Racing Welfare, the national charity that helps those in need who work in or have retired from the British Horseracing and Breeding industry, was delighted to receive a Gold Award at the Green Apple Environment Awards which were held at the Tower of London in recognition of their retirement property in Newmarket, Wilfred Sherman House.
The awards recognise environmental best practice in building. The organisers, The Green Organisation, were particularly impressed with Wilfred Sherman House’s happy community environment. The project provides five homes for retired stable and stud staff, giving accessible, high quality and low running cost accommodation in the form of four two bedroom flats and one two bedroom cottage. A sustainable energy system is fitted including solar panels with triple coated absorbers and power tanks which allow the residents to have a continuous, sustainable supply of cheap heat and hot water.
Wilfred Sherman House was previously known as Crampton House; built in 1868 it was originally the Mission to Stable Lads, later it became home to the leading jockey Frankie Barlow. The building was purchased by Racing Welfare and re-named in the honour of the founding trustee of the Stable Lads Welfare trust, one of Racing Welfare’s predecessor Charities. The converted property was officially opened in its current guise in April 2009 by 98 year old Wilfred Sherman who sadly died earlier this year.
The Green Apple Awards are now in their sixteenth year and attracted more than 500 nominations. Racing Welfare’s Gold award was received by Keith Bovill who is the head of Racing Homes, Racing Welfare’s own housing association.
Keith has worked for the Charity for five years and is extremely proud to have achieved this recognition: “Winning this award is superb for the Charity and racing as a whole. It shows that it is possible to combine modern green building techniques and still create an affordable, comfortable home for those who have given a lifetime to the Thoroughbred racehorse. Our residents are happy and contented which as a housing manager is the goal that you must always aim for.”
One of those residents Jimmy Welsh (83) who started as an apprentice in 1943 in the nearby Palace Yard stables is more than happy with his “green” home. He said: “It is so important to have a home that is warm, comfortable and close to family and friends. Wilfred Sherman House provides all those things; I can’t express how much it means to live here”.
Mathew Hancock MP visited the residents and Charity staff on Friday 18th June to congratulate the Racing Welfare team on the award. The newly elected MP for West Suffolk commented on the development: “This is a fantastic development that uses green technology and keeps costs for the residents down. There is a wonderful community feel here. I think that Racing Welfare’s building programme highlights the need for affordable housing for racing staff in Newmarket who make up 25% of the town’s adult population.”