A 24-hour “Samaritans-style” helpline has been launched for the racing industry.

Racing Welfare introduced the helpline — 0800 6300 443 — today. It is designed as a support for anyone working in or retired from the horseracing and thoroughbred breeding industry.

“It’s for anyone in the racing industry who feels the need to speak to someone — whether they feel down, or whatever the reason,” said Racing Welfare spokesman Francoise Guillambert.

Callers to the helpline can receive confidential, impartial advice and guidance from trained welfare officers.

Ms Guillambert added: “During the day, Racing Welfare takes calls on any number of issues and they are passed on to the appropriate person [who can help]. This is an extension of that — a 24-hour service.”

The helpline has been launched with the help of the British Horseracing Authority and the Injured Jockey’s Fund.

The number is free to call at any time — 0800 6300 443.

For more information on Racing Welfare, visit www.racingwelfare.co.uk