Skip links

A million reasons for thanks

This week Down Royal announced that it has helped a local charity, Mencap Northern Ireland, to raise over £1 million.

For over two decades, Mencap Northern Ireland and Down Royal have partnered to raise funds to support those living with a learning disability, and will continue fundraising with its annual charity event set to return this summer.

Mencap was established in Northern Ireland in 1965, and each year it supports thousands of people with a learning disabilities to live their lives the way they choose. It provides round-the-clock care to people living with a learning disability, while promoting independence and recognising their achievements, as well as providing advice on employment and education.

Mencap delivers a wide range of practical support services for children, young people and adults with a learning disability, and their families and carers; they ensure that children attending Mencap’s nursery can learn and play in a therapeutic environment that helps to develop skills and achieve goals that would be unattainable without specialist expertise and support.

They also provide for people with a learning disability a platform to speak out about the things that are important to them, and Mencap challenges attitudes and assumptions about learning disabilities, involving people from different backgrounds.

Emma Meehan, chief executive of Down Royal, said: “It has been a real pleasure to have partnered with Mencap Northern Ireland for the last 20 years, and we’re looking forward to the annual Mencap Raceday on Friday June 23rd. This is one of our most highly-anticipated fixtures of the year, and we are proud to be once again partnering with Mencap to support such an incredibly worthwhile charity.”

That day will enable racegoers to donate to the charity. Tickets are on sale now, with a number of packages available to suit all tastes, and should make for a great day at the races. Marian Nicholas, honorary life member and chairperson of the Mencap Special Events Committee, has experienced at first-hand the fantastic impact of this partnership, with her daughter having attended Mencap’s children’s centre.

She commented: “Having worked with Down Royal for over two decades, we’ve received tremendous support from both the racecourse and generous racegoers, allowing Mencap to provide the necessary services and support form families across Northern Ireland when they need it the most.”

Linda Alexander, event and area fundraising manager of Mencap Northern Ireland added: “This partnership between Mencap and Down Royal has been exceptional, and we are grateful to have been given this amazing opportunity to raise essential funds to assist those living with a learning disability along with their families.

“We are delighted to be continuing our relationship with Down Royal as we host the annual raceday which, no doubt, will be a true reflection of the incredible generosity of racegoers. To date, this fundraising event has raised over £1 million towards our child and additional support services, and will hopefully add to this remarkable amount raised.”

The Association of Irish Racecourses (AIR) wish to congratulate Emma and her team at Down Royal for their tremendous commitment to Mencap, and to thank the racegoers for their generosity and support of this very worthy cause.

For more information on Mencap’s annual raceday for 2023, contact, while for details on all of Down Royal’s 2023 fixtures visit


Leave a comment