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We’re proud to support Box4Kids, an initiative of the Barrie Wells Trust which arranges for seriously ill children to experience a day out at sporting events and entertainment venues across the UK.


Private hospitality boxes at Jockey Club racecourses are offered to Box4Kids for free, ensuring the children, along with their parents and carers, can enjoy a VIP day out at the races.

 

Box4Kids is one of three Official Charities – along with Racing Welfare and Alzheimer’s Society – supported by the Group in 2020.

 

The Barrie Wells Trust does not ask for financial donations – simply spare hospitality boxes for the day to entertain deserving children. Unfortunately, with the public health situation meaning a suspension of all racing and the country in lockdown, it’s not possible to host these young people on racedays.

 

So, we asked Box4Kids to tell us about some of the memorable days out The Jockey Club and our people have helped give children in the last 12 months.

 

Here are three of their stories…

TALIA

Meet nine-year-old Talia. She loves arts and crafts, going to school, playing with her friends and going on walks and adventures.

 

She has suffered her whole life with really bad asthma, herpes simplex in her blood stream, atopic eczema which results in lots of infections, a low immune system, reoccurring pneumonia that results in Talia being admitted to hospital every couple of months and many allergies, including a serious allergy to peanuts.

 

On August 8th 2019, Talia, mum Gemma, dad Andrew and Talia’s friend Mia were invited to attend the Summer Family Day at Haydock Park, with a buffet lunch and refreshments throughout the afternoon and views of the racing action from the box’s private balcony.

 

Talia said: “I absolutely loved my Box4Kids day out at Haydock. It made me feel so special and we all dressed up. Nearly all my horses won so that was great and I got to meet some lovely people and even Barrie himself! I had the best day and made some special memories.”

 

Mum Gemma added: “I love what the Barrie Wells Trust and The Jockey Club do for children like Talia. Talia’s conditions are something she is going to have to live with for the rest of her life and it’s so kind that Barrie wants to help us make special memories that we might never have been able to have otherwise.”

 

Cassidy

Fourteen-year-old Cassidy absolutely loves horses and horse riding. She has a condition called Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, a type of blood and bone marrow cancer that mainly affects the white blood cells.

 

She was originally diagnosed in July 2012 at the age of just six. Heartbreakingly Cassidy relapsed in December 2018 aged 14.

 

Cassidy used to love swimming and was also a member of Streetmix, which is a theatre and dance group, and enjoys spending time with friends and family. Knowing this and her love for horses, Cassidy’s nurse - Aimee at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire - nominated her to attend one of the Jockey Club Family Fun Days at Warwick Racecourse.

 

On March 10th 2019 Cassidy, mum Sadie, nana Lesley and 13-year-old brother Ace attended the Country Raceday at Warwick. The family were invited to watch all the racing action from the comfort and luxury of an executive box while enjoying delicious food and refreshments provided by the Jockey Club Catering team.

 

Cassidy said: “It was such a great day! We got to stand by the course, next to one of the jumps and watch the horses up close race past. It was amazing as you could feel the ground shaking and hear the thundering of the hooves before you could see the horses, it was a great experience.”

 

Mum Sadie added: “Our host Janice was lovely and really knowledgeable on the horses. Cassidy’s Box4Kids experience has made her realise that she isn’t alone and that there are other children in the same situation as her - it’s a comfort in some ways. It was really great to meet other people in similar situations.”

CERYS

Cerys is six years old and, like any little girl, loves Disney, going to the cinema and adores animals, especially horses. Knowing of her love for horses in particular, Cerys’ nurse at Royal Alexander Children’s Hospital in Brighton, East Sussex, nominated Cerys and her family to attend one of our Jockey Club Family Fun Days at Sandown Park Racecourse.

 

At just four days old Cerys had lifesaving surgery on her bowel, to remove a diseased section and give her a stoma for three months, while her intestine grew stronger.

 

Following further tests Cerys was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, which is an inherited condition causing sticky mucus to build up in the lungs and digestive system. This causes lung infections and problems with digesting food.

 

Her life consists of two daily physiotherapy treatments, inhalers, nebulisers, antibiotics, vitamins and enzymes that she must take with every meal. Cerys is regularly in and out of hospital for appointments and sometimes must stay in for two weeks while on IV antibiotics. However, her family insist that nothing seems to get Cerys down and through it all she has never lost her ‘sass’!

 

On Saturday 25th July 2019 Cerys, mum Victoria and nine-yea-old brother Owain were invited to attend the Elmbridge Community Family Fun Day at Sandown Park.

 

All guests enjoyed the day from the comfort and luxury of an executive box, including a buffet lunch and refreshments as well as being able to watch all the racing action from the box’s private balcony with fantastic views.

 

Mum Victoria said: “The Barrie Wells Trust and The Jockey Club are amazing! Cerys got to go and do something she would have never otherwise have had the opportunity to do. She enjoyed watching the horses and the yummy food and got to spend some quality family time with her brother, making memories in the sunshine.”

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