Some of the UK’s top charities have landed a huge donation after bookies handed over all their profits from a flagship race.
ABF - The Soldiers’ Charity, Sue Ryder, Ascot Racecourse Supports Community Fund, The Ivors Academy Trust and Cotswold Riding for the Disabled will receive a share of £1.2 million after 14/1 shot Thesis ridden by Ryan Moore won this year's Britannia Stakes in a nail biting finish at Royal Ascot last Thursday.
Betting and Gaming Council members Flutter (Paddy Power, Betfair, Sky Bet), bet365, Entain (Ladbrokes, Coral), William Hill, 888, BetVictor, Kindred (Unibet), Betway, Rank Group (Grosvenor Sport), Virgin Bet, Tote, Fitzdares and Bet with Ascot all signed up to the fundraising initiative.
BGC members have now raised £5.5 million for charity since the BGC was formed in November 2019 through the Britannia Stakes and the virtual Grand National.
Michael Dugher, Chief Executive of the Betting and Gaming Council, said: "It’s great news that BGC members have once again made such a big donation to a number of brilliant charities. BGC members support the jobs of nearly 120,000 people and we are proud to back so many good causes in so many local communities all year round.
"We are also equally proud of the close relationship we have with the great British sport of horse racing. But with crowds back, with millions more watching it live on ITV, and with this year being Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee, Royal Ascot 2022 was extra special.
"I am sure that the money we raised will once again make a huge difference to the incredible work done by all the charities involved.
"I’d like to thank all the BGC members who took part – as well as their customers who enjoyed a flutter on the race – and I’d like to thank Ascot for their continued support".
Caroline Graham, Director of Fundraising at Sue Ryder, said "We are absolutely delighted to have benefitted from the Britannia Stakes at Royal Ascot this year and want to thank the members of the BGC for their generosity.
"It is particularly special for us to be chosen in the platinum jubilee year as Her Majesty The Queen is our Patron. This incredible donation will make such a difference to Sue Ryder. It will enable us to grow the reach of our much needed bereavement services and help us in our ambition to create a society where no one has to face grief or loss alone"
Cliff Fluet, Chair of The Ivors Academy Trust, said: "We are extremely grateful to the Betting and Gaming Council for their generous donation to The Ivors Academy Trust as a first-time beneficiary. It will create life-changing opportunities for disadvantaged songwriters and composers to start and develop their careers.
"Breaking into music and sustaining a livelihood is notoriously difficult and with this donation our programmes focusing on creative and professional development will reach further and open more doors."
Brigadier Peter Walker OBE, Chairman of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity for Berkshire, said: "ABF The Soldiers’ Charity would like to thank the members of the Betting and Gaming Council for their support last year and very kindly agreeing to make a donation again during Royal Ascot.
"We are the Army’s national charity and stand at the forefront of support for the Army family, last year supporting 60,000 people in 63 countries around the world. Our charity believes that all serving soldiers, veterans and their immediate families should have the opportunity to avoid hardship and enjoy independence and dignity."