Yorkshire Racing Launches new Community and Education ‘Beacon’ Programme

30th March 2022

Go Racing in Yorkshire and Racing Together to join forces to deliver Yorkshire Racing Beacon Programme

A Pilot year will expand community-focused activity in this vibrant racing region and highlight racing as a force for good in society. Putting beneficiaries first, the Beacon will unite Yorkshire’s racing assets. The first event at Wetherby on 31 March focuses on WISE, Wetherby in support of the Elderly.

Go Racing in Yorkshire and Racing Together are proud to announce the pilot year for the Yorkshire Racing Beacon Programme, a year of activity that brings together community-focused events and activity that unite this racing region as a force for good in local communities. Today sees the first activity take place hosted by Wetherby Racecourse, working with Wetherby in Support of the Elderly (WISE) by offering their beneficiaries, also known as WISE Friends a day at the races.

With all nine Yorkshire racecourses, the National Horseracing College, Jack Berry House, Goffs UK and trainer Jo Foster already on board, the team coordinating the pilot are calling for more Yorkshire racing businesses to get in touch to see how they can support this new initiative.

Lucy Gurney, Community Engagement Manager for Racing Together said: “Yorkshire Racing is a world-class racing region and already hosts some of the best charity racedays and community initiatives. Our aim is to strengthen the connections between Yorkshire racing and its communities for mutual long-term benefit. This pilot programme builds upon broadly similar activity taking place at Aintree, Newmarket and through Scottish Racing.”

Yorkshire racing already engages around 1,000 young people in a normal year through education activity; volunteers 200 hours and raises over £790,000 for charities. Plans for this year include education and careers days; presentations and competitions; Autism in Racing days; volunteering; charity racedays and much more.

Ben Warn, Chairman of Go Racing in Yorkshire added: “We are proud of Yorkshire Racing on the track, in our yards and beyond. We want to use the region’s racing assets to inspire people young and old and to include them in our sport. The recent Economic Impact of Yorkshire Racing Study has highlighted a further opportunity to boost engagement with its communities and the next generation. The Go Racing in Yorkshire Community Beacon has a long-term focus on Education and Employability, Health and Wellbeing and Community Engagement to bring together many local assets to help others.”

WiSE activities coordinator, Debbie Todd said: “It’s great to be able to offer our WiSE friends a trip to the races with Wetherby racecourse being right on our doorstep. Preventing social isolation has always been at the top of our agenda – particularly since the pandemic. As restrictions have eased, our main objective has been to offer exciting and interesting activities to our friends. When Wetherby Racecourse approached us to offer WiSE a day at the races we knew this was something that fitted in with our plan. Our WiSE friends, many who live on the doorstep, have never visited the racecourse and it’s great to build community relations with local businesses.”

The Yorkshire Community Beacon Programme will consist of a diverse range of activities, including college visits and art projects, behind-the-scenes racecourse experiences and internships. The Beacon will promote volunteering as part of Racing Together Community Day, work with community groups and on fundraising events, as well as involvement in established and emerging community programmes.

Find out more about the Yorkshire Beacon programme here.