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Sunday Email: Issue 33

Hello and welcome to the 33rd issue of this regular Sunday email. I hope you find the email contents interesting and informative. As usual, get in touch with me if you have any news or information that you think Topcliffe and Asenby residents might like to hear about.


07785 223707

The latest Covid situation

Yesterday the UK’s official Covid-19 death toll was just short of 52,000. The average age of people who have died with Covid is above 80 with more than nine in 10 of the deaths among the over 65s, according to Office for National Statistics analyses of the pandemic. Deaths among the under 45s have been low at only a few hundred, including six children under the age of 14.

Confirmed cases of the virus started rising again in July, with the rate of growth increasing sharply in September and October. Yesterday, the government announced a further 27,000 confirmed cases in one day and a total of 1.35million cases since the pandemic began. Despite this, since the start of the current lockdown there are some signs of a slowdown in the rate of growth. That, together with the prospect of a vaccine on the horizon, offers hope that the rising numbers will slow, perhaps eventually to almost a stop.

We are into our second week of this second period of lockdown and whether we like it or not are having to get used of the restrictions on our day to day lives. A recipient of these Sunday messages drew to my attention a video featuring BBC Health Correspondent Laura Foster and suggested it should be included here for viewing. It is a quick guide to what we can still do in lockdown and is an interesting presentation that’s worth watching.

Book a Coronavirus test locally

Testing sites in North Yorkshire are operated and managed by the Department of Health and Social Care and private contractors employed by them. The Department is asking the public only to get a test if they are directed to do so by NHS Test and Trace or other NHS services – OR – if they have symptoms. This is important to ensure that those people who need tests the most can be prioritised.

This list only shows the testing sites closest to where we live. These are government operated sites and they are open between 11am and 3pm. The full list of North Yorkshire sites can be viewed on the county council’s website at

  • Every day – Harrogate – Dragon Road Car Park, Dragon Road, Harrogate, HG1 5DB
  • Monday 16 November – Northallerton – Newby Wiske Hall, Northallerton, North Yorkshire, DL7 9HA
  • Tuesday 17 November – Richmond – Round Howe Car Park, Reeth Road, Richmond, DL10 4TL
  • Wednesday 18 November – Scarborough – Scarborough Park and Ride, Seamer Road, Scarborough, YO12 4LW
  • Thursday 19 November – Richmond – Round Howe Car Park, Reeth Road, Richmond, DL10 4TL
  • Friday 20 November – Northallerton – Newby Wiske Hall, Northallerton, North Yorkshire, DL7 9HA
  • Sunday 22 November – Richmond – Round Howe Car Park, Reeth Road, Richmond, DL10 4TL
  • Sunday 22 November – Thirsk – Millgate Car Park, Marage Road, Thirsk, YO7 1PE

Before you attend you must book a test. Tests can be booked from 8pm the night before. If test sites are fully booked they will not appear on the government’s website. To book a test visit:

In certain cases, home test kits can be delivered to someone’s door so they can test themselves and their family without leaving the house. There’s a link on the North Yorkshire County Council website to request a home test –

Buy local when you can

One important thing we can all do during this crisis is to buy local when we are shopping online. We can look to local businesses, and there are hundreds of great local businesses and retailers registered on the North Yorkshire Buy Local directory. This is a great place to start for whatever you need: food deliveries, Christmas presents or trades people. Please do look close to home first.

Blankets made from crisp packets!

Last week Topcliffe resident Joanne Brierley flagged up an interesting project she’d heard about on BBC Radio York. They had been reporting on an amazing story about a group in Scarborough who make survival blankets out of crisps packets (the type with foil inside). Joanne thinks it is a fantastic idea, not only because it is an easy way to recycle, but also because it potentially will help those who are homeless. Having contacted the group in Scarborough, Joanne has agreed to collect crisp packets locally to support the project. She is now inviting villagers to help her by saving crisp packets, washing them and passing them on to her. It’s important that the bags aren’t ripped as they can only be used for blankets if they are a complete rectangle. Ring Joanne on 07732 941758 to arrange pick-up or delivery. If you want to know more, including how these blankets are made, check out the group on Facebook – ‘Scarborough Survival Blankets & Bivi Group’.

GPs stop prescribing medicines that can be bought over the counter

Some people might have missed this! As of 1 October 2020 GPs in North Yorkshire are no longer prescribing medicines that patients can buy themselves from a pharmacy or supermarket for minor health conditions such as coughs, colds, aches and pains. This does not affect the prescribing of over the counter medication for long term or more complex conditions or where minor illness are a symptom or side effect of a more serious condition.

Last year, the NHS in North Yorkshire spent nearly £4 million on prescription items that are available over-the-counter. Across the NHS, it’s around £140 million. By reducing the amount of money it spends on over-the-counter medicines, the NHS says it can give priority to treatments for people with more serious conditions such as cancer, diabetes and mental illness. The NHS says buying medicines over-the-counter for minor health concerns from your local pharmacy or supermarket, rather than obtaining them on prescription, can make more efficient use of NHS resources and free up more GP appointments for people who need them most.

Topcliffe Christmas Tree and Decorations

This year our village Christmas Tree is being kindly donated by Debbie Roberts, Hannah Alderson and Kerry Parker of The Milk Churn Farm Shop. It will be arriving on the 23rd November and a team of volunteers is lined up to position it and add decorations. Last year, the first year we had a community tree in the village, we collected together a few decorations and lights but we haven’t enough to properly decorate the larger size tree we are getting this year. So, we would like to ask if anyone would like to donate any spare decorations or battery/solar lights they might have. They must be suitable for outside use, of course. We are also wondering if children in the village would like to make decorations to be put on the tree. Jenny Bumby, who lives in Rangimarie on Long Street (between the Surgery and Barningham’s Farm) is coordinating decorations so if you could leave anything at her house that would be greatly appreciated. Lockdown and restrictions allowing we hope to have a carol service at the tree in December. More on that in the near future.

Care for Christmas

Herriot Hospice Homecare (HHH) has launched a ‘Care for Christmas’ campaign which aims to raise funds and awareness of its services in the community over Christmas and beyond. Their dedicated teams are working tirelessly to deliver vital hospice care services, support for NHS colleagues and assistance for the wider community. In this time of crisis more support than ever is required. The campaign features three fun and easy fundraising activities, which encourage people to keep active and connected throughout lock down:

1. Christmas night in – in light of many Christmas parties being cancelled, HHH can provide you resources for households to have a fun virtual Christmas night in. They include a best/worst Santa jumper competition, a sure way to bring plenty of smiles and laughter to your team it includes a quiz. In return, HHH simply asks for a donation of the savings you would have spent on a night out!

2. E-cards – HHH can provide bespoke Herriot Hospice Homecare e-cards to send to your colleagues, family and friends. This is a great way to show you’re supporting your community by being affiliated with your local charity as well as being environmentally conscious.

3. Christmas challenge – whether it’s step based, running or walking HHH is challenging you to get active. You could raise some smiles in a festive outfit, for example. In return for your donation or getting sponsored you will receive a special Santa medal if you raise £50 or more. HHH also has a limited supply of Santa hats, which are available on a first come, first serve basis.

Support of this campaign will help HHH care for more local families living with terminal illnesses and bereavement across Hambleton in a very challenging environment. To receive a free pack, contact Lucy on 01609 777413 or email To donate please visit the website at

Christmas at The Elm Gallery

The Elm Gallery is temporarily closed during lockdown, so Liz and Dave can’t allow anyone into the gallery. However, they can arrange collection of things from the door at agreed times and if you see something in the window that you want to buy, they can bring it to the door for you. The best way to see new things is to follow their Facebook page: mailto:lizanddave

The Milk Churn Farm Shop

• Customers may order meat and veg boxes, as well as fresh bread, dairy products and fish, via the telephone and we can make arrangements for collections or deliveries to Topcliffe and Asenby households. We’d be grateful for a couple of days’ notice before food boxes are ready. Payment is preferred by bank transfer, but cash can be accepted if necessary. Ring 01845 400446 to order and talk through the payment steps. You can see what is on offer by visiting

• Orders for Christmas are now being taken. This includes free range turkeys, turkey crowns, real Christmas trees, handmade wreaths by Lavender & Bee, plus everything for a full festive lunch or dinner. Examples of the Christmas puddings and Christmas cakes that can be ordered are now on display. Both have a gluten free option.

• Orders are now being taken for Christmas hampers from The Little Yorkshire Hamper Company, the Milk Churn’s sister company. There’s a fantastic range of hampers in a wide range of sizes and prices. Call in at the farm shop for more information or to place an order. Alternatively, check out the hamper website at

Current opening times are Monday to Saturday 9-5pm, Thursday 9-1pm and Sunday closed.

St. Columba’s Church

The church is closed for private prayer and is unable to organise services at this time. The next scheduled service will be a Choral Evensong at 6.30pm on Sunday, 6 December unless the rules regarding church openings change in the meanwhile.

Asenby Parish Council Meeting

Asenby Parish Council will meet online at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 18 November. Information will be available before the meeting from the Parish Clerk via email on and details will also be made available on the village website at (Please note the change of time. It is definitely 7.30pm and not 7pm as previously publicised).

The Angel

The Angel at Home take-out menu is available Wednesday-Friday 5-9pm; 3-9pm on Saturday and 12-8pm on Sundays. Our special offers for the coming week is: buy a main course, get the second half price Wednesday-Friday and add a dessert to your main course for £2 only on Saturday and Sunday. Thank you all for your support so far, we are now all set up for Christmas and can’t wait to welcome you again. See their website- – for more details and call 01845 578000 to pre-order.

The Swan

Closed for the duration of the lockdown.

Bin Collections

Hambleton (Topcliffe):

• Recycling and green bins – Thursday, 19 and 30 November.

The 30 November will be last collection of green waste until 11 January (the Christmas tree collection). Normal collections resume 25 February. Subscriptions for 2021 open in January 2021

• Refuse – Monday, 23 November

Harrogate (Asenby):

• Refuse – Mondays, 16 and 30 November

• Garden waste – Thursday, 19 November.

The 19 November will be the final garden waste collections of this year. Normal service will resume on Thursday 12 March. Subscriptions for 2021 will open in January 2021.

• Recycling – Monday, 23 November

That’s all until next Sunday. Stay at home, keep safe and remain well.