24hr Support Line 0800 6300 443
15 March 2022

Racing Welfare Fundraiser – Simon Jones

Industry wellbeing chair Simon Jones has taken on an epic multiple marathon challenge to help raise awareness and funds for mental health support following the tragic loss of his son, Tim.

In 2019, Tim took his own life at the young age of 17. A popular member of the horseracing community in and around Middleham in North Yorkshire, part of Micky Hammond’s training team and a gifted equestrian rider, the grief felt by many was heavy.

Simon said; 

No-one knew of Tim's worries - he didn't share any of his concerns with his friends or us, his family.  This is an all too familiar story - suicide is the second leading cause of death in adolescents and so many go under the radar because they keep their struggles to themselves.

Since then, I’ve been working with Racing Welfare and embarked on a campaign to raise awareness about mental health and train members of the horseracing industry in simple techniques to spot and support friends and colleagues who may be going through difficult times.

“Over the past two and a half years the campaign has trained over 500 people across the UK to recognise the signs of those dealing with mental health struggles, signpost to services and support their colleagues. Of these people, almost 250 are qualified Mental Health First Aiders. There is no doubt that this group of people working across the industry has helped prevent mental health challenges escalate into life-threatening situations, which is the ultimate goal.”

This year, Simon set his sights upon a huge challenge to help raise funds for this cause so close to his own heart; running 7 marathons in seven different locations in just twelve months.  His challenge commenced in Paris in April and since then he has completed marathons in Barcelona, Edinburgh, Dunstable and London. New York will be his sixth target on Sunday 6th November, with his sights also set on Seville in February 2023.

Simon has been joined on the challenge at various points by friends, running because they know the benefits of exercise on wellbeing and they want to help train even more people.

Suicide and self-harm is all too common across society – through training and better awareness of the signs on distress and an increased recognition of the benefits of exercise we can make an impact.

Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year and the racing community is not exempt from that. To help provide vital support services for anyone affected and prevent avoidable tragedy, please donate what you can and you can help us to make a difference.

To support Simon’s epic challenge or see his progress, please visit: http://www.justgiving.com/simon-jones-marathon-challenge

Racing Welfare’s support services are completely confidential and non-judgmental. If you work in or are retired from racing, you can call Racing’s Support Line 24/7 on 0800 6300 443.

Press contact: Nicki Strong, Head of Communications and Marketing at Racing Welfare – nstrong@racingwelfare.co.uk