Dan Skelton, who has been training from Lodge Hill in Warwickshire since 2013, recognises the importance of having a strong support team who are educated, inspired and motivated to achieve excellence in their field of work. A key part of that is ensuring the team are supported with their mental health – something which affects one in four people. As such, Dan has two team members who have undertaken Racing Welfare’s Mental Health First Aid training courses.
Dan said: “Having trained Mental Health First Aiders at Team Skelton is essential. Not only has my wife, Grace, completed the training. We have also sent another member of staff on the training, too.
“We have a close-knit team here, so it is important that we look out for each other and know how to recognise the signs and symptoms of someone suffering from poor mental health. It is as important as making sure our staff are equipped to maintain their physical fitness and health.”
Grace Skelton, who wears two hats as a Director of both Dan Skelton Racing and Alne Park Stud, spoke to Racing Welfare about the Mental Health First Aid training that she completed during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Racing Welfare’s vision is that every organisation with the British horseracing and Thoroughbred breeding industry has at least one Mental Health First Aider, which is just as crucial as first aiders for physical health.
This was a key factor in Dan winning the inaugural Lycetts leadership Award for exceptional leaders within Britain’s racing yards. The yard also won an Excellence Award for ensuring a safe working environment. On receiving the award in 2021, Dan said: “We pride ourselves on providing a safe working environment for the staff, so it was great to be recognised in this area in particular. It is not just about creating a safe physical environment here, but also an environment where staff can feel comfortable to talk about any issues that they might be facing.”
Find out more and book Racing Welfare’s mental health training courses here.