Newbury Racecourse support Prior’s Court Fundraising Appeal through Charity Raceday


Berkshire based charity, Prior’s Court have launched a fundraising appeal to help transform the health and wellbeing of the 95 young people with severe autism who they currently support – as well as hundreds more in the future.

The appeal will create a bespoke on-site health and well-being hub at their specialist residential school in neighbouring Hermitage providing vital care for young people to help to reduce the anxiety which is often associated with medical appointments. The facility will replicate external healthcare settings, allowing the young people to familiarise themselves with such environments so they can receive the best possible medical care, where and when they need it. Currently, as many as 50% of dental appointments are not successful due to young people not being comfortable in the dentist chair, while at least 50% of young people fail to give blood for essential medical purposes without sedation.

As part of their fundraising drive, Prior’s Court have joined forces with Newbury Racecourse for an exhilarating evening of flat racing which will give local people the opportunity to support the appeal. The Prior’s Court charity race evening will take place on Thursday July 23, with live music to follow.

Head of Fundraising at Prior’s Court, Karen White said; “We’re very excited to hold our inaugural charity race evening at Newbury racecourse. We have some fantastic opportunities for corporate sponsorship of individual races and hope that local businesses and racegoers will get behind us and lend their support. Every penny raised will go towards the health & wellbeing hub – which for some of the young people with autism we support could be literally life-changing.”

Lara Johnston, Sponsorship Manager from Newbury Racecourse said; “Charity racedays are some of our most enjoyable days out here at Newbury, with our racegoers keen to support and learn about the charity on the day. We are proud to be able to support with the raising of valuable funds for great causes such as this. With the impressive Prior’s Court facilities based just 15 minutes drive from the racecourse, it makes perfect sense that we provide them with support through our venue for this worthy appeal.”

Sarah Butcher, Director of Care at Prior’s Court explains; “The emotional, social and sensory difficulties of going to a hospital or therapy centre can be overwhelming for people with severe autism. Within the hub we can prepare our young people for such medical necessities like blood tests which you and I would take for granted; for example, we can demonstrate the equipment, implement a desensitisation programme, and explain what will happen through visuals. We can also accurately assess the risks and plan individualised response strategies for each young person. Because the young people supported at Prior’s Court are at the most severe end of the autistic spectrum, this is the level of planning and support required. Their needs and vulnerability mean they require a minimum of 1:1 support, and the majority live at Prior’s Court 52 weeks a year. All will require a lifetime of specialist care.”

The hub will also have a designated space for medication storage which is currently shared with the treatment room, providing greater accessibility and efficiency. A team of nurses, therapists and positive behaviour support teams will have their own work space within the hub, collaborating to deliver the best possible package of care for each young person.

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