Unibet and mental health initiative #GoRacingGreen have announced a sponsorship that will begin on August 17 at Newbury Racecourse.

The partnership is set to make horse races more welcoming for people who suffer from a range of mental health issues. Those attending the races are invited to wear green if they suffer from social anxiety as a way of letting people know that they might be nervous.

The racecourse will also introduce alcohol-free quiet areas during the day out, providing visitors a peaceful area to watch the races from.

#GoRacingGreen was started earlier this year by Debbie Matthews and aims to help tackle an array of mental health issues like social anxiety and dementia. Matthews’ scheme has introduced training sessions for staff,  teaching how to help people that suffer from mental health issues.

Matthews told TopRatedCasinos that Ed Nicholson, Kindred’s head of communications and sponsorship, “contacted me earlier in the year about Unibet’s new form of football sponsorship, and if it was something I thought could work in a relative way within horseracing and the #GoRacingGreen initiative. We met to discuss and it seemed like a perfect fit.”

The pilot scheme is the latest initiative that Kindred, the parent company of Unibet, has supported. Earlier in the year, the company laid out plans detailing how it would play a larger role in community projects through sponsorship, seeing Kindred supporting the Island Games as a platinum sponsor.

Nicholson said that the #GoRacingGreen initiative shows that “a new model for sport sponsorship is possible”, adding that he saw “first-hand what a fantastic scheme this is” after attending a staff training session.

Unibet’s sponsorship means that the #GoRacingGreen initiative can look beyond Newbury racecourse. Matthews explained that “Nottingham Racecourse have already fully undertaken the initiative and hopefully going forward […] now I have the support of Unibet, other courses will also become involved and work towards horse racing becoming fully inclusive”.

The new approach to sponsorships from gambling operators has become far more commonplace in recent months. Along with the varied community projects Kindred has undertaken, GVC Holdings has begun exploring new avenues of sponsorship. The owner of Ladbrokes and Coral is part of a voluntary 1% levy to raise money for gambling charities, and recently donated its football sponsorship assets to GambleAware.