This Saturday 14 September, Chester Racecourse will launch the newest supporting arm of the #GoRacingGreen project. The project was introduced to support better mental health awareness within the race-going community and support those with a varying range of conditions which include, but are not exclusive to; 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 have conducted the necessary 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 at Chester. Welfare stewards and members of racecourse staff will this weekend will be sporting a green ribbon to raise awareness for mental health and identify themselves as individuals who can be leant on for support if required.
To support the launch of the scheme at Chester, a new designated “safe and quiet space” will be available at every single race meeting, for anyone who wishes to use it on the day, or is encouraged to come racing, simply knowing it is available to them should they need. The “safe and quiet space” is located within the Holiday Inn Express at Chester Racecourse and 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 said:
“We have been in admiration of this scheme since it was launched and we are pleased to now be supporting the initiative through the introduction of a new area in which racegoers who need to, can utilise a safe quiet space. Our team have undergone training to ensure they can best support someone suffering from social anxiety, general anxiety disorder and various other social triggered phobias. 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. They have provided feedback which we have used throughout the initiative and will continue to do so going forward.