Gerald Leigh Charitable Trust to support two new BRS projects

Gerald Leigh Charitable Trust and BRS announce two new projects aimed at further increasing accessibility to careers in horseracing.

The British Racing School will launch two exciting new projects this year, thanks to the generous support of the Gerald Leigh Charitable Trust. Aimed at further increasing equality of access for young people, the projects will break down financial and accessibility issues which currently prove to be barriers to them embarking on a career in British horseracing.

Three new ‘Gerald Leigh Racing Experience Weeks’ will be delivered at the School this year for young people who are entirely new to racing. These introductory weeks have been designed to close the gap between communities who may not know about how to access careers in the industry, or for young people who need additional support, in the form of a taster week, before transitioning onto a Foundation Course. The School has piloted these types of introductory weeks in the past and seen the benefit of a phased approach to support with retention and attracting new talent.

Andrew Braithwaite, CEO of The British Racing School comments that “the support provided by the GLCT is absolutely invaluable as it provides us with the opportunity to enhance young people’s lives, through running short programmes that build confidence, resilience, and team working skills, whilst also showcasing the many employment opportunities in the sport of horseracing to a new audience.”

The second project being launched this year is the ‘Gerald Leigh Accessibility Fund’. The British Racing School is committed to removing barriers for any young person who has the potential to succeed and achieve their potential in horseracing. We do this through providing outstanding facilities, instruction, dedicated staff and accommodation bursary support from our Rory MacDonald Memorial Fund for those with financial barriers. With the launch of this Accessibility Fund, we will now be able to reduce financial barriers even further – through the provision of small individual awards for necessary items such as riding gear at the start of the course, or support with travel costs.

Duncan Gregory, Operations Director at The British Racing School has been integral in developing the planned projects. “We are delighted with the generous funding provided by the Gerald Leigh Charitable Trust. We have, for a number of years, had aspirations to provide residential weeks at the School to encourage those from hard to reach areas and communities to consider a career in racing.

This funding will now allow us to deliver on this ambition and hopefully open the eyes of many young people who might previously have considered working in racing the preserve of those who ride well and are connected with the sport. We work hard to make racing a more inclusive industry and this is one more step towards achieving this.”

Sarah Whitney, Executive Administrator of the Trust says “The Gerald Leigh Charitable Trust is delighted to be supporting the BRS with these two new projects this year. We really hope that these initiatives will remove barriers and open-up opportunities which will make a positive difference to many young people’s lives. We further hope that moving forward, the British Horseracing Industry will benefit by attracting a new pool of employees and through community engagement.”

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