Royal Ascot 2020 proved the catalyst for £400,000 in fundraising activities with the racecourse’s own #StyledWithThanks programme contributing £166,000.
The racecourse’s direct fundraising benefitted: The NationalEmergencies Trust Relief Fund, NHS Charities Together, The Care Workers Charity and the Berkshire Community Foundation Coronavirus Fund.
The #StyledWithThanks campaign saw thousands of fans around the world dress up and share their photo on social media with prizes being awarded to the Most Elegant, Most Uplifting and Most Original entries as judged by a panel of fashion industry experts. Photos posted during the week will be turned into a giant rainbow mosaic image tribute which will become a permanent installation at Ascot Racecourse.
Most Elegant: @satoko.bonton
Most Uplifting: @mrs_gaskett
Children’s Category: Esmae aged 7
Most Original: @helengoesofftherails
Hats & Teddies
In partnership with the British Hat Guild and the wider millinery and fashion worlds, an online auction of rainbow-themed hats generated £24,000 and the campaign was given a £30,000 boost when Royal Ascot Champion Jockey 2020, Frankie Dettori, signed and donated his commemorative ’70th Royal Ascot win’ saddlecloth to the auction.
Funds were also raised by sales of 2020 Ascot Jockey Bears, a £5 donation from the sale of all Royal Ascot Afternoon Teas sold and 10% of sales from the new Ascot Wine Club.
Bookmakers & Jockeys
Supplementing the #StyledWithThanks campaign, Betting and Gaming Council members – many of the country’s leading bookmakers – generously pledged £250,000 to be distributed between Prostate Cancer UK, Marie Curie, The Care Workers Charity and the Berkshire Community Foundation Coronavirus Fund around an initiative that centred on the Britannia Stakes on Gold Cup Day.
The jockeys riding on the final day of Royal Ascot also donated all their riding fees.
Nick Smith, Director of Racing & Public Affairs, Ascot Racecourse, commented on this year’s initiatives: “We are delighted with the response of the public and the racing, betting and fashion industries to all the charitable initiatives that took place during and around Royal Ascot.
“The rainbow montage tribute of photos sent in as part of our #StyledWithThanks campaign will be a permanent reminder of the year when all elements of what makes Royal Ascot so special came together to support a range of national and local charities.”
Ellie Orton, Chief Executive, NHS Charities Together said: “Thank you so much to everyone that has donated to the #StyledWithThanks campaign. We’re so delighted to be one of the beneficiaries. It will make a huge difference to NHS staff, volunteers and patients. Our members will be able to use the donations to help meet not only the immediate needs they’re facing through the pandemic, but also to help recovery. Thank you again to all those involved, we’ve been totally overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for our COVID-19 Appeal.”
John Herriman, Chief Executive, National Emergencies Trust: “The response to #StyledWithThanks really exemplifies the generosity of spirit that has come to the fore through this challenging time. Donations received by our Coronavirus Appeal will make a world of difference to thousands of grassroots charities and groups, in communities all over the UK, who are supporting local people in urgent need. On their behalf, and ours, a sincere thank you to all those involved.”
Karolina Gerlich, Executive Director, Care Workers Charity said: “Care workers have been and continue to be working tirelessly on the frontline of the coronavirus crisis to care for and protect the most vulnerable people in our society. We are incredibly happy that Royal Ascot has chosen to support care workers with their #StyledWithThanks campaign, it been a beautiful and creative outlet that has brought awareness and much needed funds to essential charities”.
Jon Yates, Chief Operating Officer, Berkshire Community Foundation said: “Berkshire Community Foundation were thrilled to be included in the #StyledWithThanks Campaign and will be directing the funds so generously donated to those most affected by the crisis in Berkshire. People of all ages, from all communities and from all walks of life have felt the impact of this crisis deeply so the work undertaken to create this campaign and garner such wonderful support shows how we can all come together to help each other in adversity. We think all the organisers, auction lot donors, bidders, winners and contributors to the campaign are amazing.”
Other local and charitable activities around Royal Ascot included:
Royal Ascot Schools Art Competition
The third annual Royal Ascot Schools Art Competition received over 700 entries from 12 participating local schools just before lockdown and attracted over 2,500 online votes. The six winning schools received £1,000 prizes, with the winning and runner up artists receiving £50/£25 Amazon vouchers virtually presented on a zoom call with ITV’s Oli Bell and Ascot Supports Racing Ambassador, jockey Ryan Moore.
Recognising Local Heroes
To coincide with Royal Ascot, the racecourse celebrated three local heroes as nominated by NHS Frimley Health Trust and Berkshire Community Foundation respectively by hand-delivering surprise afternoon tea hampers. This was supported by Ascot Official Car partner, Porsche Cars GB, who delivered these hampers in a Porsche Cayenne.
Plant Donations from Royal Ascot
Plants used for site decoration for Royal Ascot were donated to four local care homes – Lynwood Care Home, Larkland House, Dormy House and Ascot Grange. Staff were delighted for the residents who have received no visitors since March.
To find out more about Ascot in the community and the racecourse’s wider “Ascot Supports” activities, please visit www.ascot.co.uk/ascot-racecourse-supports