May 24, 2023

Community on Track to Save Old Police Building by August 2023

It has almost been a year since Mashamshire Community Office (MCO) held their initial public meeting back in June 2022 to share the news that they had been given the opportunity to purchase the Old Police House in Masham, a place the charity had been based for over 20 years. £215,000 was the figure were set to raise, and the weight lay heavy with the team at MCO, all of whom are incredibly passionate about the difference the charity makes in their local community however to date they’ve raised £182,698.69 and are aiming to complete the purchase in August 2023.

Hayley Jackson, MCO Manager says,

“Over the past 20 years MCO has diversified and adapted our offering to support the community in times of need such as through COVID. This past year we’ve been on a journey to promote our services and actively share and shout about what we do and the difference we make. Our footprint across Mashamshire reaches far and wide and the impact our small organisation has on many local people has come washing back over us in waves of support for which we are overwhelmingly grateful. Volunteers and staff have gone above and beyond, our fundraising team have outdone themselves with the variety of activities on offer this year from 100 clubs to cow pat competitions (there is now a swear jar on the desk in the office for anyone that even mentions the words cow pat!) The business community have been amazing in so many ways from in-kind gestures to running events in aid of MCO and making considerable financial donations. Individuals have come forward to make donations, offer help and share stories of how MCO have helped them in the past.

Going through the process of fundraising for the Community Office building over this past year has brought people together in such an amazing way. Our community have driven this fundraising effort, people feel pride and ownership over this building, they value what our charity does here in Masham and what a central role we play in supporting our rural community. We knew it was important, but we’ve been able to see just how much it’s at the heart of the community and how much people care. The people of Masham see it as their building, and it’s really important to them that we retain it for the future.”

Once the traditional 19th century stone building is purchased, plans are afoot to invest in making it a more energy efficient and environmentally sustainable space for all to enjoy.

The team have some great fundraising events coming up and a live silent auction with some fantastic artwork to bid for so there’s still time to get involved to help get them over the line ready for the purchase in August.

Live online art auction – closes 11th August 2023

Ways to donate: www.visitmasham.com/want-to-support-your-community/

Special thanks to our supporters: www.visitmasham.com/our-supporters

What people say about us

“[MCO] Provides a vehicle to retain MASHAM as a caring community not just a group of houses as most towns and villages”

“As a retired and disabled individual volunteering gives me purpose, gets me out of the house, enables interaction with others and makes me feel useful.”

“We moved to Masham 1 year ago and the first place we visited was the MCO, we have been able to access all manor of activities and help obtained by the MCO and the regular information it sends out.”

“Excellent hub for the community to feel involved with each other, the community and I feel that MCO is vital for the elderly and the vulnerable.”

“It’s a community hub which can mobilise help when needed eg all the various ways help was given during Covid. It is somewhere where people can come for companionship, help, advice and a friendly face.”

“There is always someone there, who can be approached, and if they don’t know the answer they will find it out”

Charity Tractor Run 500 Miles!

Helen Benson, who is a volunteer for the farming charity, FCN, is aiming to complete her 500 plus mile challenge in just nine days. Her route, from Mart to Mart will take in the Moors and Dales, Wolds and Plains of Yorkshire.  The marts are to include:  Leyburn, Pateley Bridge, Darlington, Ruswarp, Malton, York, Hull, Selby, Holmfirth, Otley, Skipton, Bentham, Hawes, Northallerton and Thirsk.

Along the way, she hopes to be joined by others in the local farming community – partly to keep her company and partly to raise money for FCN – a charity that offers essential support to farmers and their families in times of difficulty and The Sepsis Trust which  (UKST) exists to fight this life-threatening condition, stop preventable deaths and support those affected by sepsis.

This tractor run is in memory of 26 year old Yorkshire born and bred Hannah Brown, who passed away so suddenly of Sepsis.  She was a Mother, Daughter, Fiancée, and Friend to literally thousands of farmers and their families up and down the country.

“Masham Community Office provides so many facilities for Masham and district residents and businesses – too many to mention.  We are extremely fortunate and I am personally indebted to be hosted on the website during my Mart to Mart Tractor Run.  Thank you very much Masham Community Office and don’t forget everyone, we need to keep this marvellous service going.  Helen”

If you’d like to help Mashamshire Community Office in their quest to purchase the Police building (to ensure the future of the services they offer) you can support them here.

For more details and to view her progress, click here.

Best of luck Helen from MCO!

May 9, 2023

Cow Pat Winner takes home £2,000!

We are delighted to announce the Cow Pat Prize winner as local resident Ms Kathryn Driver, owner of ticket number 3090 taking home the full £2,000 prize money! The cow responsible for delivering the first plop was Storm Pooper.

At home recovering from COVID Ms Driver said she was shocked, “I can’t believe it! It’s amazing, thank you so much. My mum got the ticket for me and I feel so guilty. I’m going to use the money to pay for a holiday and take my mum away”.

Special thanks to all our sponsors, to Mason for the cows and all our staff and volunteers that have worked tirelessly to make this such a successful event raising £5,000 in aid of MCO purchasing the old police house.

Hayley Jackson, Mashamshire Community Office manager has said:

‘Who would have thought cow pats would bring the community together like this.’

‘Going through the process of fundraising for the Community Office building over this past year has brought people together in such an amazing way. Our community have driven this fundraising effort, people feel pride and ownership over this building, they value what our charity does here in Masham and what a central role we play in supporting our rural community. We knew it was important, but we’ve been able to see just how much it’s at the heart of the community and how much people care. The people of Masham see it as their building, and it’s really important to them that we retain it for the future.’

Find out more about our upcoming fundraisers

Thank you to our sponsors

May 8, 2023

MCO AGM 2023

Mashamshire Community Office AGM was held on Tuesday 28th November at 6:00 pm, in the Small Hall, in the Town Hall, Masham.

Find a copy of the following items below:

Agenda

Previous minutes

Proposed constitutional changes

Copy of the 2022-2023 Accounts and Treasurers Report

Presentation and minutes from meeting.

April 26, 2023

WE DID IT!

We’ve reached our fundraising target to purchase the Old Police House in Masham, our home for over 20 years!

In just over a year Mashamshire Community Office have raised £215,000 to purchase the Old Police House which will complete on 31st August 2023, securing it as an asset for the community and a base to continue supporting our rural community long into the future.

Thank you!

THANK YOU to everyone that has been involved in this magnificent effort over the past year! It’s testament to our incredible community; the dedication, kindness, determination and generosity of the people that volunteer and work with us, use our services as well as local individuals, businesses and Parish Councils. We have also been successful in our applications to trusts and foundations through the support from North Yorkshire Council.

Our footprint across Mashamshire reaches far and wide and the impact our small organisation has on many local people has come washing back over us in waves of support for which we are overwhelmingly grateful. Volunteers and staff have gone above and beyond, our fundraising team have outdone themselves with the variety of activities that were on offer from 100 clubs to cow pat competitions! The business community have been amazing in so many ways from in-kind gestures to running events in aid of MCO and making considerable financial donations. Individuals have come forward to make donations, offer help and share stories of how MCO have helped them in the past.

Going through the process of fundraising for the Community Office building has brought people together in such a wonderful way. Our community have driven this fundraising effort, people feel pride and ownership over this building, they value what our charity does here in Masham and what a central role we play in supporting our rural community.

We knew it was important, but we’ve been able to see just how much it’s at the heart of the community and how much people care. The people of Masham see it as their building, and I for one am utterly delighted that we’ve been able to secure it for future generations!

Hayley Jackson, MCO Manager

“Your team have worked so hard on the purchase of the Old Police House.  All the events this year have really brought a sense of community back to Masham”.

Local Business, Masham

Once the traditional 19th century stone building is purchased on 31st August 2023, plans are afoot to invest in making it a more energy efficient and environmentally sustainable space for all to enjoy.

Why did we need to buy the building?

In 2022 the North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner decided to co-locate fire and police estate requirements in Masham which meant Mashamshire Community Office had the opportunity to purchase the building, a base they had operated from for over 20 years at 7 Little Market Place, Masham.

We needed to buy the building so we could continue the work we’d 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.

To read more about the relocation of the police, visit: www.visitmasham.com/mashamshire-community-office-police-building

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.

Hayley Jackson, MCO Manager

What 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] Provides a vehicle to retain MASHAM as a caring community not just a group of houses as most towns and villages”

“As a retired and disabled individual volunteering gives me purpose, gets me out of the house, enables interaction with others and makes me feel useful.”

“We moved to Masham 1 year ago and the first place we visited was the MCO, we have been able to access all manor of activities and help obtained by the MCO and the regular information it sends out.”

“Excellent hub for the community to feel involved with each other, the community and I feel that MCO is vital for the elderly and the vulnerable.”

“It’s a community hub which can mobilise help when needed eg all the various ways help was given during Covid. It is somewhere where people can come for companionship, help, advice and a friendly face.”

“There is always someone there, who can be approached, and if they don’t know the answer they will find it out”

Thank you to all our supporters!

Ways you can support our good work

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 online via Easyfundraising

Join via www.easyfundraising.org.uk/support-a-good-cause/ 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 info@visitmasham.com, we’d love to hear from you!

Buy tickets to our events and take part in our 100 club and competitions

Join our 100 Club

Thank you!

March 30, 2023

Coronation Celebrations in Masham

Saturday 6th May – Monday 8th May 2023

Celebrate the long weekend in the beautiful countryside of Masham where our community have a jam packed programme full of activities for all to enjoy!

From street parties at Swinton Estate, afternoon tea at St Mary’s church, evening concerts and cow pat competitions, parades of floats, fancy dress and fireworks – there’s something for everyone!

Download a programme here or pop into Mashamshire Community Office and pick up a copy.

December 5, 2022

Stranded but MCO to the rescue!

We always say, no day is ever the same at Mashamshire Community Office (MCO) and this blustery autumnal Wednesday was certainly no exception as one of our local residents carefully made her way through our front doors in need of help. She had been on her way to the Wednesday Welcome group when her mobility scooter gave out, running out of battery in the middle of the pavement! Although not very mobile, she had managed to get to us looking for help. Beth, our Service Delivery Coordinator quickly retrieved the abandoned scooter from across the road with one of our willing volunteers and pushed it back to the office. Worried she wouldn’t make it to her group, another one of our incredibly helpful volunteers offered to give the lady a lift around the corner to the Methodist Chapel and arranged with someone from the Wednesday Welcome group to take her home when it finished.

In the meantime, we contacted Ben, a trusted local builder who came with his trailer and loaded the scooter up and delivered it back to the lady’s house (all free of charge!) who, as if it had been meticulously planned, arrived at the very same time with the Wednesday Welcome volunteer. The team managed to push the scooter back into the lady’s shed making sure it was set to be fully charged ready for the next adventure…hopefully making it to the final destination with enough charge next time! Needless to say, the individual involved was incredibly grateful.

People often ask what we do at MCO and it’s sometimes hard to articulate because what we do is so varied but in a nutshell, we’re the trusted neighbour that’s here to help and it doesn’t matter what you come to us about – we will try to help and if we can’t , we will likely know someone that can!

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.

*2021

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.

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 contribute 8,500 hours each year!) 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. 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!

We’ve been on an incredible journey and with amazing support from our local community, the council, trusts, businesses and organisations, on 31st August 2023 we purchased the Old Police House where we are homed, securing this asset for our charity, and in-turn, our community for perpetuity. Thank you to everyone that supported us to do this!

We can now focus on our service delivery, aiming to meet the needs of residents and visitors to Masham. As with all small charities, we continue to need support from volunteers as well as financial donations and welcome contributions so we can continue to support vulnerable people across our community making a difference to the lives of real people.

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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