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Racing Welfare appoints team of experts to roll out industry wellbeing programme

Employers in British horseracing are being urged to sign up to Racing Welfare’s award-winning Workforce Wellbeing Programme (WWP) to secure the future of these vital services for the good health of people and businesses across the industry.

A team of three industry experts have been appointed to speak to key stakeholders about how they can get involved and avail of the programme’s far-reaching benefits. The trio consists of former jockey and Sky Sports Racing presenter Hayley Moore, Eimear Grant who has a wealth of experience across the industry including jointly managing Mark Grant Racing with her husband, and racehorse owner, GP, racing fan and the man behind the Fergal O’Brien’s Twitter account Dr Simon Gillson.

The comprehensive support package for racing’s people was launched by Racing Welfare in 2019 and has since helped thousands of individuals and their employers across the industry, playing an important role in supporting wellbeing within racing’s workforce through increasing staff retention, enhancing morale and reducing lost working hours through absence.

Previously entirely funded through grants from The Racing Foundation, Racing Welfare is now seeking to establish sustainable funding for the Workforce Wellbeing Programme through employer contributions at a highly subsidised rate of just £1.20 per person per week – a fraction of the cost of alternative employee assistance programmes but bespoke to the industry, and with an undisputed track record at producing good health outcomes for racing’s workforce.

The programme can be accessed by anyone working within the industry, whether that be in racing yards, studs, racecourses or in numerous auxiliary roles. It provides rapid access to mental and occupational health services plus careers and training advice. Importantly for employers, the range of bespoke services play an important role in business objectives, reducing periods of ill health and time off work for individuals through mental and physical wellness support and supporting people to remain within the industry.

Dr Simon Gillson said: “The scope of the Workforce Wellbeing Programme is incredible and provides rapid and tangible help for the health concerns racing staff are increasingly known to face. This programme, protecting all racing’s human participants, paints the industry in an excellent light.

“In general society, stress, anxiety and depression are responsible for over 50% of days off work and the average time of absence is thought to be between 25-30 days. The WWP is perfectly designed to tackle this within the racing industry.”

Among those already signed up to the programme are The Jockey Club, Juddmonte, Racing Digital and Chasemore Farm Stud.

Office Manager at Chasemore, Kerry Harrison said: “Firstly, owners Andrew and Jane are very much in support of ensuring staff have the best of advice and support, whether that relates to mental health, physical health or even career development. Our employees already make use of the support system and it’s really nice that they can speak to Racing Welfare confidentially if they have an issue of any kind, and they know it doesn’t come through the office.

“Happy staff make happy horses; we’re like a big family here. The team work hard and as a company it’s good to know that our staff are well looked after as best as possible.”

By continuing to ensure funding for the WWP, Racing Welfare aims to demonstrate a real commitment to the health and wellbeing of the staff who are the heartbeat of the racing industry. The programme has been designed by people who understand the issues faced by staff, is already fit for purpose and has the scope to deal with higher numbers of inbound calls so that more individuals can benefit from it.

Further information for employers can be found at https://racingwelfare.co.uk/workforce-wellbeing-programme/