Aintree Community Programme

Racecourse Association Showcase Award Winners - Best Community and CSR Programme

The Aintree Community Programme has five themes focussed on important issues in the local community with an aim to inspire adults and children alike to be the best they can be through the power of horseracing and the Grand National.


The Aintree Community Programme has five themes – Best for Health and Wellbeing; Best for Disability; Best for Riding in the Community; Best for Mental Health and Best for Community Engagement.

The Aintree Community Programme has five themes – Health & Wellbeing; Mental Wellbeing; Community Engagement; Disability; Riding in the Community. All programmes have been designed to ensure we focus on the important issues in our community whilst being aligned to racing and Jockey Club roots. Most recently, the Aintree Community Programme received funding from the Sir Peter O’Sullevan Trust to build a Community Hub at the Racecourse in order to focus and support the key themes of the programme.

Health and Wellbeing

The Health and Wellbeing programme aims to raise awareness and tackle the main health issues that affect our community identified by local public health reports, for example, poor diet, obesity, health disease, low physical activity levels. The programme works with Alder Hey Hospital, The Walton Centre, new Grand National sponsors – Randox Health and local schools around Aintree Racecourse in Merseyside.

Mental Wellbeing

Aintree is dedicated to supporting people with mental illness in the local community. In partnership with Everton in the Community, the programme provides a positive approach to mental wellbeing based on Grand National tours and dementia activity. In addition, the programme gives support to local military veterans trying to adapt back into civilian life. Supporting mental wellbeing is continuously expanding at Aintree with the plans to develop sensory gardens in 2017.

Community Engagement

The Peter O’Sullevan Community Hub is an onsite community facility designed to focus and teach the community about horseracing, the Grand National and Jockey Club roots. The hub is set to open in December 2016 and will include an ‘education room’, ‘chill-out zone’, ‘enterprise room’ and a ‘Smart House’. The programme continuously recognises its commitment in the local community through the power of the Grand National. Activities to date include, Grand National Trophy Tour to local schools, Grand National fences tour, Maricourt School children singing on Grand National Day, Grand National tours and so on. Aintree Racecourse also supports the Barrie Wells Trust’s Box4Kids programme giving free hospitality boxes for children from local hospices and hospitals to come and enjoy racing for the first time – the trust is now a Jockey Club Charity Partner.


In collaboration with Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) and Everton in the Community, Aintree Racecourse provides riding and other horse related activities to children and adults with varying disabilities. The disabled riding sessions have been extremely successful and Aintree is now working with Hft to provide even more sessions in 2016. The new partnership with Hft, a national charity to support people with learning disabilities, their families and carers has allowed The Peter O’Sullevan Community Hub to build a Smart House. The Smart House will demonstrate how people with learning disabilities and other vulnerable adults can live more independently and safely.

Riding in the Community

Working with the British Horseracing Education and Standards Trust and The Racecourse Association, the programme offers horseracing education and activities to local schools. Aintree Racecourse is the ‘beacon racecourse’ for Racing Together’s education programme ‘Racing To School’. Now in its second year, Aintree invited dozens of local schools and hundreds of kids to Aintree over the summer to try horse riding, tours of the weighing room and learn about the Grand National. The programme has cemented a strong relationship with Maricourt School, Maghull, and on numerous occasions representatives from Aintree has provided workshops and presentations to the school about jobs at racecourse and how a racecourse operates.

Liverpool John Moores University

Aintree Racecourse has built a fantastic partnership with Liverpool John Moores University over the past year and the Grand National now features in over 10 different courses at LJMU, including Fashion Design, Fashion Communications, Sports Business Management, Sports Events Management, History, Screen School plus many more. The partnership has led to Exhibition events at the Museum of Liverpool and students have showcased their work during the 2016 Grand National Festival.

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