Racing comes together for Give & Gain Day 2015

29 Jun 15

On Friday 16 May, under the banner of Racing Together,  British Racing’s community engagement programme, British Racing up and down the country took part in Give & Gain Day 2015. This high profile nationwide scheme, organised and promoted by Business in the Community was all about celebrating the power of employee volunteering.

Now in its sixth year, the theme this year was about harnessing the ‘power of conversation’ – elements included health, education, employability, enterprise and team challenges. 

Each of these elements are fundamental to British Racing and core to what Racing Together stands for:

Helping Others: Providing a ‘Centre of Excellence’ to support the aggregate of Racing Together.

Racing: Looking after the people and horses who are British Racing.

Education Outreach: Improving education and developing future champions.

Local Life: Bringing together the communities in which we operate.


Give & Gain Day is a great example of how the Power of Racing is being utilised to great effect to connect with people in ways that other businesses cannot. A number of racecourses, as well as teams from the RCA and BHA all got involved, contributing up to 300 hours of personal time to ensure the day was a success. Lots of positive local press coverage was received on the day. People have since expressed heartfelt gratitude to those that took part from within the world of British racing, and in recognition of the positive impact and differences made to peoples’ lives within the local communities.

The wide range of activities which encompassed Give & Gain Day, included the provision of educational support to schools, working on projects for the benefit of local communities, hosting charity events, and the donation of race titles.

Highlighted below are just some of the many tremendous examples of how British Racing supported the day. Racecourses up and down the country continue to host charitable events throughout the year, showing just how serious the Sport is taking its social responsibilities.

Greatwood: Supporting Local Life…..

The BHA took a team to Greatwood, which runs the Horse Power programme, and provides a free life skills and emotional literacy programme for young people with special educational needs.

The team helped transform the garden by getting involved in an array of gardening tasks in preparation for an Open Day. It was an incredibly rewarding for those that took part and a great opportunity for the team to integrate with the staff and children who attend Greatwood. As one volunteer of the BHA said, “the highlight was seeing some of the children who attend Greatwood and being completely blown away by how engaged they were in that environment.” The team left the day feeling that they had really accomplished something from contributing towards a successful Open Day for all at Greatwood.

Kempton Park Racecourse: Educational Outreach in action….

Kempton Park Racecouse played host to 50 local school children who spent the morning using the unique facilities of the course to help improve their numeracy, as well as learning about racing. Many of the children were visiting a racecourse for the first time and got to experience the thrill of live racing as well.

The children were introduced to different areas of the racecourse by BHEST’s Ollie McPhail, Robert Bellamy and Judith Allen. Activities included learning about all that goes on in the weighing room, more about the Parade Ring, whilst on the track, they were introduced to the traditional measurement of racecourses and set about measuring the fences and hurdles to work out how far horses have to jump to make sure they clear the obstacles. Wearing silks kindly donated by owners from across British and International racing, the group met two-time Grand National winning jockey Leighton Aspell, before learning how to read the racecard and picking out the horse that they wanted to cheer on in the first race.

Musselburgh Racecourse: Supporting Local Life…

A team of 20 volunteers from Musselburgh Racecourse, and James Tindell from Scottish Business in the Community went to the Olivebank Community Centre, which offers day care and support to vulnerable children and their families in a welcoming, safe and secure environment. The team helped with the development of the Centre’s garden area, the resurfacing of paths, weeding, planting, painting and the installation of a children’s water feature, providing hours of enjoyment for the young children. The Musselburgh Team found the help from Scottish Business in the Community absolutely invaluable.

Musselburgh Racecourse Commercial Manager Sarah Montgomery commented:

“The whole day was a real team effort. Mark Bemrose, Head Groundsman, arrived with a cement mixer, a load of cement and about 15 large rocks, sourced by Bill Farnsworth. They got straight into designing the water feature, digging, and general maintenance around the garden.

“The rest of the team, with less landscaping experience, got stuck into the project in different way. Give & Gain Day was an excellent opportunity for us to help Oliverbank Child & Family Centre, which is a superb asset to the local community and gave our staff a chance to put something back in to the community and is part of a wider strategy which we have undertaken to step up our commitment to corporate social responsibility.”

Newmarket: Supporting Local Life and the people who are British Racing

The Racing Centre opened its Café Bar and RACEFIT Gym and Injury Treatment doors on Give & Gain Day, with the Café Bar offering free tea and scones along with free snooker and pool for everyone that popped in. The RACEFIT gym had its doors open all day with staff on hand to provide fitness and nutrition advice with any new visitors receiving a free £5 induction voucher to join the gym. Give & Gain day was a great success for The Racing Centre and has attracted many new members to the club. The Racing Centre is now in a fortunate position to host a Racing Staff Sports Day on Sunday 12 July in Newmarket to provide a racing staff, family and friends event with individual and team trophies to be won!

Chievely and Area Children’s Centre: Supporting Local Life….

RCA’s Holly Cook took part in an individual project at the Chieveley and Area Children’s Centre. She was part of the team that helped cultivate a new vegetable garden for the benefit of the local children. There were lots of happy smiley faces at the end of the day.

Racing Together spokesman, Sean O’Connor said, “All areas of British Racing are doing a tremendous amount to support their local communities. It is wonderful to see British Racing coming together through the recent participation in Give & Gain Day 2015. Apart from the personal fulfilment and enrichment that comes from being involved in these worthwhile causes, there are considerable other benefits too. Community engagement not only has the power to strengthen business relationships with communities but enhances goodwill and reputation.

“Racing Together, is essential in bringing together the communities in which we operate, supporting racing, education outreach and local life.”


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For general advice or support with your initiatives please contact Sean O’Connor: e-mail: