At the end of July 2020, Racing Welfare announced that it would be providing Return to School grants to racing industry families with school-age dependent children. The Return to School grants, which are awarded at £100 per child up to a maximum of 4 children per family, aim to ease the financial burden on families during what can be an expensive time of year. Applications will continue to be accepted for the grants up until Wednesday 30th September and can be made to recover the costs of uniform and equipment already purchased.
The grants, which are kindly being funded by the John Pearce Foundation and The Racing Foundation, are intended to help families with purchasing back to school essentials such as uniform, P.E. kit and educational equipment. Families can also use the grants to recover the costs of such equipment if already purchased. They are available to anyone currently working in the thoroughbred racing and breeding industry who has dependent, school-age children (4-18 years) and meets the eligibility criteria.
To be eligible for support, parents must be working or be self-employed in the industry for a minimum of one year, or have lost their job or work or be on furlough, within the last year. Furthermore, they must be living on or below the Joseph Rowntree Foundation Minimum Income Standard and be in receipt of Child Benefit.
The minimum income standard is higher than many people believe and any family working within the racing or breeding industries is urged to check their income using the simple Minimum Income Calculator UK: https://www.minimumincome.org.uk/ or contact your local Racing Welfare team for assistance.
Racing Welfare has streamlined its application procedure to allow for grants to be processed as quickly and efficiently as possible, though eligible families are encouraged to apply without delay in order to meet the end of September deadline. The charity’s team can be contacted directly via their regional office numbers. These lines are manned from 9am – 5pm, Monday-Friday and are as follows:
For the South and West regions call: 01488 670 034
Alternatively please call Racing’s Support Line which is available 24hrs a day, 7 days per week on 0800 6300 443. A 24hr live chat service is also available via the charity’s website www.racingwelfare.co.uk.
Racing Welfare’s Director of Welfare, Simone Sear, commented: “Thanks to the Return to School grants, we have been able to support many families within the racing and breeding industries with the additional financial burden that back to school expenses can bring. We are keen to support as many families as we can before the end of this month, so please get in touch with our team, in confidence, to find out if your family could benefit.”
Racing Welfare is the only charity that supports all of racing’s people – including stud, stable and racecourse staff, alongside those working in associated professions – from their recruitment right through into retirement. The charity provides a wide range of advice and guidance services, all of which are completely confidential and non-judgmental. Support is available for a wide range of life’s challenges, including physical health, mental health, bereavement, careers advice, housing, money advice, illness, addiction, relationships and retirement. Racing Welfare’s services are nationally accessible with offices in all of the main racing centres and roving Welfare Officers covering the whole of the country.
The charity owns 164 units of accommodation across the UK, with a focus on providing housing for young people working in racing and those who have retired from the industry which are managed by its housing arm, Racing Homes.
Racing’s Support Line, a multi-channel support platform, allows people to contact the charity online as well as through a 24hr telephone line.
Racing’s Support Line: 0800 6300 443
Online self-help resources: www.support.racingwelfare.co.uk
Racing Welfare’s Covid-19 Emergency Appeal: Due to the cancellation of planned fundraising events, Racing Welfare needs to raise £500k this year to fill the income deficit from this source.
Donate to the Emergency Appeal here: justgiving.com/RWEmergencyAppeal