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