It’s Volunteers Week 2020 this week – an annual celebration and chance to say “thank you” for the contribution made by volunteers right across the UK. There was never a time to be more grateful and appreciate the value of volunteering than during this COVID-19 crisis.

Throughout the year, Mashamshire Community Office and Community Library depend on the experience and time, generously given, by its team of nearly 30 volunteers. But since the lockdown, an unprecedented number of volunteers have been needed to support folk who were self-isolating or shielded at home. The shout-out for Mashamshire volunteers in March didn’t disappoint – we now have 50-70 wonderful volunteers helping us out. Although our building is closed to the public, there has been lots to do…

  • Liaising with NYCC and other official bodies to find out official advice and info for our community
  • Taking calls for help, dealing with enquiries, and coordinating volunteers
  • Collecting and delivering hundreds of prescriptions, shopping and other errands
  • Researching and preparing these news updates every day – keeping everyone informed, including local business news
  • Publishing relevant info on the Mashamshire Life residents Facebook group and the Visitmasham visitors website and Facebook Page
  • Keeping MCO going behind the scenes – like other local businesses, we’ve been unable to earn vital funds from our usual activities so applying for government funding help has been a lifesaver

With only 30 paid staff hours per week, this would not have been possible without our volunteers. We estimate that during lockdown, our Mashamshire volunteers are contributing at least 248 free voluntary hours each week! Amazing – thank you.

Of course, this isn’t the first time that Masham’s Volunteers have stepped up in a crisis either…. Over 200 year ago, word went out that Napoleon had invaded, and the Masham Volunteers rallied behind Captain William Danby of Swinton Park and marched out to meet the foreign invader. They got as far as Thirsk before they discovered that the beacons had been lit by mistake. It had all been a false alarm! Sadly, we can’t say the same for the current crisis!

How to get involved – now and for the future
All the efforts of Mashamshire volunteers so far have been appreciated and will still be very much needed as the recovery phase develops and beyond. As our community and our businesses begin to work out the new normal and how to repair the damage done by the crisis, Mashamshire Community Office will be there to help. If you would like to get involved by volunteering your time and experience now or longer term, please do get in touch –
Phone 01765 680200 or email