Ascot Racecourse has announced the launch of a three-year partnership with the Berkshire Community Foundation, which started with the running of the Berkshire Community Foundation Clarence House Chase on Saturday, 21st January.
The partnership will see Ascot supplement its existing charitable efforts, which have been headlined recently by raising over £750,000 for The Prince’s Countryside Fund over the last two years, with a specific focus on children and young people in the Berkshire area.
The Berkshire Community Foundation (BCF) has been at the forefront of local charitable giving for the last 30 years and aims to strengthen communities, tackle disadvantage and transform lives by connecting people who care with the causes that matter in their local community.
BCF raise funds for, and make grants to, local charities and voluntary organisations addressing identified need across Berkshire. Their annual ‘Vital Signs’ research report highlights the key areas of need affecting Berkshire through extensive research and community engagement, which enables them to provide informed, strategic support to the areas that need it most. They ensure that donations go to the heart of the community and are effective in bringing the greatest benefit to those most in need, making a lasting and sustainable difference to the local communities and providing a permanent and growing source of local charitable funding that will support community needs for years to come.
Jim Fyfe, Head of Development at Berkshire Community Foundation, welcomed the new relationship: “After a record-breaking year of grant-funding in 2016 we are delighted to have the very generous support of Ascot Racecourse as we begin 2017.
“Having the support of such a high-profile and prestigious venue in the heart of Berkshire will have a significant impact on our grant-making. It will ensure that we are able to provide vital support to hundreds of charities, delivering projects to thousands of children in our local community.
“We would like to thank everyone at Ascot Racecourse for their hard work and generosity that has enabled this exciting partnership to get off the ground.”
To celebrate the launch, the feature race at Ascot on Saturday will be run as the Berkshire Community Foundation Clarence House Chase and Trustee Lady Catherine Stevenson will judge the best turned out and present the winning owner, trainer and jockey with their trophies.
Lady Catherine Stevenson said: “The Berkshire Community Foundation is delighted that Ascot Racecourse is so generously supporting it by staging the Clarence House Chase in its name.
“The Berkshire Community Foundation supports the disadvantaged and needy in the Royal County of Berkshire and was able to donate almost £1 million in 2016.”
Guy Henderson, Chief Executive at Ascot Racecourse, added: “We are delighted to be working with the Berkshire Community Foundation and supporting the positive work they do for those in need within Berkshire.
“Our focus for 2017 will be children and young people. Our aim is to make a difference in our home county.”