Three years ago the Trustees of Ascot Racecourse initiated the Friday of Royal Ascot as an unofficial Armed Forces Day and for the first time in the history of Royal Ascot allowed charitable collections for the three main Service charities, The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and The RAF Benevolent Fund.

This year generous racegoers dug deep to fill the collection buckets manned by 60 uniformed volunteers from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, the Army and the RAF who also served as stewards during the day. The collection amounted to £19,561 which is £3,000 up on last year’s total.

In the third year of Royal Ascot’s ‘Armed Forces’  Friday the Racecourse again offered serving personnel and families the chance to attend the day and experience the #LikeNowhereElse atmosphere of Royal Ascot with a special ticket offer, and provided a dedicated Armed Forces bar. 

The day again provided a splendid precursor to official Armed Forces Week.

Supporting all Service charities

“This figure is a real reflection of how much members of the public are grateful for the fantastic work of our Armed Forces," said Hilary Jukes, Regional Fundraising Co-ordinator, Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity. "On behalf of our charity I would like to add my thanks to Ascot Racecourse and to all those Service personnel who gave up their time to volunteer.  Many thanks to everyone involved from all three Service charities.”

Brigadier Peter Walker OBE, Chairman Berkshire Committee, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity said: “On behalf of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity I would like to thank the Trustees of Ascot Racecourse for again making us so welcome at this prestigious event and to all of the Armed Forces personnel who gave up their time to attend.  As a result a very substantial sum has been raise to assist Armed Forces personnel, veterans and their families in times of need.”

Wing Commander Paul Hewson, Regional Director South, RAF Benevolent Fund added: “The Friday of Royal Ascot was another spectacular day, on the cusp of Armed Forces week. 

"The RAF Benevolent Fund, alongside its sister charities was delighted to be involved in another exit collection, which once again revealed the genuine warmth and goodwill that the race going public has for the military services together with the very generous donations it provides to the three service charities.  It was a real privilege and pleasure to be involved on the day which provided tangible feelings of pride and respect for the Services on a truly ‘feel good’ patriotic occasion.

"The RAF Benevolent Fund is extremely grateful to the Trustees of Royal Ascot for their on-going support on the Friday of Royal Ascot week and is absolutely delighted with outcome of the 2015 collection – thank you.”