The vaccination effort at Ripon Racecourse ended last week and some of Mashamshire Community Office’s team of crack volunteer marshals were there to see it through.

Mashamshire Community Office’s final shift at Ripon Racecourse

Good will and community spirit has been abundant during the pandemic, but in January of this year when the Community Office asked, via social media, for volunteers to help marshal at the Ripon Vaccination Centre, we were overwhelmed with offers. Within days we had nearly 300 enquiries from as far away as Skipton and York!  People’s desire to ‘just do something to help’ was evident.

We were initially asked to coordinate a morning and an afternoon session for one day a week, which required 26 volunteers per day.  We quickly selected a team of around 60 more local people.  As the vaccination days varied and were often at short notice, it helped to have a big pool to call on. Our volunteers were responsive and willing to help whenever they were called on.

The marshal roles were inside and out.  Inside roles provided a welcome, organised the flow of people and found their step-count exceeded their target!  Outside roles were greeting people and directing traffic. The challenging weather in February with winds and freezing temperatures; meant some very vigorous arm-waving was needed to keep warm, but our team still kept smiling. From putting people at ease, directing traffic and wheeling wheelchairs, to bump-starting cars and changing wheels, we think our team did Mashamshire proud.

We’ve had a such a great mix of volunteers and are so grateful to everyone who has stepped up to help. Obviously, the pool reduced in number as people were required to go back to work, but we’ve been so impressed that some have continued to volunteer on their days off or have even taken annual leave in order to help out.

It has been a pleasure to work with such a positive and energetic bunch!  The banter and team spirit has built over the months, and we hope it has been a really satisfying experience for all involved.  We’re planning a social event to thank everyone once the summer is over.

In the meantime, the Community Office always has new projects brewing that need the support of volunteers.  So, if you’re interested in finding out more about volunteer opportunities in Masham, please get in touch –