Sun awareness campaign to keep racing staff safe

Stable staff can stay safe in the sun at Beverley racecourse this summer thanks to an innovative campaign launched in association with Yorkshire Cancer Research.

Sun-cream dispensers have been installed around the popular East Yorkshire circuit to protect stable staff and racegoers throughout the season. Yorkshire Cancer Research has also created wristbands that change colour to indicate when skin protection from ultraviolet rays is required.

The campaign will be launched on Friday, July 7 and Saturday, July 8 – Beverley's biggest racing weekend of the 2017 campaign – and will continue on the Westwood during the summer. Beverley officials will issue free wristbands, tubes of sunblock and sun-awareness information guides to all stable staff working over the weekend as part of its contribution to Racing Staff Week.

Racing Staff Week aims to bring the industry together to inform and engage about the passion, skill and dedication required to work with racehorses.

George McGrath, chief executive of the National Association of Stable Staff, said: "This is an initiative we very much support and is most appreciated. We welcome any initiative like this from any racecourse that acknowledges the hard work and professionalism of our stable staff. The sunblock is particularly appropriate for stable staff as it can be easy, when working under timescales and pressure, to forget to protect your skin during the summer. The recognition and respect given to our stable staff with this initiative is very important and very significant."

Beverley staff will hand out wallet-sized information guides on sun safety as well as the wristbands, which will be on sale for £1 to racegoers, with proceeds going to Yorkshire Cancer Research. Sun cream will also be available, free of charge, in all bathrooms at the track.

Racing Welfare chief executive Dawn Goodfellow said: "It's a lovely idea and something Racing Welfare very much welcomes. For busy racing staff who are working outside for a large part of their day, sun awareness is something that is probably down the list of priorities for many. The partnership with Beverley and Yorkshire Cancer Research will crucially help to spread sun awareness amongst stable staff – and that can only be a good thing."

Beverley racecourse chief executive Sally Iggulden added: "We take our duty of care to stable staff and other employees very seriously indeed, so it's important to us that this campaign applies equally to people working at the racecourse."

Adrienne Hodgson, relationship officer for Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: "With cases of skin cancer on the rise in Yorkshire, we're aiming to spread our sun awareness message as far and wide as possible among communities in the region. Our new partnership with Beverley racecourse will play a vital role in helping us reach people of all ages as they enjoy the outdoors this summer."