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12 January 2022

Ascot plans more charity and community activity in 2022

Ascot Racecourse has announced a number of initiatives and funding commitments which will provide crucial support for local charities and the community in 2022. These commitments are run through the Ascot Racecourse Supports programme and will build on the 2021 programme. 

Community engagement growth

The Royal Ascot Schools Art competition will return for the fifth year in 2022 and will focus on the theme of the Platinum Jubilee with the Royal Ascot fashion design competition in collaboration with Samsung returning for its second year. The Windsor and Ascot Driving Group will receive £1,850 and the Royal Ascot Cricket Club will benefit from continued shirt sponsorship of £1,500.

Last year marked the launch of the Local Schools Christmas Poem Competition in December which was judged by broadcaster, journalist and author Clare Balding OBE. Clare took great pleasure in selecting the winners across three age categories and a message from her was played at the racecourse during the Howden Christmas Racing Weekend.

Through the Blue Light ticket scheme Ascot will be offering hundreds of complimentary tickets in 2022 to members of the NHS, emergency services and social care sector. The scheme will be in place from the first raceday of the year on Saturday 22nd January. In addition the Tickets For Troops scheme will continue throughout the year offering complimentary tickets to members of the armed forces. 

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!” 

Rudolph was a reindeer with a bright red nose, With his large antlers he could strike a magnificent pose. But Rudolph was very sad and full of remorse, Because all he really wanted was to be a racehorse.

At Christmas time his job was to deliver gifts to all,

But his dream was to run in a race and line up in a stall. He longed to feel the hallowed Ascot turf beneath his hooves

With Santa on his back and show his dashing moves.

Courageously he trained all year to be fit and strong

So he could deliver presents all day long.

He also wanted to be very quick and fast

Just in case he could race and not come in last.

Eventually Christmas came and Rudolph was watching the race. The horses lined up, but there was a spare place!

He looked to Santa and his friends who said you go on and run

So he joined the race, ran like the wind, and he won!

WHEN RUDLOPH BECAME A RACEHORSE, Alexander’s winning poem

Charity Funding

Over £25,000 grant funding has already been promised to several charities in 2022 through the Berkshire Community Foundation including £5,000 to the Renova Trust which provides housing to formerly homeless, precariously housed people and ex-offenders. 

The charity DASH based in Windsor will also receive £5,000. There work helps provide specialist support to adults and children experiencing mental health issues, modern slavery, trafficking , homelessness and complex needs associated with domestic abuse. 

This financial support follows £3,000 donated in December last year to three homeless charities providing help across the Christmas period. 

This year the chosen charity for public donations at ticket purchase will be Thames Hospice. This proved very successful last year with £10,000 being raised 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.” 

To find out more about Ascot’s charity and community work visit their Directory listing and website here.

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