A new scheme to help prevent loneliness and social isolation amongst retired racing staff was launched by Newmarket-based charity Racing Welfare this week.
The initiative was unveiled at a coffee morning attended by more than 80 former racing and stud workers held at the National Racing Heritage Centre at Palace House Stables on Tuesday, World Mental Health Day.
And it will provide membership to Palace House to allow people to visit, free of charge, throughout the year.
“Racing Welfare is aware that loneliness and social isolation is a growing problem nationally and it can be a major contributory factor leading to serious health problems,” said charity spokesman Rachel Cawley.
“Whilst this scheme is initially aimed at people living within reach of Newmarket, a developing partnership between Racing Welfare and The National Heritage Centre will create opportunities for outreach activities in other racing centres in the future.
“The extensive displays of horseracing memorabilia and sporting art at Palace House are of great interest to people who have devoted their lives to working in the industry, with many exhibits directly relating to the careers of Newmarket’s retired racing staff.”
The scheme is in addition to the range of coffee mornings, outings and holidays that are currently on offer to the retired racing community in Newmarket and other racing centres around the country. Last year Racing Welfare provided 546 places on trips and outings, held Christmas lunches for retired staff around the country and had more than 1,000 attendees at coffee mornings nationally.