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17 February 2020

British Racecourses share significant Community Engagement footprint

Racing Together and the Racecourse Association (RCA) are delighted to publish details of the 2019 racecourse audit on community engagement activity.

  • Over £2.2m fundraised and donated through racecourse charitable activity during 2019 for 250+ charities
  • 455 racecourse team members volunteered 3,100+ hours
  • 10,382 free tickets were claimed through Tickets for Troops
  • Racing’s national day of volunteering, Racing Together Community Day saw 65 racing teams volunteering in their local area
  • 372 free, curriculum-based school trips were hosted for 15,011 students, mostly at racecourses in 2019

Over 90% of British racecourses have shared details of last year’s community engagement activities as part of the annual survey, which covered topics such as volunteering, fundraising, donations raised and charity partnerships.

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Two stand-out examples of racing’s contribution to community causes are York Racecourse’s established Macmillan Raceday, which raised over £600,000 last year, and the Magnolia Cup at Goodwood, which was a huge success in promoting the charity’s work and by contributing almost £200,000 in funds for Wellbeing of Women.

Almost 50,000 tickets were donated to the charity Tickets for Troops, and racecourses routinely support their local charities and causes in this way. Racing to School welcomed a record 15,000 young people across 372 activity learning days, the majority of which were hosted at racecourses.

The survey revealed that 64% of respondents have an established community programme, with 89% discussing community and CSR reports at a senior level. Community partnerships are now commonplace – 80% in 2019. Almost three quarters of respondents donate excess food and flowers to local good causes when fixtures are abandoned.

Find out more:

Lucy Gurney, Community Engagement Manager at Racing Together said: “We know that community engagement activity has been growing across racing, and to see this evidenced in these results is brilliant.

“We are proud to support and showcase racing’s community engagement activity and look forward to continuing to help racecourses and racing businesses to be a force for good in their local communities this year. Racing Together Community Day, racing’s national day of volunteering, takes place on Thursday 7th May.”

Paul Swain, Brand & Experience Manager at the RCA, commented: “The Racing Together audit has given us a multitude of good stories which demonstrate that as well as being first-class sporting venues, British Racecourses can leverage the power of racing to serve as hubs which benefit the interests of their local communities.

“Alongside Racing Together, the RCA is excited to continue to work with our member racecourses to promote community engagement and share both the significant impact and fantastic stories generated with the nation.”

Full results:

Respondents: 55

Does your racecourse have an established community and CSR programme?

Yes = 35

Is there a specified member of staff on your racecourse team responsible for community engagement?

Yes = 40

Is community and CSR discussed at a senior level?

Yes = 49

Do you publicly report about community and CSR work?

Yes = 31

Do you plan to participate in the Racing Together Community Day on 7th May?

Yes = 30

How many of your staff volunteered in 2019 as part of a work-encouraged scheme?

  • Number of staff: 455
  • Number of hours: 3,123

What type of charities do you support (whether fundraising, volunteering or support in kind)?:

  • Equestrian = 47
  • Military = 46
  • Responsible Gambling = 12
  • Racing = 49
  • Young people/education = 43
  • Older people = 34
  • Health & wellbeing = 45
  • Local causes = 50

Approximately what amount of donations or donations in kind did you give to charity in 2019, or collectively fundraise?

  • Amount: £2,217,396.29
  • Charities: 276
  • Tickets donated: 12,319

Do you have the following:

  • A commitment to charity donations/ fundraising per year = 40
  • Offer an allowance for staff volunteering or organise volunteering days = 24
  • Ongoing conversations with your local MP(s) regarding your community engagement = 23
  • One or more community/charity partners such as Community Foundation, Lions, political or health groups, racing and non-racing charities. = 44
  • Donate leftover food and flowers to local causes (particularly in the unfortunate event of abandonment) = 38

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