A record level of participation was achieved for the first Racing Together Community Day staged since 2019. The annual initiative, interrupted by the pandemic, is an opportunity for a range of racing businesses and charities nationwide to engage with and support their communities through local volunteering activities. Over 65 organisations from across the sport in locations nationwide embraced the day by giving up their time to help others.
- British racing’s national employee volunteering day ‘Racing Together Community Day’ took place on Thursday 5 May with some activities taking place before and after this date;
- Coordinated by Racing Together: racing’s community partnership of charities and racing businesses;
- This year over 65 businesses signed up to get involved, from trainers to racecourses, racing charities to bookmakers;
- Activity ranged from refurbishing a local primary school’s garden to sign-cleaning and supporting local food banks. Charity cake sales; environment clean-ups; community events that celebrate HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee are just some examples;
- Trainer Jedd O’Keeffe kicked-off the initiative in April raising over £500 for the MND Association by holding a charity cake and refreshment stall. Other contributors will volunteer throughout the year as part of wider annual volunteering programmes.
Who got involved?
All racing-related stakeholders were encouraged to get involved. Racing organisations, charities and businesses from across the industry embraced the initiative in record numbers. Find and download photographs of activity here.
John Blake, CEO of Racing Together, said: “This is the first Racing Together Community Day since the pandemic but it’s important to acknowledge that the sport’s voluntary effort did not stop during this time even with so much disruption and with depleted resources. Community Day is an opportunity for racing teams to enjoy working outside of their usual roles to have a real impact on local communities. We also know that there are charity and community partnerships that are formed at this time but that often continue beyond this one day.”
Gary, Groundsperson at The Centre @ Halton community hub, said: “We are so grateful for the help and time the British Thoroughbred Retraining Centre team are giving to The Centre today. I have Multiple Sclerosis and struggle with the amount of jobs to do here, so this is such a great help.”
John Gilbert, Chief Executive of the Racing Centre, said: “Our team of Newmarket racing-related businesses had an amazing opportunity to improve our local area this week through sign cleaning, litter picking and much more. It was a fantastic example of team working and we hope has made a visible difference to our local area.”
Scottish Racing Academy and Scottish Racing
Scottish Racing Academy together with Scottish Racing staff collected and sorted through donations of riding clothes and equipment. The aim was to break down the barriers of participation to horse riding. The second-hand clothes and equipment were donated to charitable riding centres around the racecourses and given to people who wanted to learn how to ride but can’t afford the necessary kit.
Go Racing in Yorkshire
Go Racing in Yorkshire teamed up with its member racecourses to volunteer at New Beginnings Racehorse Rehoming Centre.
Racing teams from the betting company teamed up with racecourses and racing organisations close to their regional hubs to support activity, including a full day helping out at the National Horseracing College for their nine-strong Yorkshire team.
Richard Phillips Racing
Richard hosted a morning on the gallops and yard tour in aid of Kate’s Home Nursing.
The Jockey Club and Racing Welfare
Jockey Club Racecourses and Racing Welfare worked together to volunteer for food banks in their local communities, which includes collecting supermarket donations and packing and storing food.
Ascot tied their Community Day Activity in with Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. They planted 70 oak trees adjacent to the Royal Procession route along Duke’s Lane in Windsor Great Park. On 10th May each tree will be dedicated to one of the 70 local schools, one for each year of HM reign. Ascot is also holding a schools art competition where local students can win funds for their school and Amazon vouchers for themselves.
British Racing School
Students from course 361, accompanied by Operations Director Duncan Gregory, joined a local litter pick as part of the day.
BHA and Careers in Racing
As part of Community Day, the BHA together with Careers in Racing will host a careers day at High Holborn in late May. A school group will visit departments from Finance to Marketing and take part in interactive activities highlighting the varied career paths available in the racing industry, and relatable job roles that are undertaken in the building.
The racecourse team is engaging with Ludlow council to mow, strim and coordinate a general tidy up of public spaces and litter pick. The team will also help out at Ludlow Foodbank. Their activity take place next week after this Sunday’s racing fixture.
Notes to editors:
About Racing Together
Racing Together is British racing’s community engagement activity and is an open partnership of charities and organisations that work across the sport to benefit others. The initiative is led by the education charity Racing to School and guided by a subcommittee.
Racing Together coordinates, supports, represents and measures British racing’s community engagement and CSR activity. Its vision is for British racing to be known as a ‘force for good’ by helping the communities in which the sport operates. It achieves this by providing practical support and resources; facilitating ideas, collaboration and progress; working on specific nationwide initiatives; hosting inspiring masterclasses and coordinating Racing Together Community Day, while promoting and sharing best examples of community engagement on an ongoing basis. Racing Together is grateful to the HBLB for its annual funding award.
Find and download photographs of activity here.