GENEROUS racegoers donated spare items of food and toiletries in a bid to help their local community.

Ascot racecourse held a Food Bank Drive from May 7 to 11 to help vulnerable people who are in need of support.

A donation station was set up at the High Street reception entrance to the racecourse and staff members, racegoers and local residents were encouraged to bring items such as tinned meat, tomatoes and long-life milk, teabags and toilet paper.

The scheme was set up by Racing Together Community Day which provides racing charities and business across Britain a chance to help build relationships with residents in their communities.

Guests attending the weekend's race meeting fixtures and Royal Ascot Racing Club members were invited to make donations as additional donation stations in the grandstand and pavilion entrances were set up.

Lucy Saunders, community engagement manager, said: "Ascot really embraced racing's national day of volunteering and helping others by encouraging both their team members and racegoers to support a worthwhile cause, with donations to their food bank.

"It was brilliant to see the baskets filling up and overflowing during the fixture as more people arrived with carrier bags full of useful items which will provide help to those in the local area who are in time of need."

Items were then delivered to participating foodbanks across Berkshire, in Maidenhead, Windsor, Woodley, Bracknell, Reading, Slough and Crowthorne.

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Other items which were donated include, tinned tuna, tomatoes, vegetables, pasta sauces, custard and puddings, fruit juice, coffee, jam, biscuits, handwash, shampoo and conditioner and deodorant.

Jacqui Greet, corporate social responsibility manager, said: "We were delighted to be able to showcase the Racing Together Community Day by way of our local food bank drive.

"It was great to see both employees and racegoers embrace the initiative and with over 25,000 visitors over the two days, see the donation baskets full at the end. We have engaged with eight local foodbanks and our staff will be distributing the much needed donations over the coming weeks." 

The racings national day of helping others also took place at other Bershire racecourses.

Newbury racecourse hosted a community walk around the course, followed by tea and cake in support of Daisy's Dream and West Berkshire Mencap