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13 September 2019

Chester Racecourse to launch #GoRacingGreen initiative

Chester Racecourse will this month launch their contribution to the #GoRacingGreen project. The initiative was introduced to support better mental health awareness within the race-going community and to support those a range of conditions, including dementia, autism, ADHD, social anxiety and general anxiety disorder. The scheme also looks to support and welcome those who would like to come racing, but have no one to accompany them.

The #GoRacingGreen team has conducted training with a team from Chester Racecourse to ensure staff members are equipped with information and ready to assist anyone who wishes to utilise the new service on the course. Welfare stewards and members of racecourse staff will this weekend be sporting a green ribbon to raise awareness for mental health and to identify themselves as able to offer support if required. A new designated “safe and quiet space” will be available at all race meetings and is located within the Holiday Inn Express at the course; stewards will be on hand to point racegoers in the right direction, should they wish to use the facility.

Debbie Matthews, Founder of #GoRacingGreen, said: “I would like to thank the team at Chester Racecourse for their genuine support, understanding and enthusiasm for #GoRacingGreen, bringing the initiative to the North West and opening up racing to so many more people.  I am excited to be working with them going forward as the project develops, and reaching out to the local communities and organisations within the area who can benefit from what they are putting in place.”

Richard Thomas, Chief Executive Officer at Chester Race Company added: “We’ve admired this scheme since it was launched and we are pleased to now be supporting the initiative. Staff are now equipped to not only support, but to raise awareness and help to break down barriers and stigmas attached to mental health issues. We hope that more racegoers will be encouraged to visit Chester, knowing this safe space and the support is available on race day.”

The #GoRacingGreen initiative is now recognised by The British Horseracing Authority, The Racecourse Association and VisitEngland as “Best Practice”. Behind the #GoRacingGreen initiative is a community of thousands of people that live with various conditions that make coming to a day at the races difficult for them. 

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