A series of race meetings which provide some of the most anticipated days out in Cumbria are set to support nine highly worthy charities this spring and summer.
Cartmel Races will hold nine race meetings between May 28 and August 29 this year.
The races are much-loved milestones in the Cumbrian calendar, held on a picturesque racecourse next to the delightful village of Cartmel with its array of fine shops, bars and restaurants.
As well as being able to sit and have a picnic while they watch the horses thunder past, punters can also enjoy entertainment including a DJ and funfair.
On June 24 the racing will also be followed by a performance by singer David Gray.
Even better, each race meeting will also be held in aid of a good cause which does vital work in Cumbria and beyond.
Two local organisations which are to benefit are The Well Communities and Growing Well.
Growing Well, helps more than 100 people a year recover from mental health problems through supported volunteering at its 6-acre organic vegetable farm at Low Sizergh Farm, near Kendal, and will benefit from money raised on July 16 at Jumping July Saturday.
Established in 2004, Growing Well supports the volunteers and teaches them horticultural skills, while a Volunteer Support Co-ordinator helps them set and achieve their goals, reflect on their mental health progress and connects them with other activities and unsupported volunteering opportunities in the community.
Plus, the charity’s weekly ‘Crop Share’ veg box scheme is supported by more than 100 local families whose annual membership provides vital income.
“We are delighted to have been chosen by Cartmel Races to fundraise for the first time on one of this summer’s race days, on July 16,” says Growing Well Head of Development Richard Eccles.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to engage with thousands of racegoers at a really special event, so they can hear our name, find out more, and support our vital mental health work with a donation or purchase.
“We will be out in force with a new team of fundraising volunteers and some creative ideas so we can really make the most of it.”
Meanwhile, The Well will receive a donation from fundraising during the Season Finale on August 29.
Founded in 2012 The Well is a not-for-profit community interest group which provides a range of support to help people recover from drug and alcohol addiction.
The Well has hubs in Barrow, Lancaster and Morecambe as well as sites in Kendal and Fleetwood.
“It has been running in Barrow since 2014 and helps as many as 300 people a week in Cumbria.
The services it offers include membership based food clubs, providing specific services to help people overcome drug and alcohol addiction and directing people to access other support in the community.
Business development manager Ged Pickersgill said Lord Cavendish, of the Holker Estate which owns the racecourse, developed an interest in the organisation and contacted them directly to find out more about their work.
His daughter Lucy Cavendish also visited The Well in Barrow as part of her work as a trustee of Cumbria Community Foundation, which itself will be the nominated charity at the racing on June 24.
“Any income generated will directly benefit the people who we serve, for example through food clubs for local families, community prescribing or gardening projects,” said Ged.
“It will provide valuable support for frontline delivery of our services throughout South Lakeland.”
Other local organisations nominated as beneficiaries are St Mary’s Hospice, in Ulverston, and the Calvert Trust, which has a base near Keswick.
Geraldine Mckay, director of racing, said: “At Cartmel we pride ourselves on running a racing event like no other.
“The racing is central to what we do, but there is so much else as well, with people able to set up camp on the racecourse, explore the wonderful setting and nearby village of Cartmel and even camp and stay overnight if they wish.
“However, it’s vitally important to us that amidst all the fun we also do what we can to support great causes that do valuable work both in Cumbria and beyond.
“We’re really proud to be raising money for these nine great charities and I would encourage racegoers to donate as generously as they can.”
The full list of charities which will receive support is:
Saturday May 28 – Racing Welfare
Monday May 30 – Women’s Community Matters
Wednesday June 1 – St Mary’s Hospice
Friday June 24 – Cumbria Community Foundation
Sunday June 26 Calvert Trust
Saturday July 16 – Growing Well
Monday July 18 – British Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Centre
Saturday August 27 – ABF The Soldier’s Charity
Monday August 29 – The Well