This year we’re partnering with the amazing Sue Ryder, supporting and competing in their annual Mascot Gold Cup race. Our chance of winning is slight as there are always some fantastic participants, but that’s missing the point. The point is that we’re doing our little bit for a Charity that does a lot.
Sue Ryder was originally founded in 1953 under the name ‘The Sue Ryder Foundation’. Its primary purpose is to support people with complex needs and life threatening illness across the UK, and to campaign and lobby for better care conditions all over the world. From its humble beginnings in Suffolk, Sue Ryder has expanded with 13 care centres located the length and breadth of the United Kingdom.
Born in 1924, Sue Ryder started her humanitarian work during WWII, helping people who had been displaced from their homes and improving their quality of life as much as she could with the limited resources available. When the war was over, Sue decided she would continue with her work as there was so much that she felt needed to be done. Her mission was simple, to facilitate the relief of suffering. Paramount to her cause, this mission took Sue all-over Europe, to help where she could and improve the lives of countless victims of War. Setting up her first permanent hospice in 1953, Lady Ryder took charge of her first patients, many of which were concentration camp survivors. In the years after the war, Sue decided that she would widen her support network to include those with complex needs and serious life threatening illness. It was in 1974 that Lady Ryder set up her first Cancer Hospice. Soon after, Sue was asked to provide similar care homes around the UK in areas that needed it the most. In 1998, Lady Ryder left the charity but it continues to this day to complete the good work she started over 64 years ago.
Sue Ryder now provides over 2.5 million hours of care a year to thousands of people across the country. People who rely heavily on the army of volunteers dedicated to giving back and helping Sue Ryder to continue the fantastic work started all those years ago. All this work wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for the various fundraising activities, corporate partnerships and legacies carried out in the Charities name. The task of fundraising £37.7m a year is no mean feat but is made possible by events such as the Mascot Gold Cup, which brings in a significant contribution to the yearly target…
The Mascot Gold Cup
The first ever Mascot Gold Cup race was run in 2006 at Wetherby Racecourse under the name of the Great North Mascot Steeplechase. This was an event organised by the Yorkshire Young Farmers and Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice to help raise money and awareness for charity causes around the UK. The idea was simple; don your company or organisation’s Mascot and run 220 yds (1 furlong) over 6 small fences to the finish line. Simple in theory but with oversized heads, feet and bodies, this proved to be quite a challenge and a whole load of fun! 68 mascots competed in the first year, kick starting what has now become a yearly tradition for the racecourse and the charity. 11 years later and over £150,000 raised, the Mascot Gold Cup is now the largest event of its kind, officially marked by its place in the Guinness World Records, thanks to 125 participants completing the 2015 race.
This year (2017) Costumes with Character are proud to be an official race partner, offering fantastic discounts on our repair and refurbishment service to participating Mascots. On top of that, we’ll be donating an additional 5% of the final repair bill to Sue Ryder, adding extra value to our offering. Not only is the Mascot Gold Cup a great way to raise money for a worthwhile cause, it’s also a fantastic opportunity to raise the profile of your Brand Ambassador and your organisation. We’re entering two Mascots into the race and are feeling confident that we’ll win…OK, maybe not win but that’s only a very small part of it. There are prizes for best dressed, best home-made, last to finish without stopping and many other opportunities to gain an award and boost the final total for Sue Ryder or your chosen charity throughout the day. Whether you’re a professional mascot or just like to wear a costume to do your bit for charity, you’re more than qualified to join in. All you need is the £40 entrance fee (that goes straight to Sue Ryder) and a costume and you’re in with a chance of raising some serious money for your chosen cause.
Race day is the 23rd April 2017 at Wetherby Racecourse’s action packed Family Day Race Meeting and is a fantastic day out for all the family. Participants get additional discounts for Entry on to the racecourse as well as a complimentary pass for all Mascot Minders. If this has piqued your interest and you’d like to get involved, you can get to the Sue Ryder Mascot Gold Cup 2017 information and sign up page here.
Good luck everyone and see you at the starting line!!