It was in 1986 that a group of people active in the community felt that there were social needs in the locality that were not being met. The founder members met with what was then North Yorkshire Forum for Volunteer Organisations, to look to become part of the network of Community Care Associations, and with a grant from NYCC the group was formalised into a community care association with a committee chaired by Margaret Watkinson, which set out a constitution, registered with the Charity Commission, and set up a bank account.

The first development officer was appointed for 16 hours a week and space was rented in the parish room annexe in Tanpit Lane with a filing cabinet just fitting into the broom cupboard, and EDCCA was up and running. Feeling its way, initially a Newsletter was printed and circulated in the town and surrounding villages to spread the word. Next a volunteer driver scheme was set up, and amazingly twelve people signed up to drive clients to hospital appointments. Outgrowing the library, EDCCA moved to an office in the Galtres centre, and then outgrew that to move into office space at the County Council buildings in Manor Rd, what is now Spring Hill Court. When that closed, we moved to The Police House on Church Hill where we remain.

By this point EDCCA had taken on a person to run the volunteers and was soon taking on County Council and NHS contracts to run a day care centre at the Crabmill health centre; further it set up a mental health day centre in Kurt’s bar in the Galtres centre.

EDCCA now covers a large rural area from Coxwold in the north to Shipton by Beningbrough in the South, Brafferton in the west to Farlington in in the east, some 18 villages around Easingwold with a total population of around 20,000 people. Today the EDCCA team supports a whole range of activities. They are:

Carers Sitting Service, Befriending Service, Car Scheme, Minibus trips, Meals on Wheels, Collecting prescriptions and shopping, Foodbank and Food share, Hub Club for people living with Dementia, Let’s Cook! Poppets toddler group, Kids Activities in the holidays, Not Just Me group for anyone who is struggling, feeling overwhelmed or needs support as a carer, Men in Sheds, Tuesday Tea and Tarts, Boccia and Kurling in Tholthorpe and wheelchair hire. We also host a CA Welfare Benefits Advisor twice monthly to answer queries and help clients. During Covid, the local medical team vaccinated more than twelve thousand local people, EDCCA volunteers provided all the stewarding, which enabled the whole operation to run smoothly and to time.

In addition to these key services, EDCCA co-ordinates ad hoc peer support groups such as Knit and Natter and a Crossword Club and signpost enquirers to other organisations or services that offer the support they need. We also have a host of information leaflets giving all manner of information.

The original five founders, together with the committee chairpersons who have steered EDCCA over the years, Margaret Watkinson, Micky Johnson, Percy Featherstone, Christine Cookman and Dr Stuart Parker, have left a huge and positive legacy to this district, let us ensure it continues and flourishes.