After a Covid hiatus, UK employment charity Resume Foundation is looking for new candidates from marginalised backgrounds to train and put into work in the racing industry.
The charity’s Project Racing provides opportunities for people from overlooked or marginalised backgrounds to take up new careers working with horses. Successful candidates are enrolled on a training programme at the British Racing School and then helped to secure employment at a racing yard or stud.
It’s successful, too, thanks to the support of key bodies such as the Racing Foundation and the Peter O’Sullevan Charitable Trust – in fact, Racing was the first industry to collectively recognise the need to recruit from outside their traditional talent pools and embrace Resume Foundation’s approach. The charity’s pilot programme in 2019, which was launched as ‘The Bridge of Hope’, produced four young graduates ready to leave complex challenges behind them and start afresh. Two years later, they’re all still working in the industry and loving their new lives. A fifth candidate has just graduated from the British Racing School and will be taking up his new work placement at the end of November.
Project Racing was forced to suspend operations during the pandemic, but Resume Foundation is now looking for new candidates to enrol in the 2022 programme.
Chair of Trustees at Resume Foundation, Carolyn Doherty, says they’re keen to work with anyone who’d like to work with horses but would traditionally face significant barriers to entering the sector.
“The aim of the programme is to give people in need of a fresh start the chance to carve out a new path in life. We select candidates from a range of overlooked or marginalised backgrounds, including at-risk young adults, refugees, veterans and young people with a history of social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.
“We’ve seen from our pilot what an amazing life change this opportunity can provide for the right candidates – not to mention the valuable injection of fresh blood they represent for the racing industry.”
Successful candidates all get a mentor to provide practical and emotional advice and support throughout their time on the programme and as they settle into full-time employment. That ongoing support is vital to the success of the programme – Resume Foundation stays with its candidates to see them settled into long-term success.
David, a Project Racing graduate, said: “All it took was one interaction with a horse and it changed my life completely. If it wasn’t for them, I’d still be living in a hostel, in a very dark, lost place. Now, I’m home. I have an incredible job, incredible house, a whole brilliant life.”
He credits the ongoing support from Resume Foundation as key to his progress. “These people are all in my corner. And I can’t thank them enough for that – they really are incredible.”
Now, with the help of leading players in the racing industry, Resume Foundation wants to give more people like David the chance for a fresh start in a rewarding and meaningful career.
If you, or someone you know, may be interested in applying to Resume Foundation’s Project Racing programme, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest or find out more here.