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Newmarket-based charity Racing Welfare offers grants to help racing workers during coronavirus crisis

Newmarket-based charity Racing Welfare is offering hardship grants for members of the racing community facing financial difficulties due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Single applicants can apply for a fortnightly amount of £150 and a family £210. The money is aimed to help with immediate basic needs such as food and heating. The grants are financed by an industry fund established by the Racing Foundation, the John Pearce Foundation, and other racing charities.

Potential applicants will be subject to a needs-based assessment.

Horses on heath (32217701)
Horses on heath (32217701)

“The provision of hardship grants has been developed in response to the Covid-19 outbreak to help those most in need of support quickly," said charity chief executive Dawn Goodfellow."We recognise that the situation is affecting the lives of people living and working in racing in many different ways, with immediate financial need being just one of these.

“We are focusing our response on three main strands of work including the provision of hardship grants, the remaining two of which are: the publication of reliable advice and guidance in relation to the outbreak and its impact, and community support services to prevent loneliness and isolation during this time.The crisis is generating a lot of complex needs and so our services are designed to support people who require support on multiple fronts.

“We have streamlined our application procedure to allow for grants to be processed as quickly as possible. We have also altered our verification process to facilitate this being done remotely yet still securely, all of which is set up to get support to those who need it most as rapidly as we can,” she added.

Rob Hezell, head of the Racing Founddation said: “We’re delighted that Racing Welfare is able to support people in the industry facing hardship due to the current situation.We’d really like to thank all the staff there who are working so hard to provide this support at such a difficult time, and also recognise the generous support of the John Pearce Foundation and other funders who have joined with us to support racing’s efforts.”

And Will Lambe, executive director of the British Horseracing Authority added: "“The wide-ranging role performed by Racing Welfare has become all the more vital in recent weeks, and they have acted swiftly from the onset of this crisis.Their connection with racing communities is one of their great strengths, but they exist for anyone that works within the industry, or has previously done so, including close dependants.The streamlined process for hardship grants is to be welcomed, whilst British Racing’s leadership continues its work with Government and determines how other financial resources can be best used to support the industry.”

Those in need of support should contact Racing Welfare directly. The charity’soffice number in Newmarket is 01638 560763 and is manned from 9am – 5pm, Monday-Friday. For assistance outside of these times, racing’s support line is available 24hrs a day on 0800 6300 443.