirements and taste were delivered in time for everyone’s first Christmas lockdown!

We have continued into 2021 providing care packages for students who are required to isolate, thankfully the numbers are continually decreasing, week on week.

And now with Boris announcing that we have stared down the road out of lockdown we will be bringing you updates on how we are going to reopen, including something special we canโ€™t wait to share with you. Until then, stay safe!