Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal today (5th December) joined 200 retired racing staff at Newbury racecourse, all of whom had gathered together to celebrate Christmas. Hosted by ITV Racing’s Mick Fitzgerald, the event was part of a trio of lunches held across the country today, with events taking place at York racecourse and in Newmarket also. In all, Racing Welfare brought 474 people together to mark the start of the festive season across the three locations.
During her address to the room, Her Royal Highness spoke of racing’s strong community spirit and a shared love of the sport that unites all of racing’s people. The Princess, who is the charity’s President, went on to speak of Racing Welfare’s work to promote social inclusion, including an annual beneficiary holiday which this year saw the charity provide a week-long trip to Norfolk for 50 people.
Racing Welfare’s Christmas lunch events are part of the charity’s wider agenda to prevent loneliness and isolation within racing’s retired communities. Regular initiatives throughout the year include coffee mornings and reminiscence events, all of which are designed to connect people through shared interest and a love for racing. These occasions see old friends coming together, along with providing the opportunity for those attending to make new ones.
Dawn Goodfellow, Racing Welfare’s Chief Executive, spoke of the importance of the day in the charity’s calendar, saying, “We are honoured to be at Newbury today in the presence of Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal to celebrate Christmas. To be bringing so many people together is testament to the work of our welfare teams and the pivotal roles that they all play within their communities. Our Christmas lunch events are truly a highlight in our calendar each year and I hope everyone joining us around the country today has had a wonderful time.”
Anyone interested in getting involved in Racing Welfare’s retiree events, or in finding out more information on behalf of a family member, can visit www.racingwelfare.co.uk or call 0800 6300 443.