Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus, Racing Welfare has seen an increase in people coming to the charity for financial advice. In response to the situation, a streamlined application process for the provision of Covid-19 hardship grants has been introduced. The grants are for anyone working in the British horseracing and breeding industry and are designed to help those who are in need of immediate financial assistance due to the outbreak.
“We have streamlined our application procedure to allow for grants to be processed as quickly as possible and have changed our verification process to facilitate this being done remotely yet still securely, all of which is set up to get support to those who need it most as rapidly as we can“. Dawn Goodfellow, Chief Executive of Racing Welfare
The new application process has been designed to make obtaining a hardship grant as simple and efficient as possible. The grants have been calculated into fortnightly amounts for a single applicant (£150) and that of a family (£210). The payments are intended to cover immediate basic needs, such as food, electricity and heating.
The current crisis has affected many people in the racing industry who may never have had to apply for welfare support before. We would like to stress that we are here to support anyone who is employed in racing and is in need of help at this time. Applicants will be eligible for a grant if they have encountered financial hardship as a result of the Covid-19 situation. Before a grant application is processed, our welfare team will conduct a needs-based assessment, including supporting people to claim any benefits and other statutory entitlements.
Dawn Goodfellow, Chief Executive of Racing Welfare, commented:
“The provision of hardship grants has been developed in response to the Covid-19 outbreak to help those most in need of support quickly. We recognise that the situation is affecting the lives of people living and working in racing in many different ways, with immediate financial need being just one of these.
“We are focusing our response on three main strands of work including the provision of hardship grants, the remaining two of which are: the publication of reliable advice and guidance in relation to the outbreak and its impact, and community support services to prevent loneliness and isolation during this time. The crisis is generating a lot of complex needs and so our services are designed to support people who require support on multiple fronts“.
The hardship grants will be financed by an industry fund established by The Racing Foundation, The John Pearce Foundation and other racing charities, utilising Racing Welfare’s infrastructure and grant making expertise to distribute the funds.
“We’re delighted that Racing Welfare is able to support people in the industry facing hardship due to the current situation. We’d really like to thank all the staff there who are working so hard to provide this support at such a difficult time, and also recognise the generous support of the John Pearce Foundation and other funders who have joined with us to support racing’s efforts.”Rob Hezel, Chief Executive of The Racing Foundation
If you are in need of support you can contact your local welfare team directly; our regional office numbers are manned from 9am – 5pm, Monday-Friday and are as follows:
Malton: 01653 696 869
Middleham: 01969 624 123
Lambourn: 01488 670 034
Newmarket: 01638 560 763
For assistance outside of these times, Racing’s Support Line is available 24hrs a day on 0800 6300 443.
Alternatively, a 24hr live chat service is available via the charity’s website www.racingwelfare.co.uk. All calls are being answered as quickly as possible but the we ask for all those getting in touch to bear with us at this busy time.
The BHA’s Executive Director, Will Lambe, said: The wide-ranging role performed by Racing Welfare has become all the more vital in recent weeks, and they have acted swiftly from the onset of this crisis. Their connection with racing communities is one of their great strengths, but they exist for anyone that works within the industry, or has previously done so, including close dependents. The streamlined process for hardship grants is to be welcomed, whilst British Racing’s leadership continues its work with Government and determines how other financial resources can be best used to support the industry.”