Locals Fight to Save their Community Hub

The Mashamshire Community Office (MCO) will be lost unless the charity can raise £215,000 to purchase the building! MCO provides a necessary and much-appreciated service to the people who live in or visit the town of Masham and its surrounding villages. The team who run MCO, mainly volunteers, are now fighting to raise the money needed to buy the building which has been occupied from North Yorkshire Police for over 20 years, so it can continue serving this rural community.

The North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner decided to co-locate fire and police estate requirements in Masham and has now offered the MCO team the opportunity to purchase the old Police building. The fine-looking stone building on Masham’s Little Market Place still proudly bears the inscription “N.R.Y. Police Station 1891” as a reminder that it has served this North Riding town for over 130 years.

Carol is a local resident who relied on the support provided by MCO during the COVID pandemic and shares the impact MCO had on her life at that difficult time.

“It was a great help for me and Harry, not just through shopping and bringing prescriptions, a great help to the community. That is a massive help because there are a lot of elderly people where we live and a lot of people depended on you (MCO)…I didn’t know about the bereavement counselling, I didn’t know where to go to get them and I never knew this (MCO) was here…I never thought it was the community office, because it’s still got the police on the side of the wall”.

Hayley Jackson, MCO Manager, says “Often when people don’t know where to turn, we are there to support them. We’re the glue that strengthens our community, keeping everyone connected.”

“We need to buy the building so that we can continue the work we’ve done successfully in our rural community; supporting more than 80 community groups, 100 businesses, responding to over 10,000 visitor enquiries and 1000 resident enquiries each year.”

Alongside seeking grants from a variety of sources and funding from local businesses, the team are organising a programme of fund-raising events involving the whole community over the forthcoming months and have just launched a 100 club. They recognise that it will be an uphill struggle during the cost-of-living crisis but have already made a promising start.

The current status of fundraising can be viewed on a jigsaw puzzle picture of the building just inside the front door, with each piece representing just over £1000 raised. It is also available online at visitmasham.com. Individuals and businesses wishing to contribute can do so on the phone at 01765 680200 or online via JustGiving at justgiving.com/mashamshire-communityoffice. To support the fundraising effort for free, shop online through Smile.Amazon or EasyFundraising and sign up to support Mashamshire Community Office – details are on the website.

Thank you to everyone that is already supporting us!

Click here to listen to our interview with BBC Radio York on 1st November