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Friday, 14 December, 2018

Racing Welfare launches telephone befriending service

Be Friendly beats Mountain call in the Vernons sprint at Haydock in 1967
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Sir Peter O'Sullevan's legacy as The Voice of Racing is taking on a different meaning, with charity Racing Welfare launching a telephone befriending service named after one of his most famous horses.

The Be Friendly service – named after O'Sullevan's two-time Haydock Sprint Cup winner – has been introduced in a bid to help those from the racing industry who are elderly or incapacitated, are isolated in their homes and may be vulnerable.

Helpline workers will be making calls on a regular basis to people, not only to have a chat but to ensure everything is okay. It is a free and confidential service.

Telephone befriending has proved to be very beneficial in improving participants' mental wellbeing.

In a report from Befriending Networks, a study including 123 service users showed 76 per cent of participants feel better about themselves after taking part in using a befriending service, and a further 71 per cent of participants feel more confident after joining a befriending scheme.

Simone Sear, a director at Racing Welfare, said: “It's really fitting to be able to name this important new service after one of Sir Peter O’Sullevan’s most notable horses.

"Racing Welfare has received more than £250,000 from the Sir Peter O’Sullevan Charitable Trust in the past five years alone. It is a vital contribution to ensure Racing Welfare can maintain and develop its services to support racing’s people.”

Nigel Payne, speaking for the trust, added: “Racing Welfare was one of Peter’s six favourite charitable causes and the trust continues to support their work. Peter would be chuffed to bits to have Be Friendly recognised in this manner."

Anyone that would like to sign up to the Be Friendly service can do so by calling Racing Welfare’s 24-hour helpline on 0800 6300443.

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Peter would be chuffed to bits to have Be Friendly recognised in this manner
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