August 17, 2022

Save the Community Office!

We need to buy the building to continue supporting our rural community.

You can help.

We’re on our way to raising the £215,000 needed to purchase the building thanks to our fantastic network of volunteers, dedicated trustees and staff…but WE NEED YOUR HELP!

The North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner has decided to co-locate fire and police estate requirements in Masham which means Mashamshire Community Office have the exciting opportunity to purchase the building from where we have operated for the past 20 years at 7 Little Market Place, Masham.

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.

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.

Thanks for everything you do to keep our community connected and safe. You all do a wonderful job and it is really appreciated. People feel less isolated because of your care. Thank you so much.”

The jigsaw below represents how much we’ve raised to date, each piece is equivalent to £1,054. Help us finish the jigsaw so we can buy the building and keep supporting our community from the heart of Masham.

Ways you can help

Make a financial contribution:

Whether it’s a one off donation or you’d like to commit to regular giving, we welcome all donations big and small.

We accept donations in person over the counter, on the phone (tel: 01765 680200) or online via JustGiving – just click the Make a Donation button below.

Fundraise for us:

Why not set yourself a personal challenge and ask for sponsorship? Climb a mountain, organise a cake sale or organise a karaoke party with friends – what ever it is, have fun doing it! Our JustGiving has a handy section on fundraising for us. If you have a JustGiving account, click Fundraise for MCO below to get started.

Support us for free when you shop at Amazon:

Choose “Mashamshire Community Office” as your chosen charity to support when you shop online at and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to us at no cost to you.

For other online shopping, do it via Easyfundraising and support us for free:

Join via and choose to support “Mashamshire Community Office”. Once you make a purchase, the retailer partners will make a small donation to MCO.

Support us as a volunteer

Many hands make light work. If you’re keen to get involved, please drop us a line at, we’d love to hear from you!

Thank you

Thank you to our many wonderful volunteers, to our individual donors, sponsors and to all our supporters who have committed to help us reach our fundraising target so far! The generosity and confidence you have demonstrated means we’re one step closer to being able to support our community long into the future.

Did you know that Giles Edwards are kindly donating 10% of their normal fee from the sale of any properties that people instruct them to sell in Masham between 1st July 2022-31st August 2023? So if you’re thinking of selling your property, give them a call and you could be helping Mashamshire Community Office at the same time!

To read more about the relocation of the police, visit:

November 28, 2022

Masham – A great place to live

Named in the Sunday Times Best Places to Live Guide*, Masham is one of those places that people chance upon, then visit again and again, before finding themselves living here. There’s something about the lively market town that draws people into its comforting fold. The two breweries, a gin distillery and the numerous pubs may be the initial attraction, yet Masham’s charms go much deeper.

Masham is known for being one of the Yorkshire’s Dales most open, welcoming places to live. It has a rich history, strong sense of community, plenty to do, and excellent local services. Masham is centred around market place, said to be one of the largest in England. Elegant Georgian houses stand around its periphery, facing the ancient cross and cobbled area. At one time huge annual sheep sales took place in the square and surrounding lanes, with up to 40,000 sheep for sale. Those days are long gone but Masham Sheep Fair still takes place on the last weekend of every September, an important date in the sheep showing calendar, and very popular with visitors.

The market place offers some first-rate cafes, sweet shops, pharmacy, a deli, interesting gift shops, Masham Gallery and the Nolon Stacey Gallery. At one side of the square is Masham Church of England Primary School, and at the other the beautiful St. Mary’s Church, both very much at the heart of this active community.

In the neighbouring Little Market Place, are five important local services: the doctors’ surgery, Masham Town Hall, Masham Community Office, the cash point and bus stop. Masham Community Office is an essential first stop for both visitors and residents. It’s also home to Acorns Pre-School, the Library and Flock Gallery. Services include tourism information, computer access, digital support, printing facilities, local info on health and wellbeing services, jigsaw library, business directory and much more – if you need something, there’s always a friendly volunteer waiting to help.

The Town Hall has an extensive events programme and is the meeting point for Masham’s many local groups and associations, from the Women’s Institute to yoga classes and indoor bowls. Events in the large upper hall include comedy, plays, bands, film showings and exhibitions.

Masham is reassuringly close to the larger market towns of Ripon, Bedale and Leyburn, yet has enough of its own attractions to mean that many residents don’t often feel the need to ‘go over the bridge’. It’s easy to enjoy shopping locally thanks to a large co-op, two butchers, a green-grocers, and a market on Wednesdays and Saturdays. It can sometimes take a little while though: even new residents soon find that they’re greeted warmly and enjoy short chats along the way.

Eating out is equally enjoyable, whether you want to enjoy eating at one of the cafes, in the pubs, or Harry’s excellent Fish and Chip Shop. Swinton Park Hotel is a prime spot for celebrations, or you could learn to cook at the Swinton Cookery School. Where There’s Smoke restaurant offers an intriguing and ever-changing menu in a relaxing setting.

Masham is a very creative community. Talented local residents include artist and musician Ian Scott Massie, artist and gallery owners Josie Beszant and Nolon Stacey, glass blowers Maureen and Tim Simon, stone carver Gaynor Pearson, as well as fused glass specialists, a silversmith and lapidarist. You will see Rob Blades’ work on local maps, tea towels and bags – buy them in the Community Office. Nearby ArtisOn offers high quality art and craft classes.

Outdoor enthusiasts have an excellent choice of activities close to Masham. Sitting on the fringes of both the Yorkshire Dales National Park and Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it’s a great base for ramblers. Walkers can also enjoy meandering along the banks of the River Ure, whether in the direction of Marfields Nature Reserve or on the Ripon Rowel walk to nearby Hackfall, where the ancient woods combine with historic follies and waterfalls.

Masham Community Office has maps and route suggestions, including details of two local sculpture trails. The Leaves Walk features a series of larger sculptures, with a very pleasant route along the River Ure. The other trail is centred around the market square and neighbouring lanes, and features smaller sculptures of swifts, Masham’s much-loved summer visitors.

Generations of Masham children have enjoyed playing at the Recreation Ground (known locally as the ‘rec’), while countless cricketers, bowls and tennis players have enjoyed the Masham Sports Association facilities. Within a very short drive, other activities include fly fishing on the River Ure or at Leighton Reservoir, golf at Masham Golf Club, bike hire from Cycopath Cycles, the Masham Riding and Trekking Centre, meeting birds of prey at the Swinton Birds of Prey centre, and clay pigeon shooting at Warren Gill Shooting Ground.

With all this on offer, it’s not hard to see why Masham is such a great place to live.

If you’re looking to live in this beautiful and quintessential market town, then Yorkshire-based housebuilder Stonebridge Homes are building a stunning new development, comprising of a desirable collection of three, four and five-bedroom homes. The development will consist of 48 houses, with 14 of them being offered as affordable properties.

The new development off Foxholme Lane, known as Oakland Park, boasts character homes where planned open spaces blend seamlessly with the area’s green surroundings. The attractive, landscaped development displays contemporary interiors, which marry perfectly with the traditional feel of the stylish exteriors, finished in stone and warm brick, that strikes a balance of design, practicality and comfort.

Chris Kelly, Head of Sales at Stonebridge Homes, said: “Stonebridge is well known for building desirable homes in desirable locations, and Masham was the perfect place for us to bring our homes to. Our properties are designed to offer space, flexibility and comfort, whilst nestling comfortably within the existing landscape.”

Here at Visit Masham, we look forward to welcoming our new residents to the community.


Article sponsored by Stonebridge. Photos courtesy of John Darby.

November 10, 2022

Masham’s Volunteer Led Community Library Matters

If you go upstairs at Masham Community Office (or take the lift!), you’ll find Masham Library. Just over ten years ago, the Masham branch of HSBC closed, and Masham Library lost its home. Luckily for Masham’s readers, rescue was at hand in a partnership between Masham Community Office and North Yorkshire County Council – and a much reduced but still well-stocked library was re-housed at MCO. North Yorkshire provides books and professional support, and the local community provides volunteers, making us one of the very first community libraries in the county (now there are over 30).

Ten years later, the library is still here – and so are some of the original volunteers! We have a good stock of both fiction and non-fiction, including Large Print, and also audiobooks. And of course books can be reserved from other libraries. Still, our size is a limitation, so three or four times a year volunteers visit Library HQ in Northallerton and refresh our stock, bearing in mind our knowledge of our Masham readers’ interests. We also have a good selection of children’s books, and hold the local history reference section. The library may often seem quiet – but we issue over 3000 books every year.  And it’s NOT very quiet on Wednesday lunchtimes, when there are story times for children from Acorns and Masham School!

As a long-time volunteer – there are lots of rewards. Being very proud that MCO and the library volunteers were able to operate a click and collect service during the COVID lockdowns, choosing book bundles for readers, who were very appreciative! Seeing our regular readers finding books they like every week! Signing up new members, especially children, and watching them have the fun of choosing their own books!  Recommending a book to a reader, and having them tell us how much they enjoyed it! Running the Summer and Christmas Reading Challenges, the enthusiasm of the young participants (and their pride in finishing)! And on any day, providing a warm, safe, peaceful place to look at books, sit and rest for a while, chat if you feel like it (or not)…!

We can’t imagine Masham without its library!

Christine (above) explains in this article why she’s so passionate about keeping our community library going and how it came into MCO back in 2012.

November 9, 2022

100 Club Launch!

We’re delighted to announce the launch of our very own MCO 100 Club!

It will be one of the most important ways in which we will raise funds to buy our building and continue supporting our local community. So please get involved.

It’s simple to join; members buy “numbers” and three of these are randomly drawn every month to award cash prizes of £70, £20 and £10.

To be part of the first draw, members need to sign up by the 1st December 2022.

Please click ‘Download’ for an application form to join or contact us for more info on 01765 680200

November 1, 2022

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 Individuals and businesses wishing to contribute can do so on the phone at 01765 680200 or online via JustGiving at 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

October 13, 2022

Our Story

Who we are and what we do

Mashamshire Community Office (MCO) are an independent charity that ensures our community is a lively, active, vibrant and supportive place to live, work and visit. We are proactive and responsive to local need and it’s all thanks to our small team of paid staff (just over 2 FTE) and army of committed volunteers (our volunteers contributed 8,500 hours last year alone!) We are the glue that connects and strengthens our community. Never more so than during COVID when we responded to those in need without hesitation, recruiting over 100 volunteers in a matter of days because we were best positioned and connected in the community to mobilise immediately to respond.

MCO was originally established following the devastating pandemic (no not COVID), Foot and Mouth back in 2001. Our initial vision was to support our rural community and the local economy to recover through supporting businesses and tourism, alongside providing a place where community support facilities could be located. Over time, the charity has responded to a vast array of challenges and has successfully jumped in to rescue other facilities such as the public library. Our other key activities include tourism information, business support, health and wellbeing initiatives, access to information, digital support and we facilitate a web of collaborative networks. We provide a home for Acorns Preschool, the Parish Council, CAB and MIND in Harrogate and without the security of a building, these services would not exist here in Masham and the many people that rely on us would have nowhere to go. Access to services are impacted by rural deprivation and limited public transport so we’re often the first point of contact for help. We offer a warm and friendly place to visit, reducing isolation and keeping people connected and we have a proven track record of sustainably delivering outstanding service to our rural community for over 20 years!

Our building is leased, and we need to purchase the building. We are asking for donations and offers of help towards our ongoing challenges so we can continue to support vulnerable people across our community making a difference to the lives of real people.

We’re planning a calendar of events to help raise awareness and vital funds to help us continue our important work so stay tuned as we announce the dates soon.

Sign up to our e-newsletter and register as a “local” so you don’t miss anything

What do people say about us?

Thanks for everything you do to keep our community connected and safe. You all do a wonderful job and it is really appreciated. People feel less isolated because of your care. Thank you so much.

MCO Service User

MCO helped me get my current job. We would all miss the services they provide.

MCO Service User

Frankly, the speed and “can-do” attitude that you and others have displayed to ensure nobody in North Yorkshire feels alone or is left without food and medicines is astounding

Cllr. Carl Les, NYCC

September 29, 2022

Why do we need volunteers?

Our volunteers at Mashamshire Community Office are woven through the fabric of our charity in every way and at every level – their intricate knowledge of the local area, their vast and complex connections across the community. Their passion and commitment, drive MCO to deliver the best service we can for our community. Quite simply, they are integral to the culture of our charity and we couldn’t do what we do without them!

With just over 2 FTE paid staff, our army of skilled and dedicated volunteers contributed a whopping 8,500 hours during 2021-2022! Incredible!

Thank you to everyone that has volunteered with us throughout our 20 years of service!

Volunteering has huge benefits – helping others kindles happiness and here at Mashamshire Community Office we pride ourselves on offering supportive and flexible volunteering opportunities so that you can be part of the movement creating positive change in our community.

Here are just some of the things you could do as a volunteer with us:

  • Train as a walk leader to guide and support people on one of our wellbeing walks or help us develop some new routes for those that want something a bit more challenging
  • Help out in our community library
  • Support us with our marketing and help us shout about the great work we do
  • Share all your local knowledge with our visitors on the front desk, be that friendly face to our many regulars that pop in for a social catch up and learn about your local community, signposting people to the help and support that they need
  • Do you have a strategic mind and the skills we need behind the scenes to help drive our charity forward?

Anyone interested in finding out more about our wide variety of volunteering opportunities, please do get in touch at or call 01765 680200.

Watch this video to hear why Michael volunteers with us.

September 28, 2022

Celebrating our successes!

Mashamshire Community Office have been supporting Masham and surrounding villages for 20 years and up to now, we’ve been quietly and unassumingly getting on with it the Yorkshire way, thanks to our team of dedicated volunteers and small team of staff.

As we look back on some of our achievements, we think it’s time to start shouting about them! So here are just a handful that come to mind…

  • We created a safe place for vulnerable people to be supported
  • Provided a venue for Acorns childcare facility to open in Masham
  • Saved our community library from closure!
  • Advocated for the MASHAM A1 sign
  • Post Office van – we were instrumental in getting it to Masham!
  • COVID pandemic essential support: vaccination and shopping collections, marshalling at the Ripon vaccine centre
  • Defib machine in the Little Market Place
  • Established a wellbeing walking group
  • Created partnerships between businesses, community groups and charities – MIND and CAB are now based in Masham regularly
  • Provided hours of digital support – regularly helping people apply for blue badges and bus passes amongst much more

We care because you care and none of this would have been possible without the passion, drive, determination and dedication that our fantastic volunteers offer at MCO!

September 26, 2022


Masham’s annual weekend event to raise money for local charities including the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, took place once again on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th September 2022 as we welcomed visitors from far and wide to celebrate all things sheepy, and what a weekend it was!

Masham Sheep fair is sponsored by local businesses and run by volunteers. This famous weekend event takes place in one of the finest Market Squares in England, raising much money for charity by filling the town with sheepy fun and entertainment all weekend. Events include an action packed programme on both Saturday and Sunday, with a Sheep Show, Sheep Racing, Craft Market, Bishop Blaize Procession, Fleece Stalls, Wool Competition, Sheepdog Demonstrations, Hand Bell Ringers, Morris Dancers, Art Exhibition and Tours of Theakstons & Black Sheep Breweries, as well as the Old Time Children’s Fair.
Photos of Sheep Fair weekends here.
All proceeds go to Yorkshire charities

For more information:

01262 490388 / 01765 688417 / 07850 048258

Masham Market Square and locations around town

September 13, 2022

MCO AGM 2022

Mashamshire Community Office welcomed Zoë Metcalfe, Police Fire Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire as their guest speaker at their AGM on 8th November 2022 where she gave an overview of her role and answered some frequently asked questions.

The agenda, draft minutes and copy of accounts are available to download below should anyone so wish.

September 6, 2022


We will be carrying out a survey between 19th and 24th September 2022 to find out what you think about this library and how you use it. If you are aged 16 or over, a member of staff will ask you to fill in a questionnaire. If you need any help just ask!

The information you give us will help us to improve the services we offer you.

Thank you for your help!

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