Blog – 5th July

Welcome to another blog from the team at Pontefract Racecourse.

Every fortnight, someone from the team will share their thoughts for your entertainment (or otherwise!):

  • Managing Director, Norman Gundill with his trusty PA, Caroline who also looks after the hospitality,
  • Accounts Manager, Nicola,
  • Admin manager, Carol, who is writing this blog,
  • Marketing exec, Alexia, and,
  • Chief Operating Officer, Richard.

Today has been Freebie Friday for me today.

This week I have been doing work with various charities.

We really enjoy working with the local community and local charities and try to get as involved as we can so that Pontefract Racecourse is truly imbedded within the surrounding areas.

Sometimes, things happen which make it really easy to facilitate community work. For example, we had a lovely lady who telephoned to say she could no longer come to the race meeting on Tuesday 9th July. She had premier badges and had booked a meal in the Premier Restaurant.  She asked me if I knew of any charities who could use the tickets and meal.  I got in touch with the Prince of Wales Hospice who raffled the tickets to help them with their fund raising.  We would like to say a huge thank you to the lady who made the donation.

We always give a number of tickets away today to local care homes or those who are part of assisted living schemes. We try to offer assistance to a different group at every raceday so that we can make sure lots of different people get to experience a great day at the races. We allow one small party (up to 12 people) of care home residents to attend selected race meetings free of charge accompanied by their carer/personal assistant.

Earlier today, one such person visited us in the office to book tickets for their vulnerable residents. After checking our records, we’d no one booked in on the day that they wanted to come so we were able to offer them free tickets. The residents were so happy to get free tickets as they were expecting to pay – I’m going to hold them to their promise of them buying me an ice cream!

Anyone working at a venue likes ours will know just how many emails you get on a daily basis. We get inundated with email requests for tickets for charities who request tickets so that they can raffle or auction them to raise much needed funds.  We donate tickets to as many local charities as we can but sadly, we are not able to donate to them all.

Over the last few weeks, we have been able to donate tickets to a variety of charities that are not only local to us, but also across the country. These include:

Yorkshire Air Ambulance
Cash 4 Kids
Macmillan Cancer Support

St James’ Hospital
Support Dogs

Dementia UK

Cancer Research

We’re also working closely with New Beginnings this year – you can read about this specific work in an earlier blog which you can read here.

On top of that, there are also bucket collections at the entrances both before and after racing. We find that people give a little bit more at the end of the day – especially if they’ve had a few winners, a couple of drinks and a good day out! We ask charities to book these days in advance and we allow one charity per race day to collect outside the gates.

If you’d like to know more, or would like to apply for tickets for a care home, or a bucket collection, please get in touch!