RDA UK Coronavirus update as at 17 March 2020

Following the government’s announcement yesterday, asking people to work from home and implement social distancing measures, we now assume that most if not all RDA group activity will have to cease.

Open groups

While it is the decision of your board of trustees whether to close or remain open, RDA’s strong advice is for groups to close and suspend activity.

If you do not, you must be certain that you can meet the guidance around social distancing and that your group can put measures in place to keep everyone safe.

What is social distancing?

  • Social distancing means trying to avoid contact with other people.
  • It means spending less time in public places, where a lot of people are around.

You can read the government guidelines on this here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults

Regional Qualifiers & National Championships

In consultation with Regional Chairs and the Championships Lead, we have decided to cancel all Regional Qualifiers and The National Championships. We know this will be disappointing for everyone involved but please understand we have not made this decision lightly.

Coach reviews, First Aid and Safeguarding Updates

We understand that some training or reviews have a deadline attached to them to enable your coaches and volunteers to continue supporting your group. For the time being, we are issuing 6 month extensions on coach reviews and first aid courses.

Whilst safeguarding training should be updated every three years and alternated between face-to-face and on-line, if anyone is due to update their safeguarding and it should be face to face, they can either:

  • Delay face to face training for up to 6 months i.e. by end of September

or

  • Update online, providing face to face training is then attended within 12 months.

Please be assured; we have run this by our insurers who have agreed the extensions in the current circumstances.

Coach assessments

We advise postponing all coach assessments for the foreseeable future. We know this will be a frustration for the coaches affected, but we must prioritise the health of everyone involved, including the riders and volunteers who would be needed. This will mean the coaches will need to continue to be supervised until such time the assessments can be rescheduled.

Closed groups

Understandably, many RDA groups have now taken the difficult decision to close. We fully support this action and know it has not been made lightly. The impact on participants will be significant, as well as for volunteers, for whom RDA provides an important community.

We will continue to support groups as much as possible during this difficult time. There will be a few staff in the office and the majority will be working from home, but please continue to contact us – by email wherever possible.

Some specific areas you might be interested in:

  • Talk to the comms team about publicity for your group. We will be circulating a template press release to help get support from your local area. This will also be a good time to stay in touch with your RDA community through social media, so please ask if you have any questions or need any advice. cward@rda.org.uk
  • Talk to the fundraising team about how to use this time to fundraise. This could be a good time to look at MyRDA and applying for grants, using social media to fundraise etc. cyapp@rda.org.uk 
  • Use our educational resources to help your participants continue with RDA while they can’t come to sessions. Contact Marisa about Proficiency Tests, Arts & Crafts and more. marisa@rda.org.uk

Groups with paid employees

Employees have now been asked to work from home where possible. This may have an impact on your ability to look after your horses. The government has not issued any advice about this yet. We will let you know as soon as this changes.

In the meantime, ACAS is regularly updating its website with useful advice and information for employers and employees. www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus

National Office

National Office remains open, but will be operating with a skeleton staff in the office, with the majority of staff working from home. Please contact us by email wherever possible.

Staying safe

Most importantly, we urge you and everyone involved at your group to prioritise their own health and wellbeing. This is an unprecedented situation for all of us and there is still a lot of change to come. We will do our very best to stay in regular contact, to support you and your community as much as possible, and we wish you all the very best of health and good luck in the coming weeks.

Best wishes,

 

Ed Bracher
Chief Executive, RDA UK
ebracher@rda.org.uk

 

Page Last Updated: March 17, 2020

Advice from RDA UK as at 13 March 2020

Government advice

Following the meeting of the Government’s Cobra committee yesterday, when it was agreed that the UK will move to the ‘delay’ stage of its response, RDA’s policy is that Groups, volunteers and participants should continue to refer to and follow the current official Government advice. You can find this, and more information, here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public. This page will always contain the most up to date information. We will therefore not be reprinting this information in our own messages, to avoid out of date advice circulating.

The NHS website also provides guidance on the symptoms, how the disease is spread, and how to avoid catching or spreading germs. You can view this at www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ 

 

RDA specific information

While our advice as a nationwide organisation remains in line with the Government’s position, individual groups, volunteers and participants must feel able to make decisions based on their own specific circumstances.

 

In order for your group to stay open:

  • Everyone must have the ability to wash (or sanitise) their hands in line with government/NHS guidelines
  • Ensure that your volunteers and participants don’t feel under any obligation to attend if they have concerns
  • Respect the feelings of everyone at your group and take their concerns seriously

 

In addition:

  • There is a leaflet for visitors to your site that you can download here and use if you wish VisitorAdviceCorona Virus 
  • You may wish to talk to your schools, care providers or other groups about their plans and if they are happy to continue coming

 

If your trustees decide to suspend the group

  • Please email us at info@rda.org.uk to let us know so we can keep up to date with the changing situation nationally.

   

Groups with paid employees

It seems likely that, as the situation escalates, employees will be asked to work from home. This may have an impact on your ability to look after your horses. The government has not issued any advice about this yet. We will let you know as soon as this changes.

 

In the meantime, ACAS is regularly updating its website with useful advice and information for employers and employees. https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus

 

Regional Qualifiers and National Championships

Government advice does not currently restrict gatherings or events on the scale of our regional qualifiers and championships. We are reviewing the situation, but for the time being please assume they are continuing.

 

National Office

We remain open for business as usual, so please contact us with any questions or concerns. If the office has to close we will inform you as soon as possible. You can contact the office on 01926 492915 or email info@rda.org.uk.

Page Last Updated: March 16, 2020

Advice on Coronavirus from RDA UK as at 10 March 2020

Following the meeting of the Government’s Cobra committee yesterday, when it was agreed that the UK will remain in the ‘containment’ stage of its response, RDA’s policy is that Groups, volunteers and participants should continue to refer to and follow the current official Government advice. You can find this, and more information, here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public. This page will always contain the most up to date information. We will therefore not be reprinting this information in our own messages, to avoid out of date advice circulating.

 

While our advice as a nationwide organisation remains in line with the Government’s position, individual groups, volunteers and participants must feel able to make decisions based on their own specific circumstances. Just like everyone else, volunteers, staff and participants should follow the standard advice on self-isolation if that is applicable. As you will understand, this is a rapidly changing situation so it is worth continuing to check the Government webpage for updates, and follow their advice to guide your decisions.

   

The NHS website also provides guidance on the symptoms, how the disease is spread, and how to avoid catching or spreading germs. You can view this at www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/   

 

If the situation changes, and/or we update our advice we will of course let you know immediately. If you have any specific concerns please do get in touch with us directly.

Page Last Updated: March 13, 2020

RDA UK has partnered with McClure Solicitors

RDA UK has partnered with McClure Solicitors (who have 14 offices across the UK) who offer their free will and free will review service all year round, to anyone wishing to access it, at no obligation. In addition they offer a special price Power of Attorney or Lasting Power of Attorney service.

The free will service raises substantial funds for charities via donations, gift aid and gifts in wills. 

For more information on this partnership and how it may be of benefit to your RDA Group or Region please contact Lisa MacDonald at RDA National Office on lmacdonald@rda.org.uk or 07739 383666.

Page Last Updated: February 7, 2020

Job Opportunity – Essex

Chigwell Riding Trust is look for an experienced coach five days a week. This is a great opportunity for the right person. The role includes Coaching, schooling horses and yard work. Accommodation on site and a car is essential. Contact Deborah on 020 8500 6051 or email deborah@chigride.org.uk for more information.

Page Last Updated: January 9, 2020

The new faces of para-equestrian dressage to represent Great Britain 

The British Equestrian Federation has announced the UK Sport National Lottery funded para-equestrian dressage squad which will compete at the FEI Longines European Championships in Rotterdam, Holland (21–25 August 2019).

This year’s team includes three combinations who will be contesting their first senior championships, while Sophie Wells and C Fatal Attraction will be out to defend their Freestyle gold medal from the European Championships in 2017.

In alphabetical order, the selected squad has been named by British Dressage selectors as…

  • Mari Durward-Akhurst (Grade I) with Glesni Owen’s Sky O’Hara
  • Nicky Greenhill (Grade IV) with her own and Gary Greenhill’s Betty Boo
  • Sophie Wells (Grade V) with Charlotte Hogg’s C Fatal Attraction
  • Georgia Wilson (Grade II) with her own and Geoff and Julie Wilson’s Midnight

Performance Manager Georgina Sharples said “Many congratulations to all the selected combinations, their owners and support teams. It is wonderful to see three first-time championship athletes included in this selection – they’ll have the chance to experience a championship environment as part of the build up to Tokyo 2020. Also representing Great Britain in her eleventh major championships, Paralympic, World and European multi-medallist Sophie Wells, will bring a wealth of experience as will a highly committed and knowledgeable support Team.”

Jason Brautigam, British Dressage Chief Executive, commented; “It’s fantastic to see three new names getting the call-up to the team this year, alongside the extensive Championship experience of Sophie Wells. With qualification for next year’s Paralympics already assured, it’s great to provide opportunities for new combinations to make their mark on the international stage. Competition for places has been fierce this year, with a number of riders in line for selection, which shows the fantastic depth we have in the programme just one year out from Tokyo. Congratulations to the chosen four and we look forward to cheering you on in Rotterdam.”

Nicky and Sophie have also been selected with direct reserve horses, Nicky with Gary Greenhill and her own King Edward I and Sophie with her own Diadeem.

The British senior teams are supported by the BEF’s UK Sport National Lottery funded World Class Programme.

 

 

Page Last Updated: July 31, 2019

Job opportunity at the RDA – Project Co-ordinator (Tracker)

RDA National Office, Shrewley, Warwick

RDA is a leading national charity, dedicated to enriching the lives of disabled people through horses and our team at national office work closely with our network of national volunteers to ensure RDA Groups are able to provide an excellent experience for those who take part in our activities.

About the role:

We are seeking a new member of staff to play a key role in coordinating the delivery of our Tracker development plan. This role is an opportunity for someone who prides themselves on their ability to engage with key stakeholders and has strong project management and organisational skills.

The main responsibilities of the role include leading in three key areas:

  • To co-ordinate the development of the Tracker tool
  • To ensure groups using the Tracker have sufficient guidance and support
  • To promote the use of tracker data by RDA groups

It is important that you are a confident communicator with exceptional customer service skills as you will be providing advice and guidance to our volunteer workforce on a regular basis.  We also value adaptability; someone who will enjoy working on a new project and the challenges associated with a varied workload.

 

This is a fixed term role finishing on 31st March 2020 working 3 days (21 hours) per week although flexibility will be needed leading up to events with extra hours covered by time off in lieu.

Salary is £20,000 (pro rata) per annum.

Full job description

Please ring 01926 405966 or email mcobble@rda.org.uk for more information, or send your CV and a covering letter to mcobble@rda.org.uk  or Matthew Cobble Group Support and Volunteer Manager, RDA National Office, Lowlands Equestrian Centre, Old Warwick Road, Shrewley, Warwick CV35 7AX.

Closing date for applications is 2nd August 2019.

https://www.myrda.org.uk/21148-2/

Page Last Updated: July 18, 2019

HRH Princess Anne launches 50th anniversary tartan for RDA in Scotland

A new tartan has been produced by Lachcarron of Scotland in celebration of 50 years of Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) providing therapy through horses. The tartan was launched at an Anniversary event in Edinburgh by RDA President, Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal. The Princess met with volunteers and participants from around the country and was presented with her very own RDA tartan scarf by brothers Andrew and William McLeod.

In addition to launching the tartan, the event was an opportunity to celebrate 50 years of RDA in Scotland. There are 54 individual RDA groups in the country, supporting almost 3000 adults and children with physical and learning disabilities to benefit from horses. In her address to guests, The Princess thanked the volunteers – over 2,500 in Scotland – without whom RDA would not be possible. She acknowledged the whole team effort that it takes to help make such a real difference to people’s lives through riding and carriage driving.

Kim McCutcheon, Edinburgh and Borders Regional Chair for RDA, said “The tartan has been designed to incorporate the charity’s colours and it was lovely to launch it at a special celebration alongside our wonderful volunteers and participants. It would be fantastic to see the tartan worn across the whole of the UK and by purchasing a scarf you are helping to support another 50 years of therapy through horses.”

The event was kindly held at the People’s Postcode Lottery office in Charlotte Square, Edinburgh. Clara Govier, managing director of People’s Postcode Lottery said ‘It has been a honour to support Riding for the Disabled in celebrating their fiftieth year here in Scotland, and see the launch of their new tartan. They are an incredible charity, working across Britain to improve the lives of thousands of people. They are hugely popular with the players of People’s Postcode Lottery and have received over £2.5 million in funding since 2013.’

The tartan costs £22.95 and can be ordered from kate@tarandoun.co.uk

Page Last Updated: May 2, 2019

Job opportunity at RDA NATIONAL TRAINING CENTRE – NTC Centre Manager

RDA NATIONAL TRAINING CENTRE

CENTRE & COMMERCIAL MANAGER

RDA has developed a new National Training Centre and we are now seeking a dynamic and driven person to lead the work to make this a commercially successful, world class equestrian centre.  Based near Warwick, this is an exciting opportunity for the right person to make a significant impact on our work and what we can achieve.

The Role

The Centre Manager will be responsible to delivering an exciting plan to develop the activities on sire, ensure excellent customer service and manage the facility.  The Manager will oversee all operations at the Centre, develop and increase commercial activity, and plan the expansion and next stage of development.  Working with our yard team and coaches, s/he will also be responsible for ensuring that the Centre meets the highest standards, allowing it to be an example of great practice to the wider RDA network and beyond.

Salary – £30,000 – £35,000 (depending on experience), plus benefits

See www.rda.org.uk for the role description and more information

The Successful Candidate

You will be a driven individual, with a passion for what RDA achieves and a willingness to go the extra mile to make sure that the centre meets its targets.  You will have a proven track record of managing a facility and managing a team to deliver challenging targets; and you will be dedicated to ensuring we achieve a high standard of customer service.  You will be comfortable working with volunteers and support the ethos of a voluntary organisation.

About us

RDA is a National federation of charities that enriches the lives of disabled people through activities with horses, by providing meaningful therapy, opportunities for achievement and the joy of working with horses.  This National Training Centre is a new venture, which will house our new National Headquarters and will help us underline our commitment to training and supporting our volunteers to continually improve and increase our service.

Apply:

Please send a CV and covering letter, explain why you meet the criteria to:

Angela Sly, asly@rda.org.uk

RDA, Lowlands Equestrian Centre, Old Warwick Road, Shrewley, Warwickshire, CV35 7AX

Closing date for applications Monday 15th April 2019

NTC MANAGER job ad full version
NTC MANAGER Background
NTC Centre Manager Job Description

 

 

Page Last Updated: April 2, 2019

Job opportunity at the Elisabeth Curtis Centre

The Elisabeth Curtis Centre is a dedicated RDA centre providing riding for over 100 children and adults with special needs and disabilities. We now have vacancies for two part time grooms to join our team.

One position to cover; Monday to Thursday mornings, Friday, Saturday morning and evening 24 hours

Second position to cover; Monday to Thursday afternoon/evening, Friday, Sunday morning and evening 16 hours

Hours/days may be negotiable depending on co-worker Flexibility needed to ensure cover for emergencies etc. Main duties include:
• Bringing in, feeding, grooming and tacking up ponies
• Mucking out and general yard duties
• Checking fields
• Tack cleaning
• Clipping when required
• Exercising ponies – either ridden or groundwork (Centre weight limits apply for ridden work)

Will need to be able to work independently and with our team of coaches and volunteers
28 days paid holiday (including bank holidays) Salary dependant on experience.

Proven experience or relevant qualifications required, for example;
BHS Stage 2 Care (eQL Level 2 diploma in Horse Knowledge and Care) or the eQL Level 2 WBd diploma in Horse Care.
BHS Stage 3 Care (eQL Level 3 diploma in Horse Knowledge and Care), or the equivalent level of WBd.

DBS Check will need to be completed.

Applications in writing to elisabethcurtiscentre@gmail.com or The Elisabeth Curtis Centre, Chestnut Avenue, Bromham, Bedford, MK43 8HP – CV and covering letter

Any queries, please call 01234 604063
Closing Date – 15th March 2019

Page Last Updated: March 1, 2019