Herefordshire Mind are delighted to be working in partnership with Hereford Racecourse this January. Racegoers are encouraged to beat those January blues and come along to the raceday on 23rd January to support Herefordshire Mind in raising awareness about mental health in Herefordshire and horseracing.
Supporting mental health campaigning is something that horse racing has been involved in for a number of years, with Herefordshire based champion jockey Richard Johnson having previously spoken out on mental health as part of the racing industry’s support of the Time to Change campaign. Richard (Dickie) Johnson said you don’t need to be an expert to be there to support a friend with a mental health problem:
“I know how important it is to be there for each other when things get tough. Especially in our job you get patches when things just aren’t clicking, you can get down and it can be frustrating. We notice if someone isn’t as chatty and often use car journeys to pick each other up. We’re all self-employed but in a weird way we’re one big team and we do look out for each other. It’s often little things you notice which make you realise someone’s not at their strongest.
“We’re not a team sport, but in some ways we are, in the weighing room we have other jockeys and even the valets who are there to notice if someone’s having a hard time. We might have a quiet word and say, ’I was feeling like that last week, I know how you’re feeling’ and that can really help. Ups and downs are part of our job and everyone knows that.”
On the 23rd, Herefordshire Mind’s Hereford ArtSpace group will also be unveiling three new pieces of artwork on display in the Paddock Bar at Hereford Racecourse. These pieces of artwork have been produced by people who attend a therapeutic art group based at Heffernan House, the head office of Herefordshire Mind.
When talking about the impact that ArtSpace had on their mental health, one of the Heffernan artists said “I wouldn't talk to my own friends so openly sometimes, as I can to people in the art room, as I know they have been through similar things, therefore I don't feel judged.” Herefordshire Mind is looking for the race day to provide much needed funding for the mental health work we do across Herefordshire; last year, we supported over 500 people dealing with mental health problems.
If you wish to purchase a race day ticket in advance, £1 from every ticket sale will go towards Herefordshire Mind. Advance tickets are available from just £10 - Pie & Pint and Rusty Bridge Carvery packages are also available. Tickets to a day out at the races might also make a great last-minute Christmas present for someone special! For tickets, please visit the Hereford Racecourse website.