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York Cultural Values is a learning process to better understand the health of the systems and services which respond to those experiencing multiple complex needs.

A survey ran throughout August 2020 in the midst of the pandemic, and asked people about their personal values. It asked what motivates them, what is and isn’t working in the current culture/environment.


It also asked about their desired culture, and what would be essential for the system in York to reach its highest potential. From the results of this survey, the learning process began.

Get involved in the latest event...

On Tuesday 30th November, between 1pm - 4pm, we will take time to reflect on the process so far, and re-imagine our culture.


We'll be meeting online- just book online!

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> Stage one

> Stage two

> Stage three

> Stage four

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The journey so far...

Now in it's second year, the York Cultural Values have taken us on a vital journey. You can follow the journey below (if you're viewing on a mobile, you can download the file below, or visit our site using a desktop) and catch up on areas you've missed. Our journey will continue to grow over time. 

You can download the 'Journey so far' map here.

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Stage four will explore how we join the dots of our learning.

Find out more about stage four here


Stage three sense-making workshops will be an appreciative space where focus is placed on action planning.

Find out more about stage three here


The York Cultural Values sense-making stage one begins exploring the personal values of 'caring', 'compassion' and 'making a difference'.

Find out more about stage one of the sense-making process here


Stage two of the
sense-making sessions begins.

Find out more about stage two of the sense 

making process here


Sense-making invitation and facilitation process begins.


The working group invites York based design agency Dogeatcog to support with communications.


The Working Group and Art of Hosting facilitation begin designing the sense-making process.


Results were presented at multiple events with an idea share on how to move forward.

See the results of the survey here


Over several months the Working Group did initial sense-making around the results.


York Cultural Values Survey launched.


Pre-survey launched to get a sense of how people are feeling, particularly with the pandemic.


Working Groups form and explore the undertaking of a cultural values assessment for the network.


Network members vote on a number of ideas to develop through working groups in 2020 including cultural values and creative hubs.



Join us on 30th November, 1pm to 3pm at the Friargate Quaker Meeting House, York, where we will take our learning and turn it into actionable steps as we move forward in the York Cultural Values journey. Sign up here.

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Stage one - Personal values

In stage one of this sense-making process we spent some time exploring the personal values which the MCN Cultural Values Survey identified, and beginning to understand the conditions which made it sometimes easier or sometimes more difficult for people to live by their positive personal values of 'compassion', 'kindness' and 'making a difference'.

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Stage two - Current Cultural Values

In stage two we dug a little deeper, exploring the current cultural values which the MCN survey identified, and how they differ from the desired values. We also looked at the barriers which sometimes prevent people from being able to live by their desired values, and how we can begin to work to overcome these together

Stage three - Action planning

Stage three invited us into a journey of action planning around meaningful projects and how we can design for the inclusion of the desired values from the start - so we might incorporate or create the conditions for the desired positive values to be a foundation in all aspects of the projects we create.

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Stage four - Join the dots of our learning

Stage four brought us together to investigate how we can join the dots of our learning. We took personal learning and built on the strong relationships already existing across York. 


Collaboratively, we discussed and agreed on some practical next steps and actions moving forwards.

All our workshops are accessibility friendly.

Each session will be held by a trained facilitator with years of experience creating accessible learning environments. Their aim is to ensure you find the session accessible, in a format which you can fully participate in. If you feel a pre-meeting call via Zoom would be helpful to discuss any points directly with a facilitator, or if you require any support to ensure your participation is possible, please email catherine.scott@yorkcvs.org.uk.

Meet the Facilitation Team

The Facilitation team come together to facilitate and host the York Cultural Values sense-making process. Click on each person to watch their video. Each person talks us through a different stage of the process so far.



Catherine from York MCN takes us through the background of the Network and how the York Cultural Values survey came about.


Astrid from LIFE and Good organisation takes us through stage two of the York Cultural Values project.


Phil, Lead Facilitator and owner of Open Source Arts explains why the sense-making process was essential and gives us an overview of the journey so far.


Miles from LIFE and Good Organisation talks us through his direct experience and how he hopes to create change, as well as taking a closer look at stage one of the York Cultural Values project.


Natasha from North Yorkshire Police takes us through stage three of the York Cultural Values project and the project management tool created to help organisations lead values-based approaches.


Rebecca, Founder of Kaizen Arts CIC talks us through the process of being a facilitator of the York Cultural Values project and the skills she's learnt through the process.

Meet the Working Group

Hear from the Working Group as they talk about their experiences of the York Cultural Values process. Click on each person to watch their video. 


Alison, Chief Exec. of York CVS, talks us through what inspired the York Cultural Values Survey, and it's impact.


Susan discusses how her role as the Welfare, Benefits, and Strategic Partnership Manager at City of York Council, intersects with York MCN and the Cultural Values Survey.


Nick, Specialist Practitioner from York
Council's Public Health Team, 
explains how the
Cultural Values Survey can help with supporting 

multiple complex needs.


Sian from Healthwatch York, talks us through how the Cultural Values Survey has been an opportunity to reflect on her organisation's values.


Joe, Head of Communities at York City Council discusses his role and the catalyst for York Cultural Values Survey.


What is York MCN?

The York MCN Network is a local collaborative made up of practitioners, managers, strategic leaders and people with lived experience, with a unifying goal to achieve better outcomes for local people living with multiple and complex needs. 

What do we mean by multiple and complex needs?

Those facing multiple and complex needs experience a range of issues at the same time, which can make life difficult. A few examples are, but not limited to; mental health issues, financial difficulties, housing issues, substance misuse, past/current criminal offences.

Find out more

If you would like to find out more about this process, about the survey or about the work of the MCN network, please contact Catherine Scott on catherine.scott@yorkcvs.org.uk or 07522 229 833. Catherine will gladly offer any additional information, clarity or arrange a phone chat to talk about it a bit more if you'd prefer.