Yesterday, Thursday 22nd July, saw the announcement of the shortlists for the prestigious Third Sector Awards. Amongst those celebrating their inclusion in the list were the Jockey Club’s charity Racing Welfare, who are in the running for the Communications Team of the Year Award.
The Third Sector Awards provide an opportunity for voluntary organisations of all sizes, and the people who work for them, to celebrate their work and the real difference they make to society. After the extraordinary events of the Covid-19 pandemic, this has never been so important.
The event typically sees entries from the largest and most prolific organisations in the sector; this year is no different with Racing Welfare up against charity giants British Red Cross and Climate Group, so it is a huge accolade for the charity – which provides support for anyone working in or retired from racing – to make the shortlist.
The pandemic had a major impact on both Racing Welfare’s service delivery and their fundraising methods, and the charity’s communications team were essential in ensuring that beneficiaries and supporters were kept up to date and engaged.
The communications team have played a crucial role in both reassuring beneficiaries that their services were still available and in highlighting how to access support. The pandemic impacted a whole new demographic of the racing industry’s workforce and making them aware that they were eligible for support was also a key achievement.
The impact of Covid-19 on Racing Welfare’s fundraising had the potential to be catastrophic, but Racing Welfare’s comms team turned this into an opportunity to innovate and the result was ground-breaking initiatives such as singing competition the Furlong Factor, Virtual Open Days and hit podcast series, On Track, Off Course.
The rise in numbers of people supported by Racing Welfare throughout the pandemic is testament to the incredible growth of the charity’s profile. At the end of 2020, a total number of 4,500 people had received support, which equated to a staggering 80% increase in the numbers from 2019.
Dawn Goodfellow, Racing Welfare Chief Executive, said: “What a huge honour for our communications team to have been shortlisted for these prestigious awards. The last eighteen months have been a huge challenge for us all and to have the team’s acheivments recognised in this way is testament to both the dedication and innovation they have shown . We are holding our own alongside some high-profile charities in this category and I have my fingers firmly crossed for the final but, win or lose on the night, I am just so proud of the whole Racing Welfare team’s hardwork during these difficult times.”
The team comprises Nicki Strong, Head of Communications and Marketing, Digital Marketing Executive Parris Lane, Digital Content Editor Tina Scargill, Communications Executive Lauren Braithwaite, and formerly included Communications Manager Felicity Marshall.
The winners of the Third Sector Awards will be revealed at a black-tie ceremony in London on Friday 17th September. You can find out more about the awards here: https://www.thirdsectorawards.com/.