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Racing’s workplaces encouraged to set aside time for #TeaAndTalk in tackling loneliness

Mental Health Foundation’s Mental Health Awareness Week: 09 – 16 May 2022

Racing Welfare has today announced plans for their 2022 Mental Health Awareness Week campaign, beginning on Monday 9th May.  The charity leads the horseracing industry’s response to the national initiative which is run by the Mental Health Foundation and which this year follows the theme of loneliness.

Tying into this theme, workplaces across the horseracing and thoroughbred breeding industries will be encouraged throughout the week to set aside time during their working day to take part in the #TeaAndTalk initiative. The initiative promotes an awareness of not just your own mental wellbeing, but the wellbeing of others around you with simple yet impactful action.

Mental Health Awareness Week aims to promote open conversations on all aspects of mental health with Racing Welfare’s campaign specifically raising awareness of the mental health services offered by the charity.

We saw throughout lockdown how important it is to look after our own wellbeing and mental health, and in particular we provided much support for people with their mental health and through our check-in and chat services which play a key role in tackling loneliness and isolation. That isn’t something which has gone away – the important message is that Racing Welfare is here for anyone working in or retired from racing. Anyone who experiences mental health challenges or loneliness and isolation can get support by calling racing’s support line 24/7 on 0800 6300 443 or visiting racingwelfare.co.uk.

Dawn Goodfellow, Chief Executive at Racing Welfare

Demand for Racing Welfare’s services continues to grow. Between January and the end of March 2022 the charity supported 1,236 individuals across the racing industry. This is a 27% increase compared to 2021, with mental health services consistently being in high demand. During the same period, Racing Welfare provided 950 instances of support to racing’s people and their close dependents relating to mental health issues.

Racing Welfare’s Check-In and Chat service, set up during the first Covid-19 lockdown, has been vital in reducing loneliness and social isolation amongst racing’s community. During 2021 the service supported 81 individuals with regular check-in calls made by a team of 28 volunteers, totalling almost 1,000 hours of calls during the year. The service continues to be available to anyone working in or retired from the racing industry who may be feeling lonely or in need of someone to talk to.

A film, produced in conjunction with Equine Productions and featuring staff at Alice Haynes Racing and Jockey Club Racecourses in Newmarket, has been released today. It will be shown across racecourses and horseracing’s media throughout the week. The film is narrated by raceday presenter and Racing Welfare beneficiary, Anthony Kemp, who has been an advocate for the charity’s mental health services since receiving support himself during the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition to the film, Racing Welfare have distributed green ribbons on racecourses for people to wear to raise awareness and show support for Mental Health Awareness Week.

During the week, Racing Welfare will be launching their inaugural Health & Wellbeing across the Horseracing Industry conference. This virtual conference will be hosted online on Monday 19th September, with expert presentations from speakers promoting health and wellbeing at work. The keynote speaker for the conference will be one of the UK’s leading sports psychologists, Michael Caulfield MSc, with other panellists to be announced in the coming weeks.

Early bird tickets will go on sale from Thursday 12th May and can be purchased via racingwelfare.co.uk.

Anyone who wishes to invest in the mental health of their staff can sign them up for one of Racing Welfare’s Mental Health Courses  – an accredited training course which teaches people how to identify, understand and help someone who may be experiencing a mental health issue. More information at www.racingwelfare.co.uk/events