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Racing Welfare Fundraiser – Simon Jones

Seven marathon challenge to raise vital funds for Racing Welfare.  Industry wellbeing chair Simon Jones is taking on an epic challenge of seven marathons 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 years the campaign has trained over 450 people across the UK to recognise the signs of those dealing with mental health struggles, signpost to services and support their colleagues. 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.”

Simon has now set his sights upon a huge challenge to help raise funds for this cause so close to his own heart; this year, he will run 7 marathons across 7 different countries – starting in Rome on 27 March, then running around Paris, Barcelona and Edinburgh then onto Madrid, London and finishing at the home of the marathon in November – Athens.

Simon will be 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