Racing Welfare: An introduction from Gemma Waterhouse
Racing Welfare was formed 22 years ago. Back then, there were a group of charities: all of them small and not working effectively together. A steward at the Jockey Club decided to simplify things, and to create two new charities: Racing Welfare, and a housing association called Racing Homes. Today, those two organisations work to support everyone involved in the racing industry, providing housing for those who need it most, with 165 units of accommodation throughout the country, based predominantly in the racing centres of Newmarket, Malton, Middleham, Epsom and Lambourn.
It costs around £3.5m a year to run the charity, and all the money has to be raised by us. We have a bunch of grants, and otherwise rely on donations, fundraisers, corporate givers and investments. It's hard to keep pushing for the funds, but what we do is important, so it's imperative we keep plugging away. Our 'Friends of Racing Welfare' scheme, for example, allows individuals to contribute £5 a month or more to us. But there are so many ways to get involved in what we do.