Ascot Racecourse is proud to announce a number of initiatives and funding commitments that will provide crucial support for local charities and the wider community in 2022 and beyond.
Through the Ascot Racecourse Supports community and charity programme, these commitments will build on the wide-ranging help and assistance provided to many organisations through 2021.
Charity funding commitments continue to grow
In excess of £25,000 grant funding has already been promised to seven fantastic charities for the year ahead through the Berkshire Community Foundation. That includes £5,000 to the Renova Trust which provides housing to formerly homeless or precariously housed people and ex-offenders.
The Windsor-based charity DASH will also receive £5,000 to help them in their work to provide specialist support to adults and children experiencing mental health issues, modern slavery, trafficking, homelessness and complex needs associated with domestic abuse.
The Recycled Teenagers Club, Parents & Children Together, Slough CVS, Berkshire Lowland Search & Rescue and the Adult Dyslexia Centre will also benefit from funding.
This financial support follows £3,000 donated in December to three homeless charities in Bracknell, Windsor and Slough providing critical help across the Christmas period.
Ascot also remains committed to supporting charities within the horse racing industry and through a bespoke Ambassador Programme more than £13,000 was raised for the Injured Jockeys Fund during raceday activities in 2021 despite reduced attendance due to COVID-19 restrictions. The annual Christmas Jumper Day for staff in December raised £250 for Racing to School.
This year, the nominated charity for public donations at ticket purchase will be Thames Hospice and this hugely successful initiative raised in excess of £10,000 for Sebastian’s Action Trust in 2020/21.
Jane Gates OBE, CEO at Sebastian’s Action Trust, said:
“Sebastian’s Action Trust has been incredibly proud to be the nominated charity for public donations at ticket purchase throughout 2020/21. We are thrilled to receive £10,086.25 and wish to thank the public who have given so generously to our cause through the most challenging of times.
“We also wish to acknowledge Ascot Racecourse for selecting us as their chosen recipients; this once again reflects the amazing support they give to our charity through donations, sponsorship of events and the collaborative endeavours which help us to give our beneficiaries a little of the Ascot magic every racegoer enjoys when they visit this prestigious racetrack.”
Looking ahead to 2022, Ascot will be offering hundreds of complimentary tickets to members of the emergency services, NHS and social care sector through the Blue Light ticket scheme.
The scheme will be in place from the first raceday of the year on Saturday 22nd January and will include all non-premium racedays with 100 Queen Anne Enclosure tickets available at each fixture through the Blue Lights Ticket website. Additionally, the Tickets For Troops scheme will continue in 2022, offering complimentary tickets to members of the armed forces.
Community engagement continues to grow
Royal Ascot Cricket Club will benefit from continued shirt sponsorship of £1,500 and the Windsor & Ascot Driving Group will receive £1,850 from various donations linked to the e-Christmas card.
The Royal Ascot Schools Art competition will return in 2022 for the fifth consecutive year and focus on themes of the Platinum Jubilee while the Royal Ascot fashion design competition in collaboration with Samsung returns for a second year.
They will both follow on from a successful launch of the Local Schools Christmas Poem Competition in December. That was judged by Clare Balding and the writer, broadcaster, animal lover and sports fan took huge delight in selecting the winners across three age categories.
They were Alexander McCullough from Cranbourne Primary School, Toby Spong from Cheapside CE Primary School and Lottie Furst from Charters School.
A video message from Clare Balding was played out at the racecourse during the Howden Christmas Racing Weekend which can be seen here while Alexander and Toby read out their poems from the winners podium. The poems in full can be found here.
Alexander, whose poem is called ‘When Rudolph Became A Racehorse’ said:
"I was delighted to be told by my Head Teacher that I had won the Christmas poetry competition at Ascot Racecourse and that my prize was Waterstones vouchers for myself and my school.
“I really enjoyed writing my poem about Rudolph becoming a racehorse and then to have the opportunity to read my poem at the races was brilliant!"
Click here to find out more about Ascot Racecourse Supports