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20 July 2018

Racing Welfare Welcomes Increased Support from York Racecourse

Racing Welfare has reinforced their partnership with York Racecourse, who have upped their support this year to increase the impact of the charity’s services for beneficiaries in Yorkshire.

Racing Welfare is delighted that the York Race Committee has enhanced their partnership with the charity for this year, increasing their financial backing of initiatives that benefit the lives of those working in, and retired from, horseracing in the Yorkshire region. The progression of this relationship has been very much welcomed by the charity, who has a strong presence in the north of England with regional offices in the racing centres of Middleham and Malton.

Community Matters

A particular focus of York’s support has centred on working with Racing Welfare to fund events aimed at combatting social isolation and loneliness, such as day trips, coffee mornings and other social occasions. These events are open to all and are particularly popular with retirees, offering inclusivity and a community for those who previously employed in racing, many of whom have dedicated the whole of their working lives to the sport.

Most recently, York Racecourse provided funding for a number of Yorkshire-based ex-racing staff to go on Racing Welfare’s retired staff holiday to Spain, joining a national group which totalled 50 beneficiaries. Such initiatives form a significant aspect of the charity’s work and allow those attending trips and social events to the opportunity to exchange stories and experiences with others who share their passion for horses and racing.

In addition to financial assistance, members of the team at York gave their time to volunteer at the Malton Festival of Racing last year, which sees the training yards within the town and local area throw open their gates to the general public, happening this year on Sunday 16th September.

Speaking on York Racecourse’s relationship with the Racing Welfare, William Derby, Chief Executive and Clerk of the Course at York said, “Racing Welfare is close to our hearts at York. The breadth and depth of their work is inspiring, whether it is the better known help they offer to rehab riders, or the physio offered to members of the racecourse team, or the events organised for those retired; everything they do makes a real difference. We are honoured to be recognised as a supporter”.

Young People’s Housing

York Racecourse has also contributed funding towards a Racing Welfare housing development in Middleham, where a particular need has been identified for accommodation for racing staff aged 16-24. Racing Welfare’s entire property portfolio totals 140 residential units across the UK, however the majority of these aren’t in the north of England. The Middleham project forms part of Racing Welfare’s overall Young People’s Housing Strategy, which aims to ensure a national provision of housing for young people starting out in their careers in racing. The development, to be known as Jessica’s House, bears reference to Jessica Bethell, daughter of Middleham trainer James Bethell, who sadly died in 2012 from Meningitis. It will incorporate 10 bedrooms as well as a gym, treatment facilities and a consultation room, providing outreach facilities for the Injured Jockeys Fund’ s northern base at Jack Berry House in Malton. The plans were brought together following extensive consultation with local representatives and will also include communal areas which will be available for use by the wider racing community also.

Dawn Goodfellow, Chief Executive of Racing Welfare, said

We are very happy to have built a fantastic relationship with York Racecourse over the years, which has seen them become one of our most generous and steadfast supporters. Racing Welfare is hugely grateful to William and York Race Committee for increasing their contribution again this year, allowing us to make a highly positive difference to the lives of our beneficiaries in Yorkshire.