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9 October 2017

Museum membership scheme to prevent loneliness

85 retired racing staff from the Newmarket area will be attending a special coffee morning at Palace House, Newmarket; The National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art on Tuesday 10th October, World Mental Health Day.

Racing Welfare is aware that loneliness and social isolation is a growing problem nationally and it can be a major contributory factor leading to serious health problems. The charity is therefore launching a new scheme to benefit the mental wellbeing of racing’s retired people by providing membership to Palace House to allow people to visit, free of charge, throughout the year.

Whilst this scheme is initially aimed at people living within reach of Newmarket, a developing partnership between Racing Welfare and The National Heritage Centre will create opportunities for outreach activities in other racing centres in the future.
The extensive displays of horseracing memorabilia and sporting art at Palace House are of great interest to people who have devoted their lives to working in the industry, with many exhibits directly relating to the careers of Newmarket’s retired racing staff.

This new scheme is in addition to the range of coffee mornings, outings and holidays that are currently on offer to the retired racing community around the country. In 2016 Racing Welfare provided 546 places on trips and outings; held a Christmas lunch for 250 retired staff around the country and had more than 1,000 attendees at coffee mornings nationally.

Furthermore, in 2017 the holiday scheme for retired staff has been extended to provide both a UK-based holiday and a holiday to Malta.

Attendees at the World Mental Health Day coffee morning will be able to sign-up to join the scheme during the event. People who are unable to attend but wish to join the scheme may do so by contacting Racing Welfare’s head office (01638 560 763).

Simone Sear, Director of Welfare at Racing Welfare said

We are excited to be working with The National Heritage Centre to enable racing’s retired community to enjoy such a fantastic cultural facility. There has been huge interest in the scheme from Racing Welfare’s retired beneficiaries and we look forward to the World Mental Health Day coffee morning to sign-up our first participants.

Chris Garibaldi, Director of the National Heritage Centre at Palace House Newmarket said

We are delighted and extremely proud to be partnering with Racing Welfare and we hope that their beneficiaries enjoy the benefits of becoming annual members at the National Heritage Centre. We always envisaged the Heritage Centre being a cultural hub for the town and the racing industry and this is a fantastic initiative to support this. The three attractions within the Heritage Centre offer an array of different objects, artwork, activities and audio visual displays which will appeal to all members of the family and we are thrilled that the uptake from Racing Welfare has been so high.