Latest News

11

May 21

TTR Proud to Support British Racing’s Pledge for Improved Diversity & Inclusion

Take The Reins (TTR) is proud to give its full backing to a unified “Industry Commitment” from British Racing’s leading organisations to ensure the sport is open to everyone.

The sports-based not-for-profit organisation works primarily through and in the racing industry to support and deliver positive outcomes for young people and communities. It aims to provide activities, implement personal development and training initiatives and deliver vocational training and pathways to progress in the racing/sports industries and in meaningful careers in associated sectors.

Throughout the pandemic lockdown TTR has worked extensively with youth groups and diverse communities to maintain its network and reach for future projects, and was a partner in the delivery of the Hope2020 campaign in memory of Damilola Taylor.

Deborah Hay, CEO of TTR, said the industry-wide commitment was an important step in achieving real diversity and inclusion in the sport:

‘This is a welcome move by the industry, driven by the Diversity in Racing Steering Committee set up a couple of years ago.

‘TTR draws on our roots in racing and our community networks and reach to provide opportunities to young people from diverse communities and this pledge by all of racing’s lead stakeholders, will help us to deliver this pledge on the ground.

‘We look forward to working closely with our racing partners to help them put some of these promises into action.’

The Industry Commitment has been undertaken by British Horseracing Authority (BHA), Racecourse Association (RCA), Racehorse Owners Association (ROA), Thoroughbred Breeders Association (TBA), National Trainers Federation (NTF), Professional Jockeys Association (PJA), National Association of Racing Staff (NARS) and Great British Racing (GBR). All are collectively responsible for the operational running and promotion of British racing.

It is underpinned by five key areas which are crucial to British racing’s long-term ambition to create a ‘truly diverse, inclusive and welcoming sport’.

  1. Leadership and Accountability
  2. Good Governance
  3. Education and Awareness Raising
  4. Celebrating Racing’s Diversity
  5. Engaging New Audiences

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Note for Editors:

Take the Reins (TTR) was established in 2014 to engage economically deprived communities with the racing industry.

TTR aims to support young people’s access to the industry and showcase what it has to offer in building young people’s skills and knowledge, and presenting the sport as an avenue for employment. TTR is providing enriching activities, vocational training, mentoring and support to ‘youth at risk’ in some of the UK’s most deprived communities.

Since the start of the 2017 – 2019 pilot, which was supported by the Racing Foundation, over 1,000 young people received informal educational support to gain a broader insight into the industry, through schools and community groups within the target areas. The delivery partners worked with specialist youth and community development workers to challenge perceptions and build greater linkages with the industry.

An Impact Study, carried out by Professor Andrew Parker hailed the project a huge success due to a multi-stakeholder approach on its steering committee from across the racing industry.

For more information please contact Deborah Hay via email: takethereins.racing@outlook.com Twitter: @_TakeTheReins

Read the full Industry Commitment here.

 

28

Feb 21

COVID-19 STATEMENT

The latest Government announcement has given us huge hope that we are on the road to recovery and that over the coming months, TTR will be able to start delivering face-to-face sessions with young people.

In the meantime, we will continue to operate remotely, via on-line sessions.

The pandemic has had a devastating effect on so many – none more so than our youth sector where unemployment, mental health and dis-engagement is predicted to be at an all-time high. We, alongside so many other youth-focused agencies, are committed to addressing the needs of our young people and help them build aspirations to find the right pathways for their futures.

28

Feb 21

SUPPORTING YOUNG PEOPLE WITH THE HOPE COLLECTIVE

Throughout 2020 Take the Reins have been proud members of the Hope Collective and participants in the Year of Hope campaign. The Collective and Campaign was established to mark the 20th anniversary of the tragic death of Damilola Taylor in Peckham, South London by celebrating his life, his ambitions and harnessing the hopes of young people to create a better society. 

Bringing together organisations from across a range of sectors – including the Damilola Taylor Trust, UK Youth, National Citizenship Service, Rio Ferdinand Foundation, London Violence Reduction Unit, Professional Footballers Association and Metropolitan Police to name just some of our partners in the Collective – the campaign sought to amplify the voices of young people across the UK on the theme of hope, and to showcase the positive contributions made by young people across the UK. Youth participants in the programme also received training and support  from a range of organisations including Take The Reins to create a day of Youth action on 7th December 2020, the date of Damilola’s birthday. 

The campaign received a boost in December when Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced 7th December as a national Day of Hope in perpetuity as a memorial to Damilola and in recognition of the hopes of young people and communities in the UK.  

We remain committed to the Hope Collective in 2021 and we are currently working with partners and young people to plan and develop a network and schedule of activities for the Day of Hope 2021.

3

Dec 20

TV BROADCASTER RISHI PERSAD JOINS TAKE THE REINS

Rishi Persad

Sports presenter Rishi Persad is to join the Board of the racing-led youth and community organisation, Take The Reins.

The ITV Racing and Racing TV broadcaster is keen to speak out for increased diversity in the sport and is backing TTR’s bid to open up opportunities in racing to all sectors.

‘As soon as I became aware of the work and initiatives of TTR and what it stood for, I was keen to offer my help and support,’ said Rishi.

‘My views on the need for some positive action on diversity within the racing industry are well known and I think TTR is a great example of what can be achieved.

The not-for-profit organisation aims to reach communities across the UK offering youth engagement, personal development, transferable skills training and engagement within the thoroughbred racing industry at all levels.

Deborah Hay, CEO of Take The Reins, said: Having Rishi join us on the Board is a fantastic step forward.

We are at the start of our exciting journey and having such a familiar face involved at this early stage will help tremendously.

Rishi is passionate about everything that is at the heart of what TTR stands for. We very much look forward to working with him to make a difference to the lives of those young people we are here to help those facing very real social and economic hardship.

Rishi, who is also a member of the Diversity in Racing Steering Group, has worked in sports broadcasting for almost 20 years and covered some of the greatest sporting events in the world including four Olympic Games, major international golf tournaments and Wimbledon Tennis Championships.

Horse racing though, remains closest to his heart and Rishi has been a familiar face on all major terrestrial channels as well as Racing TV over the years and has been involved in broadcasting at many of the major race meetings around the world.

2

Nov 20

THE RACING FOUNDATION AWARD GRANT

Take The Reins has received a welcome boost from the Racing Foundation to take the youth and community organisation into its next exciting phase.

The continuation grant follows the funding of the TTR pilot project by the Racing Foundation which saw over 1,000 young people receive informal educational support to gain a broader insight into the industry, through youth and community groups within the target areas.

This latest cash boost will enable the not-for-profit organisation to launch its new programme which aims to reach communities across the UK offering youth engagement, personal development, transferable skills training and engagement with the thoroughbred racing industry at all levels.

Deborah Hay, CEO of Take The Reins, said: ‘This continued support from the Racing Foundation is hugely welcome and testimony to the work we have already done and aim to now build upon in these difficult times when youth unemployment levels are predicted to soar.

‘We are proud to work with those communities facing social and economic hardship, where we can show young people the diverse opportunities racing has to offer them – ideally as a career path. We can offer them hope and inspiration and enable them to have transferable skills to help them on the right path in life.’

Tansy Challis, the Racing Foundation’s Grants Manager added:

‘We are delighted by the results achieved by the Take The Reins pilot project and feel it is crucial that relationships between the racing industry and youth, sports and community groups are maintained and developed. It is especially important to broaden the appeal and reach of our sport into non-traditional racing communities and to raise awareness of the all-inclusive work experience and careers opportunities we can offer’.

Take The Reins will continue to work with youth and community groups across the UK as it develops a specific training programme with its partners within the racing industry.

 

Note for Editors:

Take the Reins (TTR) was established in 2014 to engage economically deprived communities with the racing industry.

TTR aims to support young people’s access to the industry and showcase what it has to offer in building young people’s skills and knowledge, and presenting the sport as an avenue for employment. TTR is providing enriching activities, vocational training, mentoring and support to ‘youth at risk’ in some of the UK’s most deprived communities.

Since the start of the 2017 – 2019 pilot, which was supported by the Racing Foundation, over 1,000 young people received informal educational support to gain a broader insight into the industry, through schools and community groups within the target areas. The delivery partners worked with specialist youth and community development workers to challenge perceptions and build greater linkages with the industry.

An Impact Study, carried out by Professor Andrew Parker hailed the project a huge success due to a multi-stakeholder approach on its steering committee from across the racing industry.

For more information please contact Deborah Hay via email: takethereins.racing@outlook.com or 07778 234225 Website: https://takethereins.org.uk/ Twitter: @_TakeTheReins

The Racing Foundation was established in January 2012 to oversee the distribution of funds to charitable causes within racing following the sale of the Tote. The British Horseracing Authority, the Horsemen’s Group and Racecourse Association are the three joint Members of the charity, which is registered with the Charity Commission as a charity under the law of England and Wales (no. 1145297). The Trustees of the Racing Foundation are: Ian Barlow (Chairman), Linda Bowles, Susannah Gill, Mark Johnston, Louise Kemble and William Rucker. Since inception, the Racing Foundation has granted just over £20million to charities associated with the horseracing and Thoroughbred breeding industry in the UK, supporting work in social welfare, education, training and participation, horse welfare, equine science research, and heritage and culture. Website: www.racingfoundation.co.uk Twitter:@RacingGrants

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30

Oct 20

DEBORAH HAY APPOINTED CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Take The Reins is delighted to announce the appointment of Deborah Hay as its new interim Chief Executive Officer to lead our not-for-profit organisation into its exciting next phase.

Deborah was on the steering committee for the Take the Reins pilot programme delivered in partnership with the Racing Foundation from 2017 – 2020, and brings a wealth of experience into this new role from her work within the racing industry, most recently at Arena Racing Company where she served as Head of Commercial and Partnerships at Lingfield Park. This knowledge and experience not only of the racing industry but of the journey undertaken by Take the Reins to date will be essential in the growth and sustainability of the organisation. Deborah has a passion for working in the community and was named as one of three finalists in 2019’s prestigious Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards for her work in that field.

Deborah will remain a director of Take the Reins until our Charity status has been secured, and will work alongside fellow directors Amie Canham (former Sky Sports Producer) and Sammy Jo Bell (former Jockey and current racehorse trainer) to extend the reach of Take the Reins into communities across the UK to offer youth engagement programmes, personal development, transferable skills training and engagement with the racing industry at all levels.

Deborah says ‘I am thrilled to take up this position at this important point in the development of Take The Reins. I look forward to working closely with Amie and Sammy Jo and our fantastic team of supporters, advisors and volunteers to take racing into new communities, offering new experiences for young people at a time when inspiration, aspiration and opportunities will be more important than ever as the effects of Covid are felt across society.’

 

 

28

Sep 20

IMPACT STUDY HAILS TTR PROGRAMME A SUCCESS

Take The Reins received funding from The Racing Foundation to carry out a pilot project to test its effectiveness. As part of this, it commissioned a study from Professor Andrew Parker to carry out an independent evaluation of the work and how it was received by the young people it was working with.

A full copy of the Report can be found here:2019-11 TTR [Final Report]

4

Jun 20

TTR YOUTH AND COMMUNITY LTD

We are delighted to announce the next phase of Take The Reins. We are now registered as TTR Youth and Community Ltd and we will be announcing some exciting projects in the coming weeks. For now we would like to introduce you to our Directors.

 

Sammy Jo Bell

Sammy is a former jockey who’s career highlights include winning the Silver Saddle when guiding the ladies team to success at the Shergar Cup for the first time in its history. Sammy suffered a bad injury and she took the difficult decision to retire. She then spent a year working for York Racecourse. She got to see first hand the work involved in hosting a successful race meeting. Sammy is now assistant trainer to her partner Philip Makin.

 

 

 

Amie Canham

Amie is a former TV producer at Sky Sports News. She worked on every sport but her passion is horseracing and she would often be seen working on location at Cheltenham and Royal Ascot. Amie worked as a media manager for Richard Fahey Racing and co-founded Take The Reins. RF Racing has welcomed hundreds of young people to Musley Bank as part of Take The Reins. Amie is also a Magistrate in North Yorkshire and her biggest job is looking after her two little girls Rose and Beth.

 

 

 

Deborah Hay

Deborah is a former journalist and worked at Lingfield Park Resort for more than eight years as its Head of Commercial & Partnerships. She is now the interim CEO of Take The Reins to take it into its next exciting phase. Deborah has been involved in TTR since its inception five years ago and has facilitated numerous trips to Lingfield by young people from south London. Deborah, was one of three finalists for the Godolphin Stud & Stable Staff Awards in 2019 for her community work within racing.