Coronavirus York: How to help | YorkMix

Coronavirus York: How to help in York| YorkMix
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How to use your house

Most of us didn’t get a user guide to the home, so some residents have written one. It’s a living document. Please let us know how we can improve it, in the comments below.

For example, did you know your windows have a built in wedge, that you can use to prop them open. Useful, if you need fresh more air while self isolating!

We think we are all really lucky to live in such beautifully designed homes that have many ‘green’ features. Some of those features were new to many of us, so we have put together these simple and non-technical user guides to our homes. 

We have based this very general guidance on our experiences and research. While many features of our homes are the same, there are also quite a lot of variations, so you may find differences in your place. However, we hope this guide gives you a good starting point. It is offered to you in the spirit of neighbourliness and community — we obviously can’t accept any liability for actions you take based on these guides! 

We welcome further questions and your feedback. Please email

Welcome to Derwenthorpe

Doors and Windows

Insulation and Heating

Putting up pictures and shelves

Thermostat panel instructions


Useful contact details

Water meters

BTW, please get in touch if you live in one of the flats. We’d love to be able to add some more useful information for residents of the flats.


Support for self-isolation

We’re looking at ways to support each other through the covid-19 (coronavirus) crisis. In particular, how can we help people who are self-isolating, or practicing social distancing.

If you’ve got any ideas, please add them in the comments below.

In addition there’s this list of list of boredom busting resources


Derwenthorpe Residents’ Association

Welcome to our new web site. We’ve put this up to allow us to be more responsive to events, and let more people participate. Please let us know if you’d like to be able to post messages here on behalf of the Residents Association, or a community group.

Covid-19: We’ve set up the “Derwenthorpe Neighbour Support Network” to safely help residents who may be isolated or worried.

All the old web site content is at and we’ll be reviewing and migrating that as time permits.


Mapping the estate

We’ve published a Derwenthorpe Map, to get your bearings.

For more detailed mapping, search for “Derwenthorpe” at – the most up to date mapping system – you can edit it like wikipedia. Edits here sometimes get picked up by Google Maps, so if you make changes then please report them to Google, Apple, and other map systems.


Developing the Derwenthorpe Community

Three Wednesday evenings in October 2017 saw a series of talks and discussions organised by residents. These were supported by a small grant from the DRA community pot. The aims of these were to inform all residents of the vision and planning for Derwenthorpe, and then to discuss how we would like to shape how our community develops.  All were very well attended with between 50 and 60 people at each session.

Steven Burkeman, a trustee of JRHT and Derwenthorpe resident, gave the first talk, giving a detailed and interesting account of JRHT’s vision for the estate and some of the obstacles and difficulties which affected the outcome.  He described how the vision, which began life in 1991, had three priorities – to build a strong mixed community; to build one which was environmentally sustainable; and a model that others would find useful.  He pointed out that much has been achieved such as a lovely space, good quality housing, and a high level of community activity. The text of Steven’s talk can be found here:

The second talk was given by Richard Partington, the architect for Derwenthorpe.  He said how pleased he was to have been involved in the project as few clients are interested in building sustainable, well designed houses.  He spoke about how important design of houses and spaces are in helping build communities, and how JRHT trustees defended the original vision. The general style was European, with taller houses creating more inside space.  He admitted that as the development grew, there were some compromises made because of the overall costs.

The third session was an interactive discussion designed to give residents an opportunity to contribute to how the community might develop.  The 60 people present were divided into small groups to discuss their ideas which were then captured on large sheets of paper.  The evening was very successful with many ideas including activities for children, ways of improving the environment, and fun evenings. Photographs of the posters produced at the meeting can be found in this Dropbox folder, and a report on the meeting can be found here.