Stars go racing for charity

By Dave GooderhamAS thousands of punters grasped their betting slips, willing their favoured mounts to vistory, a huge fundraising drive was going on just yards from them.

By Dave Gooderham

AS thousands of punters grasped their betting slips, willing their favoured mounts to vistory, a huge fundraising drive was going on just yards from them.

Boasting a varying mix of horseracing expertise, a host of celebrities gathered in a marquee tat Newmarket Racecourse on Saturday to help raise money for the Prince's Trust.

Among the celebrities taking part were actors Robert Powell and Helen Lederer, former BBC war correspondent Kate Adie and presenter Sue Cook.


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Robert Powell, famous for his title role in Jesus of Nazareth, said: "I have supported the Prince's Trust for many years. When we get asked to support an event like this, it is always a very easy response.

"I think it is a wonderful charity as it has an ability to empower young people, which is glorious and almost unique. It not only allows young people to dream, but also to reach those dreams."

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Mr Powell and his wife, explorer Babs Powell, admitted they were complete novices when it came to horseracing, but said they had enjoyed some betting success at the event.

Helen Lederer, best-known for her comic roles in French and Saunders and Absolutely Fabulous, said she had seen first hand how the trust can help young people.

"The lovely thing is that I have had the chance to watch this young people and see their very genuine potential as part of this exciting organisation. I have seen youngsters go from nothing to something," she added. "This is my first time at Newmarket, but I have won some money and I might come back."

The Prince's Trust is the UK's leading youth charity offering a range of opportunities including training, personnel development, mentoring and advice to help young people overcome barriers.

The trust focuses on people who have struggled at school, been in care, been in trouble with the police or are long-term unemployed.

Veteran correspondent, Kate Adie, said: "The trust is hugely important for young people who have often been left behind or have not had enough education or qualifications.

"A lot of young people get themselves into difficulties, but the trust realises they have potential and gives them confidence to do things.

"I am a racing fan, although I have never been to Newmarket. But it is an absolute thrill to be here on this terrifically-famous course."

The event, which hoped to raise about £50,000, included an auction with prizes including a day behind the scenes at Channel Four racing and a framed England rugby shirt signed by World Cup-winning coach, Sir Clive Woodward.

dave.gooderham@eadt.co.uk

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