A group of Yorkshire jockeys have come together to help those less fortunate than themselves, working with the Harrogate Homeless Project.
Often travelling to race meetings with only the contents of a washbag – most jockeys equipment is transported between racecourses via the valets who work in the weighing room – the jockeys have filled spare washbags with useful contents in a bid to help people in difficult circumstances.
The idea is the brainchild of Adele Mulrennan whose husband Paul is a leading Yorkshire jockey. Adele said, “I have seen people sleeping rough in Harrogate and wanted to do something to help. I spoke to the team at the Harrogate Homeless Project who suggested some useful products and Paul gave me one of his washbags to put them in. He thought that some of the other lads in the weighing room would get involved too and the idea has spiralled!”
“The support from the jockeys has been great, but the biggest challenge has been collecting the completed bags, particularly as racing was cancelled for a few days due to the equine influenza outbreak. Fortunately once it resumed we were able to pick up the momentum again.”
A number of Yorkshire racecourses have also got involved making up their own washbags and by donating items and clothing. Jonjo Sanderson, Chief Executive of Wetherby Racecourse said, “When we heard what the jockeys were doing we were keen to support them. This is a great initiative and a good way to help the local community.”
Liz Hancock, Chief Executive of Harrogate Homeless Project Ltd was delighted at the support from the racing industry, “We are grateful for all donations received and this cause has really resonated among the jockeys,” said Liz. She continued, “The donations that have come from the racing community will be very beneficial and help us to continue our work.”
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Pictured from left to right are jockeys Andrew Mullen and Rachel Richardson, Charlotte Fortune – Service User Manager from Harrogate Homeless Project Ltd and jockey Paul Mulrennan.