Jacqui Greet is fully focused on Ascot’s expanding social responsibility programme and reflects on the rapid growth of the Ascot Racecourse Supports…programme.
Community Engagement a Board priority
I joined Ascot in 2015, initially as an Executive Assistant to my current boss, Nick Smith, Director of Racing & Public Affairs. One of my projects was to manage Ascot’s community and charity activity, which evolved into the Ascot Supports programme that we run today. Our Board recognised the importance of CSR and combined with my other responsibility of managing customer feedback across site, my role changed to become CSR Manager at the end of 2017.
“Ascot Racecourse Supports” was launched in 2017 and brings together all Ascot Racecourse’s community and charity work into one programme. The goals are to support small, local charities and community groups plus equine charities. In addition to our day-to-day and raceday activations, we also provide £30,000 of funding (increasing to £35,000 from 2020) to help local charity projects via the Berkshire Community Foundation who administer our fund. This year our contributions have supported the Get Berkshire Active School Games, the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, the Ufton Court Educational Trust and First Days, all of which have our continual involvement.
Festive fun while helping others
At the racecourse we have held our annual Christmas Jumper Day, with funds going directly to a local charity. This year some staff also volunteered to fold bags for Reading Family Aid who distribute toys to children aged 0-16, through their Toys & Teens Appeal. Bet With Ascot also made £15K in donations to three local homeless charities, in addition to a total donation of £15K in support of various gambling charities, including the Young Gamers & Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM).
A personal highlight from 2019
Working with Sebastian’s Action Trust to host their Christmas in July “my first festival” themed party was so meaningful. It was heart-warming to not only enable children, their siblings and parents to enjoy a fun-filled day with us, but also to witness the generosity of spirit from our staff, performers and caterers – a truly collaborative day. Also, being part of our accessibility working group which saw the launch of the sunflower lanyard scheme was very satisfying.
Looking ahead to 2020
We are looking to enhance our schools’ engagement programme and generally build upon the success of existing programmes, not least the schools art competition, which is in its third year.
A final word of advice… if another racecourse wants to help those in your county, establish links with your local Community Foundation – they can provide invaluable insight, guidance and support and can link you to those most at need locally.