Saddleworth hosts Horse 4 health Relay event

Being part of the inaugural Health for Horses Relay was a fantastic way to celebrate our beloved horses, acknowledge how they’ve helped us through the past year and the impact they have on our mental health.  Getting involved offered our participants and volunteers a new and exciting experience, whilst supporting H4H’s other initiatives, to promote riding road safety and raise funds for 7 wonderful equine charities (including RDA).  

We decided to hold our first ever Countryside Challenge as the main event and contacted H4H organiser Sophie Gifford. She opened her black book of contacts and very soon we had Naylors sponsoring the Countryside Challenge prizes, BETA’s mechanical horse “RoboCob”, goodie bags and even Greater Manchester Mounted Police were on board!

Our community really came together to support us; Tesco provided refreshments, volunteers and families baked delicious cakes, the village pub provided sandwiches, Pony Club loaned us equipment and a reporter came from the paper to raise awareness of H4H and RDA.  A local Championship level circuit judge kindly volunteered to judge riders and present prizes. 

Sheila Saner, Greater Manchester County Chair was a fantastic support and supervised riders on the mechanical horse as we didn’t have any experience of this.  The majority of our riders had never experienced a canter but all of them cantered on RoboCob and the smiles were HUGE!  With Sheila’s guidance our coaching team could see the advantages of using a simulator alongside real ponies and we’re now exploring whether buying our own is an option. 

After two weeks of glorious weather, typically the heavens opened and our Countryside Challenge in the outdoor arena was a very soggy one but the whole place was buzzing! Having multiple ‘zones’ with things to do, see and eat resulted in a brilliant day for everyone and we raised £545 for Health for Horses. 

We obviously had to adapt our plans to meet covid regulations with staggered arrival times etc but this took nothing away from the day. We’d highly recommend it to other groups and if anyone wants to ask us anything we’d be delighted to help! 

Contact Alison Pickering at: rdasaddleworth@gmail.com 

Page Last Updated: July 22, 2021

Vacancy: Training & Education, Senior Coordinator – Training Academy, RDA National Office

£25,000 + benefits (pro rata)

 

2.5 days part-time, (17 hours p/w)

 

Full time role will be considered with elements of the concurrently advertised Training and Education Senior Coordinator role depending on working pattern preference and balance of skills of applying candidates across the two roles.

 

Location: Flexible but regular attendance at National Office in Warwickshire will be required as necessary.  National travel may be required.  Remote working may be considered. 

 

Closing date: 16 July 2021

 

At Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), our horses benefit the lives of over 25,000 disabled children and adults. With fun activities like riding and carriage driving, we provide therapy, fitness, skills development and opportunities for achievement – all supported by 18,000 amazing volunteers and trained coaches at nearly 500 RDA groups and commercial riding centres all over the UK.

This is an exciting time for us as we launch our ambitious 9-year strategy for growth and development. To ensure we meet our goals, we are looking for an enthusiastic team player to support our Training and Education Managers and be part of our Training and Education Team. This is a fantastic opportunity for someone who shares our values and is looking to further their career in training and education, project management and/or coach development.

Role Purpose:

To co-ordinate and develop training and education projects, with a specific focus on development of a Training Academy.

How to apply

Download and read the full job specification here: Training&Education_SeniorCoordinator_TrainingAcademy_JobSpec

Email your CV and a covering letter to Angela Sly, Business Support Coordinator, asly@rda.org.uk

Closing date for applications: 16 July 2021

Applications will be considered for both this role and the concurrently advertised Training and Education Senior Coordinator role due to the similarities in person specification.  Please can you provide a clear statement in your covering letter about your role preference and preferred working pattern (full or part time).

If you do not wish to be considered for both roles, please make this clear in your covering letter.

Page Last Updated: June 17, 2021

Vacancy: Training & Education Senior Coordinator, RDA National Office

£25,000 + benefits

Full time, (35 hours p/w)

Part time role will be considered with the concurrently advertised Training and Education Senior Coordinator – Training Academy picking up some of the specific responsibilities depending on working pattern preference and balance of skills of applying candidates across the two roles.  

Location: Flexible but regular attendance at National Office in Warwickshire will be required as necessary.  National travel may be required.  Remote working may be considered. 

 

Closing date: 16 July 2021

 

At Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), our horses benefit the lives of over 25,000 disabled children and adults. With fun activities like riding and carriage driving, we provide therapy, fitness, skills development and opportunities for achievement – all supported by 18,000 amazing volunteers and trained coaches at nearly 500 RDA groups and commercial riding centres all over the UK.

This is an exciting time for us as we launch our ambitious 9-year strategy for growth and development. To ensure we meet our goals, we are looking for an enthusiastic team player to support our Training and Education Managers and be part of our Training and Education Team. This is a fantastic opportunity for someone who shares our values and is looking to further their career in training and education and/or coach development.

 

Role Purpose:

To co-ordinate and develop training and education projects, with a specific focus on carriage driving, vaulting and showjumping coaching pathways. 

Lead on Accessibility Mark, Accessibility Mark Support Officer liaison and training.

How to apply

Download and read the full job specification here: Training&Education_SeniorCoordinator_JobSpec

Email your CV and a covering letter to Angela Sly, Business Support Coordinator, asly@rda.org.uk

Closing date for applications: 16 July 2021

Applications will be considered for both this role and the concurrently advertised Training and Education Senior Coordinator – Training Academy role due to the similarities in person specification.  Please can you provide a clear statement in your covering letter about your role preference and preferred working pattern (full or part time).  

If you do not wish to be considered for both roles, please make this clear in your covering letter.

Page Last Updated: June 17, 2021

Weekly News 17 June

Just before the weather takes a nose-dive (it may already have done so with you), it seems fitting that today’s email is basically all about holidays. Specifically – tonight’s webinar and our ‘Grand Day Out’ project. More on these below. So grab your bucket and spade and head for the beach…..

Before you go, a reminder that we hold our EGM this morning to elect our new Chair. Ed Bracher will email you with the outcome of this later today.

RDA Grand Day Out & holidays

We are delighted to announce our Grand Day Out initiative, the brainchild of Judy Olby, our National Holidays Lead.  With thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, we can support about 50 Groups with a contribution of up to £100 to take their participants and volunteer on a Day Out, helping groups to reconnect even if they cannot get back to full sessions just yet.  Watch the webinar with National Holiday’s Lead Judy Olby this evening to find out more (details below).

Holidays

Even though we are not running National Holidays this year due to COVID-19, your group can link up directly with holiday providers. As an example, Clwyd Special Riding Centre www.clwydspecialridingcentre.co.uk are planning to open in early July and would be delighted if any groups wanted to holiday with them. The Accessibility Mark Centre on the Isle of Wight, Island Riding, offers accessible holidays with accommodation on site www.islandriding.com.

30-minute webinar

Tonight, 17 June, 7pm, Holidays and ‘Grand Day Out’

RDA’s Queen of Holidays, Judy Olby will be inspiring you to make the most of the Summer by arranging a day out or holiday for your participants – a great way to reconnect after so long without being together, especially for groups that haven’t been able to restart yet. As we launch our ‘Grand Day Out’ project, Judy will explain more about this new initiative.

Register at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_PlT4hLDyS4msdmDAdQ93pw

Next week: 24 June, Legal Matters

RDA’s Legal Advisor Shivaji Shiva and Chief Executive Ed Bracher will cover some of the issues most commonly raised by groups.

Register at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN__hBokJPQTtyhoM9SjkskPQ 

Road to Restart – side walkers

The Road to Restart Working Group have listened to the challenges faced by our groups and riders, have looked at the evidence, including the increasing vaccination rate, and can now confirm that riders that need specific assistance in RDA sessions may be permitted to have 2 side walkers during sessions from next Monday, 21 June across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and in Level 0 and 1 areas in Scotland.

Hand sanitisation for the side walkers and the leader must take place prior to and after the session and both side walkers must wear a face covering at all times when side walking.  The leader must look away at all times from both side walkers and the rider at all times and may also consider wearing a face covering as further mitigation.  The side walkers and leader should aim to be as socially distanced as possible whilst ensuring the rider is supported safely at all times.  All activities should take place outdoors or in a well-ventilated covered arena.

The Group, as well as all volunteers and participants involved, should be comfortable with what they are being asked to do at all times. Even though we cannot require our volunteers to be double vaccinated, or even ask their vaccination status, it is likely that those who will feel most comfortable in side walking will be those who have the greatest level of protection.

Hope for COVID Heroes

We are supporting a new project #HopeForCOVIDHeroes offering equine facilitated intervention to frontline workers affected by COVID-19. Currently in its pilot phase, we hope to become one of several HETI members delivering the programme later this year. More here: www.god-unlimited.org/helpforcovidheroes-support…/

Vacancies at National Office

We have left a few roles at National Office vacant during the last year, and now we plan to start recruiting again. These positions will be publicly available to view here – where you will already see the role of Communications Coordinator advertised www.rda.org.uk/join-the-rda-uk-team/

Vacancies will also be posted internally on MyRDA at www.myrda.org.uk/about-rda/latest-news/

Find us on Facebook

There are several RDA Facebook groups you can join if you are interested or involved in specific activities. These include:  RDA Equine, RDA Endurance, RDA Carriage Driving, RDA Showjumping, RDA Vaulting and RDA National Championships & Competitions. They are useful spaces for discussion and sharing information and can be a great way to connect with people around RDA with similar interests.

Page Last Updated: June 17, 2021

Rachel Medill MBE elected as new Chair of RDA UK

Rachel Medill, MBE brings trustee and equestrian knowledge to ‘meet the growing need for support’

RDA has announced that Rachel Medill MBE will be the charity’s new Chair of Trustees. Voted in by members at an Extraordinary General Meeting, Rachel will start the new role immediately. The appointment follows a rigorous recruitment process, with exceptional candidates coming forward to be considered for the prestigious post.

Rachel has a lifelong connection with horses. She was shortlisted for junior and young rider British eventing teams and was 14th at Burghley before starting her career in the City of London (as Director of PR, Corporate Communications and Direct Marketing). In 2000, she left the City and has since held various consultancy and board positions, including 5 years as an independent director of the British Equestrian Federation.

In 2008, Rachel founded a charity, Ride High, in order to support children who are vulnerable, isolated, disadvantaged or otherwise struggling to cope with daily life. She developed programmes which use horses to connect with children, and associated educational projects to build confidence and self esteem as well as social, communication and literacy skills. In 2020, having built the organisation into a thriving social enterprise, she stepped back from her full-time role as CEO with the intention of bringing her strategic and business experience to a national leadership role in the charity sector. In 2016 Rachel received an MBE for her services to children.

“We are delighted to welcome Rachel Medill to RDA,” says Chief Executive Ed Bracher. “She joins us at an exciting but undoubtedly challenging time, as we bring our groups out of lockdown and get back to pre-COVID activity levels across the UK. We are finalising our strategy for the next five years – including an ambitious programme of growth and development – and I know we will benefit from Rachel’s experience and understanding of our work.”

Rachel Medill says; “I’m very excited about becoming Chair of Trustees at RDA UK as it combines so much of what I am passionate about. I join a community of people united by their belief in the extraordinary, gentle power of horses to bring happiness and aspiration. In the wake of the pandemic when so many people are struggling I want to encourage the widest range of people to be involved and engaged with the organisation so that we can meet the growing need for our support.”

Page Last Updated: June 17, 2021

Vacancy: Communication Coordinator, RDA UK National Office

£22,000 + benefits

Full time (35 hours p/w)

Location: Hybrid home/office based (Warwick). Minimum one day in office per week.

Closing date: 16 July 2021

At Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), our horses benefit the lives of over 25,000 disabled children and adults. With fun activities like riding and carriage driving, we provide therapy, fitness, skills development and opportunities for achievement – all supported by 18,000 amazing volunteers and trained coaches at nearly 500 RDA groups and commercial riding centres all over the UK.

This is an exciting time for us as we launch our ambitious 9-year strategy for growth and development. To ensure we meet our goals, we are looking for an enthusiastic team player to support our Head of Communications & Insight. This is a fantastic opportunity for someone who shares our values and is looking for a career in third sector communications and PR.

In this varied and interesting position, you will support both internal and external communications initiatives, helping us raise awareness of our work and maintaining strong links with our member groups around the UK. Reporting to the Head of Communications & Insight, as well as collaborative working with other departments, you will be encouraged and supported to develop your skills in all aspects of charity comms, including effective writing, media relations and social media marketing.

How to apply

Download a full job specification here: CommsCoordinator_JobSpec

Email your CV and a covering letter to Angela Sly, Business Support Coordinator, asly@rda.org.uk

Page Last Updated: June 16, 2021

Weekly News 10 June

I was sad to hear about the death of Carolyn (Carol) Hall who had been suffering from Dementia. Until her retirement on health grounds some 5+ years ago, Carol was the backbone of the West Suffolk Group, where she was coach and Chair. She was also County Coach for Suffolk and a Coach Developer for East Region. Carol volunteered for over 40 years. She worked tirelessly at the Regional Qualifiers and Regional Training Days.  She was a regular volunteer at Hartpury on the Countryside Challenge Course and helped make all the riders feel very special when competing there. She will be sorely missed by all who knew her.

With thanks to Sue Diggins and Sue Price

EGM reminder

A reminder about next week’s EGM – please cast your group vote for the new Chair of RDA UK if you haven’t already done so. The link to vote is: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/EGM17June21


3 Carriages available

North Meols Carriage Driving Group is sadly having to close and they have 3 carriages, a Fenix, a Charles Wylie, which takes a wheelchair, a Bennington, and a ramp available to donate to other RDA groups. If your group might be interested, or you would like further information, please contact Fiona Caplan on either bafilo@tiscali.co.uk or 01704 566728.


30-minute webinar

Tonight, 7pm Coaching Week special

To mark Coaching Week, we hear from Abingdon Coach and regular blogger India Collins-Davies about what coaching within RDA means to her, what she missed during lockdown and what is enriching her life once again now the group is back open and filming their virtual qualifier videos. She’ll also use the opportunity to reach out to young coaches and volunteers who are thinking about joining the coaching pathway.

Register at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_7lxOcr11QeOu-Td7VYw6Nw

Next week: 17 June, Surprise webinar

The surprise is I don’t know what it is yet! Rest assured there will be one and it will be excellent. I’ll circulate the details in next week’s email so apologies that it will be very short notice.

Regional Equine Advisor for three regions

We are looking to fill this vital role in Grampian & Highland, North Midlands and North Wales. If you or anyone you know might be interested please take a look at the role description here: https://www.myrda.org.uk/assets/Role-Profile-Regional-Equine-Advisor-0621-pdf-1-1.pdf

Any applications or enquiries to Emma Bayliss at ebayliss@rda.org.uk

Corporate Fundraising Workshop

Thanks to giving you the wrong email address for Clare Pryme, making it somewhat difficult for people to register, the corporate fundraising workshop is being rearranged for a later date (tbc). If you would be interested in attending, do let Clare know at cpryme@rda.org.uk so she can contact you when a date has been agreed. As before, this is for 15 people (one delegate per group please), with places offered on a first come first served basis.

As a reminder, this workshop is:

An Introduction to Corporate Fundraising: a practical learning session designed to benefit people who are completely new to fundraising. The workshop provides insight into corporate fundraising and increasing your knowledge in this area. Led by highly experienced corporate fundraisers, the session will introduce a practical approach and cover a wide range of topics including:

  • The different fundraising methods corporates could use to support your organisation.
  • Gaining an understanding of what corporates expect in return for their support.
Page Last Updated: June 16, 2021

Weekly News 3 June

Few good things have happened as a result of COVID-19, but one silver lining has been the increased recognition of volunteering and the absolute necessity of people giving their time in all sorts of ways so that communities can survive and thrive.

This Volunteers’ Week I like to say thank you to each and every one of you for everything you have done to support your group and the wider RDA community through this incredibly tough year.

Sadly, I have to report the death of Pat Messam, County Physio in Norfolk for many years and Joint Regional Physio for East Region. Norfolk County Coach Lorna Mitchell says: “Pat, though a quiet gentle person, had great strength of character and resilience who made a difference to so many of us in Norfolk.”

An interview with Rachel Medill

Ahead of the EGM to vote in the new Chair of RDA UK, we asked Interim Chair and Regional Chair for South Region Frances Lochrane to record a chat with nominee Rachel Medill, to help you put a face to the name and find out more about her. The conversation is available to watch here: https://youtu.be/hVqN5jGF-m4

Fundraising Workshops

Our fundraising team will be delivering a series of training sessions for novice fundraisers over the next few weeks, via Zoom. There are 15 places available on each workshop on a first come first serve basis (one person per group please). Further workshops are planned, including for those with more experience of fundraising.

  1. An Introduction to Corporate Fundraising: a practical learning session designed to benefit people who are completely new to fundraising. The workshop provides insight into corporate fundraising and increasing your knowledge in this area. Led by highly experienced corporate fundraisers, the session will introduce a practical approach and cover a wide range of topics including:
  • The different fundraising methods corporates could use to support your organisation.
  • Gaining an understanding of what corporates expect in return for their support.

Details:

  • Wednesday 9 June, 10:30am – 1:00pm
  • Register your interest by Monday 7 June to: cpryme@rda.org.uk

 

  1. An Introduction to fundraising: if you are new to fundraising and want to develop your understanding and knowledge of fundraising this is the workshop for you.  We will cover topics including:
  • Useful tools and resources to find funding opportunities.
  • A practical introduction covering basic principles and best practices. 
  • Understanding how to manage your relationships and why your relationship(s) with your donors and supporters is critical to your success.

Details:

  • Wednesday 17 June, 10:30am – 1:00pm
  • Register your interest by 15 June to: cyapp@rda.org.uk

 

  1. An Introduction to Grant Making: whether you are new to grant fundraising, looking to build on your fundraising experience, or you are supporting others to make grant funding applications, this programme will help you build your knowledge and skills to do so.  This workshop is aimed at attendees at various levels of experience. We will cover topics including:
  • How to find funding opportunities and how to decide which funds are right for you.
  • Investigate reasons applications are rejected, and top tips for increasing your success rates.
  • Understand how applications are assessed and start to look at your applications from the perspective of the funder.

Details:

  • Wednesday 22nd June, 10:30am – 1:00pm
  • Register your interest by Monday 20 June to: rthompson@rda.org.uk

30-minute webinar

Tonight, 7pm Volunteers’ Week Special

Lindsay Correa, National Volunteering Lead and Faye McKenning, Projects Co-ordinator: Volunteer Development will be talking about all things volunteering, and Lindsay’s volunteering journey. If you have any questions please send them to fmckenning@rda.org.uk

Register at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_nfsR3IA1SFaxjvsLsoYy8w

Next week: 10 June, Coaching Week

To mark Coaching Week, we hear from Abingdon Coach and regular blogger India Collins-Davies about what coaching within RDA means to her, what she missed during lockdown and what is enriching her life once again now the group is back open and filming their virtual qualifier videos. She’ll also use the opportunity to reach out to young coaches and volunteers who are thinking about joining the coaching pathway.

Register at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_7lxOcr11QeOu-Td7VYw6Nw

You can catch India’s blog here: https://www.rdacoachindia.co.uk/

RDA Banners mystery!

We seem to be missing a couple of RDA event banners (like you might put above a stand or on a fence). They are big and white and have just our logo and website on them. Is there any chance you know where they are? Have they been forgotten about during lockdown? We’d love them back so if you can help solve our mystery please email Cat cyapp@rda.org.uk

Page Last Updated: June 16, 2021

Weekly News 27 May

New Chair and EGM

Group Chairs have been sent the information about the nomination of Rachel Medill as the new Chair of RDA UK and the notice of the EGM on 17 June. If you are a Group Chair and you have not received this information, please contact Amanda Perkins aperkins@rda.org.uk.

About Rachel Medill, MBE

Rachel has a lifelong love of horses. She was shortlisted for junior and young rider British eventing teams and was 14th at Burghley before starting her career in the City of London (as Director of PR, Corporate Communications and Direct Marketing). In 2000, Rachel left the City and has since held various consultancy and board positions, including 5 years as an independent director of the British Equestrian Federation.

In 2008, Rachel founded a charity, Ride High, in order to support children who are vulnerable, isolated, disadvantaged or otherwise struggling to cope with daily life. She developed programmes which use horses to connect with children, and associated educational projects to build confidence and self esteem as well as social, communication and literacy skills. Having seen the organisation into its long-term home and onto a secure financial footing, she stepped back from her full-time role as CEO at the start of 2020 with the intention of supporting a number of other charities.

In 2016 Rachel received an MBE for her services to children. She no longer rides but wants to take up carriage driving.

To help introduce Rachel, we will be recording a Zoom conversation between her and Frances Lochrane, who has been Acting Chair for the past 6 months.  We will be circulating the link to this early next week.

 

Government Restart Grants for businesses – England only

From 1 April 2021, local authorities in England have been able to allocate one-off grants of up to £18,000 to support non-essential businesses to reopen safely as restrictions are eased.  Indoor riding schools are eligible to apply and are included as an example of an eligible business in the “Leisure” section of the official guidance. The Government has now confirmed that riding schools which operate outside only (i.e. without an indoor facility) are also eligible to apply.

The “Gym and Sports” section of the guidance includes reference to non-profit establishments. The first step to check if your RDA Group meets the criteria to make an application is to visit:  www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-youre-eligible-for-a-coronavirus-restart-grant

If you then wish to make an application, you will need to contact your local authority directly for details on how to apply.  If you are not sure which local authority area you are in, you can find out here: www.gov.uk/find-local-council .

The application closure date for this scheme is 30 June 2021 and payments to successful businesses will be made by the end of July 2021.

You can view the full guidance issued to local authorities here:  https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/986420/restart-grant-guidance.pdf

 

30-minute webinar

Tonight, 7pm, Restarting RDA: Don’t wait for ‘normality’ to return

The process of restarting RDA sessions after a long break will require planning (and yes, undoubtedly some paperwork), even if COVID restrictions are eased and things feel largely back to normal – so it makes sense to start sooner rather than later. We look at the considerations for a safe and orderly restart. We will be chatting with Lesley Davies from Belvoir Vale RDA Group and will have some ideas from other groups about how they have got started.

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_aADeuzJoRx2WEsZKlTdjOQ

 

Next week: 3 June, Volunteers’ Week

Lindsay Correa, National Volunteering Lead and Faye McKenning, Projects Co-ordinator: Volunteer Development will be talking about all things volunteering, and Lindsay’s volunteering journey. If you have any questions please send them to fmckenning@rda.org.uk

Register at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_nfsR3IA1SFaxjvsLsoYy8w

 

National Lead for Dressage

We are sad to be losing John Robinson as National Lead for Dressage. We would like to thank him wholeheartedly for the time he has put into dressage nationally, providing training, forging strong links to British Dressage and being an invaluable asset leading the team of judges at our National Championships.  It has been an honour having someone at the highest level of Para Judging involved with RDA giving us credibility and the knowledge to keep moving forward. We wish John well and thank him for his time and support of RDA over the years.

We are now looking for an inspirational National Lead to promote the world of dressage as a core activity and experience within RDA. Are you passionate about dressage and unlocking potential? Could you bring your knowledge and experience to make a difference to people’s lives? If you think this is you, please visit www.myrda.org.uk/assets/Dressage_Lead_Role_Description.docx for more information.

Closing date: Monday 5 July 2021.

 

Volunteers’ Week 1-7 June

A reminder that next week is Volunteers’ Week. Anyone who wants to share their ‘why I volunteer’ stories can email Faye fmckenning@rda.org.uk  anytime between now and the end of Volunteers’ Week.

Page Last Updated: May 28, 2021

Weekly News 20 May

Sidewalkers: clarification for Scotland

In Scotland, one sidewalker for riding and carriage driving is permitted if an area is in Level 1 or 2 but not in Level 3.  We understand Glasgow and Moray remain in Level 3. 

 

Search for a ‘heritage champion’

For over 50 years RDA has been at the forefront of disability sport, and a pioneer in the world of horses for therapy. In partnership with Sporting Heritage, we are now looking for a volunteer (or volunteer team) to capture, record and share our heritage: preserving our history and making it more accessible for future generations.

If you know someone who might enjoy this challenge, the full spec can be found here:

www.myrda.org.uk/we-are-looking-for-a-volunteer-heritage-champion/    

Anyone interested can pop me an email cward@rda.org.uk

 

30-minute webinar

Tonight, 7pm, RDA Endurance

To coincide with Endurance Week and the launch of this year’s RDA Endurance league, we hear from new National Lead for this increasingly popular activity, Gilly Roper.

Register at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_kw6qcDH8QHCNr9XONbfnkg 

Next week: 27 May, Restarting RDA: Don’t wait for ‘normality’ to return

The process of restarting RDA sessions after a long break will require planning (and yes, undoubtedly some paperwork), even if COVID restrictions are eased and things feel largely back to normal – so it makes sense to start sooner rather than later. We look at the considerations for a safe and orderly restart.

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_aADeuzJoRx2WEsZKlTdjOQ

 

Coach Reflection cards

A recent CPD workshop for coaches highlighted the benefits of being able to reflect on sessions in a positive and productive way. In response, we have developed a series of reflection cards as part of our e-learning platform. These can be used at the end of the day on your own, but are just as useful worked through with others. Although developed for coaching, these are suitable for everyone involved in RDA sessions (participants, volunteers and coaches) and are available here: www.rda-learning.org.uk/courses/coach-reflection/

 

Volunteers’ Week 1-7 June

Just a heads up about Volunteers’ Week, as usual the first week of June. This year we will be using our Volunteer Wellbeing research to highlight the reasons people volunteer with RDA (and the benefits) and asking volunteers to share their own experiences with us. Anyone who wants to share their ‘why I volunteer’ stories can email Faye fmckenning@rda.org.uk  anytime between now and the end of Volunteers’ Week.

 

Equi-Scotia courses

Please find here information about courses which might be of interest to develop and deliver non-riding activities to support mental health and well-being: https://www.equi-scotia.com/our-events/

Page Last Updated: May 28, 2021

Weekly News 13 May

Side walkers

The Road to Restart Working Group can now confirm that one side walker from outside the rider’s household/bubble will be permitted to support the rider on the opposite side of the equine to the leader from late May (17 May in England, Scotland and Wales and 24 May in Northern Ireland).

The side walker and leader must be socially distanced by at least 1m at all times. They both must practice good hand hygiene and the side walker must wear a face covering over nose and mouth whilst in the session.  The leader must either look away from the rider and side walker at all times or wear a face covering, or can choose to do both.  As a reminder, if any volunteers are supporting any participants outside their household/ bubble they must be appropriately trained and with a green card.  The COVID-19 basic training record is only for household/bubble members supporting the rider they are in a household/bubble with. 

If the rider needs two side walkers then these both must come from the rider’s household/ bubble and (unless the leader is from the same household), the leader must face away from the rider and side walkers at all times or they must wear a face covering. The leader and the side walker on the same side must also aim to be socially distanced as much as possible.  This applies to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Two side walkers from outside the rider’s household/ bubble are permitted on the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey where physical distancing restrictions are no longer in force.  

The timing of this change is being tied to the level of confidence in each of the respective countries about permitting 2 households to meet indoors and/or to permit contact sport.

It is also proposed when legal limits on restrictions are removed, expected to be 21 June in England, then two side walkers from outside the rider’s household/ bubble will be permitted.  Dates for other home countries will be in step with removal of legal limits, these dates have not yet been announced.

   

New Rider Assessments

A number of groups have asked if they can assess new riders. The answer to this is yes!  When doing so, you should aim to be socially distanced as much as you can but if you have to breach social distancing, you should ensure you practice good hand hygiene (sanitise your hands before you come into contact with anyone and immediately afterwards) and must wear a face covering.

 

30-minute webinar

Next Thursday, 20 May, RDA Endurance

To coincide with Endurance Week and the launch of this year’s RDA Endurance league (see below), we hear from new National Lead for this increasingly popular activity, Gilly Roper.

Register at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_kw6qcDH8QHCNr9XONbfnkg 

 

Tea with a Pony Conference – 19 May, 9-10:30am

A reminder to sign up this Zoom conference on Wednesday 19 May to mark the launch of Tea with a Pony.  The conference will focus on the benefits of equine experiences for people living with Dementia, and also how RDA are using the Dementia Friends initiative. Panellists include: Ally Rood (MRes in Horses for Dementia), Lorna Kook (Retired Occupational Therapist), Claire Jenkins (RDA UK Trustee) and Meg Hardman (Chair, Medical Equestrian Association and RDA Honorary Medic)

Register for the conference at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_eXHBC1UiQnmNBgVPM6zNSg

Please share the details of this conference to anyone you think might be interested – from within and outside of RDA.

 

Toyota Parasport Funding for groups in England – closes 31 May 2021

The Toyota Parasport Fund has launched a new round of funding with awards of between £1,000 and £5,000 for organisations in England looking to support disabled people to return to sport or activity, when relaxing of coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions allow them to do so.

The link to their webpage is here www.sportengland.org/parasporttoyota. Applications are made using a standard small grants application form and there is an accompanying funding guide.

Although this grant is only applicable to groups in England at the moment, groups in other nations can get more information on what is available in their home countries using this link: https://parasport.org.uk/toyota-parasport-fund

 

Endurance League

As we approach Endurance Week next week, a reminder about the RDA Endurance League, which is running until next April to allow as many groups as possible to take part. Participants can also use a mechanical horse (though they still need to take a real horse’s heart rate!). Carriage Driving groups can add Endurance to their activities.

Find out more about this hugely popular initiative here: www.myrda.org.uk/runningyourgroup/endurance/

 

Every Mind Matters

This week is Mental Health Awareness week and Every Mind Matters is updating its resources to help conversations about mental health and the things in our daily lives that can affect it. Every Mind Matters – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Page Last Updated: May 28, 2021

We are looking for a volunteer Heritage Champion

Could you help us to tell our story through our rich history and heritage?

For over 50 years RDA has been at the forefront of disability sport, and a pioneer in the world of horses for therapy. In partnership with Sporting Heritage, we are now looking for a volunteer (or volunteer team) to capture, record and share our heritage: preserving our history and making it more accessible for future generations.

This project will involve:

  • Developing a clear plan for heritage activity in RDA
  • Working across the RDA network to identify and preserve important records (including oral history)
  • Developing creative solutions for the sharing of our heritage

Person spec:

  • Interested in RDA’s history as a pioneer of disability sport, riding and driving as therapy and the role of women in sport
  • Some experience of archiving and record keeping
  • Self-motivated (and able to work in a team)
  • Understanding of how technology might help us achieve our vision

Supported by:

  • Head of Communications & Insight, RDA UK
  • Training and support from Sporting Heritage

How to apply:

Initial email of interest to Caroline Ward, Head of Communication & Insight, cward@rda.org.uk

Page Last Updated: May 19, 2021

Weekly News 6 May

30-minute webinar

Tonight: 6 May, 7pm, Buying Equines

RDA Honorary Vet Nick Hart, Equine Coordinator at RDA UK Emma Bayliss and Sarah Healing of Penniwells RDA discuss the dos and don’ts of equine purchase.

Register at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_rB17oRf9RIWxM9R2vMHrFw  

Next Thursday, 13 May, A week off!

Since I’m at least a day behind with everything this week, there is no webinar planned for next week. You can have the evening off! We’ll be back the following week.

Stella Hancock Award – a note from National Carriage Driving Lead, Eileen Cornish

Congratulations to Shifford Driving Group in the South Region for being awarded the Stella Hancock Award of £150 towards the training of a new coach for their group. I look forward to her joining the CD Coach ranks in the not-too-distant future once her assessment is completed.

National Office phones: disruption 13 May

You may know we’ve been struggling a bit with the phone system we installed that is supposed to help staff answer calls from home. It has proved a bit unreliable and we are trying a new system, which will be installed next week, 13 May. This may mean the phones are out of action for part or all of that day. I suggest you email us instead, either direct to the person you need, or to info@rda.org.uk and your message will be forwarded to the right person.

Page Last Updated: May 6, 2021

Weekly News 29 April

Opportunity to purchase horses

Thanks to everyone who responded to Tuesday’s email (groups in England, Wales and Scotland) about the horses for sale. We are working with the owner for the rest of this week and next and will update you as soon as there is any news.

30-minute webinar

Tonight: 7pm, RDA Insurance Explained

Richard Doubleday, Executive Chairman of Howdens Insurance Brokers discusses the RDA Insurance. Register at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_vAuxrSipS36DnO_yKbHayA

Next Thursday, 6 May, Buying Equines

RDA Honorary Vet Nick Hart and Emma Baylis discuss the dos and don’ts of equine purchase. A group with recent experience of buying RDA horses will also share their advice.

Register at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_rB17oRf9RIWxM9R2vMHrFw  

Activity Levels survey

In order to help us understand activity levels within groups at the moment, we are issuing a survey to all signed-off groups by the end of this week. I apologise that this means some of you will hear from me again!

‘Tea With a Pony’ Conference 19 May

As part of The Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Action Week #DAW2021, RDA will be hosting a Zoom conference on Wednesday 19 May to mark the launch of Tea with a Pony.  This conference will focus on the benefits of equine experiences for people living with Dementia, and also how RDA are using the Dementia Friends initiative. Panellists include: Ally Rood (MRes in Horses for Dementia), Lorna Kook (Retired Occupational Therapist), Claire Jenkins (RDA UK Trustee) and Meg Hardman (Chair, Medical Equestrian Association and RDA Honorary Medic)

Register for the conference at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_eXHBC1UiQnmNBgVPM6zNSg

Social media boycott this weekend

Along with other British Equestrian member bodies we will be uniting with the football community and other sports for a social media boycott from 3pm on Friday 30 April to 11:59pm on Monday 3 May in support of bringing an end to online abuse and hate. You can read British Equestrian’s statement on this here: www.britishequestrian.org.uk/news/british-equestrian-backs-social-media-boycott-this-weekend

We know that many groups use social media as a key part of their operational communication, so may not feel able to take part in a total boycott, but your support for this initiative is appreciated.

We will be posting a final statement ahead of the boycott about 2pm tomorrow. Please feel free to share/use that message as you wish on your own RDA group channels #EnoughIsEnough #DrawTheLine

Introductory Offer to join Equestrian Employers Association

The Equestrian Employers Association provides support, resources and advice to employers in the equestrian industry. They provide a number of templates that you can use for your employment needs if you employ staff, such as a Contract Creator, Staff Handbook Creator, Health and Safety toolkit and Code of Good Employment as well as information on pensions and payroll to help you to be a compliant and Good Employer. They also have an employment advice helpline.  In addition, they have useful information and templates for those who need to have a Riding Establishments Licence.  They are offering a special introductory rate to RDA groups signing up for the first time of £37.50 per year compared to the usual £49.50. Please note this discount does not apply if you are already a member and please do not pass this on as this offer does not apply to anyone outside of RDA or with Accessibility Mark accreditation. More details here: https://equestrianemployers.org.uk/homeRDA

Horsefest cancellation

The organisers of Horsefest have sadly had to make the difficult decision to cancel the event this year, due to ongoing uncertainties surrounding COVID restrictions.

If you have tickets (bought or won), please see the following message from their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/HorseFestuk):  “We would like to encourage anybody who has purchased tickets or accommodation for this year’s event to roll them over and come party with us in 2022. For anyone who would prefer a refund, this can be arranged by logging onto their TicketSellers account (details are on the email sent to ticket holders). Those who have won tickets – these will transfer to next year’s HorseFest automatically.”

Page Last Updated: May 6, 2021

Opportunity to buy a horse

We have been speaking with an establishment that is selling a significant number of horses and ponies that could be suitable for RDA.  There is a possibility, if we are able to move fairly quickly, that we could (collectively) purchase a significant number of these horses and give them a good and meaningful life with RDA.  I should stress, though, at this stage we are exploring this and there is no firm agreement.

Initially, we just need to be able to gauge demand. If you are actively looking for new equines for your group (ie, you know what you need and have an idea of your budget etc), we have a very quick online form for you to fill in to register your interest. If you are looking for more than one, please complete the form as many times as necessary.

Clearly, there will be more stages to this but for now your initial show of (serious) interest is all we need. If you can complete the form as soon as possible that would be great. Certainly by the end of 28 April.

Please follow the link to the online form here www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RDAequines

Page Last Updated: April 28, 2021

Weekly News 22 April

Here’s a lovely thing to kick off with: Tonight’s The One Show (7pm, BBC One), features volunteer Jane Dowding of Green Cottage RDA in Dorset receiving a ‘One Big Thank You’ in celebration and recognition of everything she does to support the group. Congratulations Jane, so well deserved. 

The Swiss Cheese model

As more people are vaccinated, and Lateral Flow Testing becomes more routine, we are understandably getting questions about whether this means we can change our guidance (specifically in the area of sidewalkers), and whether other precautions are still necessary.

The problem is that no single measure to prevent the spread of Coronavirus is 100% effective – including vaccines – and it is vital that, for now, we continue to follow social distancing, good hand hygiene and use face coverings where appropriate, even if people are vaccinated or have tested negative. Rest assured, our working party is reviewing our guidance regularly and everyone involved is committed to a return to RDA activities for all riders and drivers as soon as possible.

The ‘Swiss Cheese’ model explains the need for multiple safety measures in quite a neat way if you are interested:  www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-40ac92b1-1750-4e86-9936-2cda6b0acb3f 

30-minute webinar

Tonight: 7pm, Physiotherapy advice

Regional Physio for Grampian & Highland Valerie Cooper will advise on helping participants return to activity.

Register at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_kjcf1rn5Q1CtB_gyKGNkUQ

Next Thursday, 29 April, RDA Insurance explained

Richard Doubleday, Executive Chairman of Howdens Insurance Brokers discusses the RDA Insurance. Register at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_vAuxrSipS36DnO_yKbHayA

Competition rulebook

If you are having difficulty using the Rulebook inserts we produced for this year, full copies of the Rulebook and the inserts (in A4 and A5) are available here: www.myrda.org.uk/runningyourgroup/national-championships/ .

For 2022, the Rulebook will be re-designed and full copies will be printed.

British Equestrian Launches Youth Development & Performance Pathway Handbook

British Equestrian has launched the first edition of its Youth Development & Performance Pathway Handbook, which focuses on the Olympic and Paralympic disciplines of dressage, para dressage, eventing and showjumping.

The handbook outlines the various stages that an aspiring rider might go through as they progress through their chosen discipline, starting at entry level and progressing through the various development stages, up to being an athlete at the upper levels of the World Class Programme.

The digital e-book is available to view here:  www.britishequestrian.org.uk/competitors/youth-development-performance-pathway-handbook

Page Last Updated: April 28, 2021

Weekly News 15 April

Congratulations to Wellow Group for their non-Royal visit on Tuesday! Despite the (completely understandable) absence of The Princess Royal, the group nevertheless put on a fantastic event for the local Lieutenancy and selected guests. A timely reminder that things will get better and there are still good times to be had.

Remembering The Duke Of Edinburgh

RDA Chief Executive, Ed Bracher has sent a message of condolence on behalf of RDA to The Palace following the death of The Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Philip was known to many within RDA, especially among our driving community, so I’m sure some groups will be planning to mark his passing in their own way.

With that in mind, there are two announcements below about how to pay your respects if you wish, one from British Equestrian and then from the organisers of Windsor Horse Show.  

Guidance from British Equestrian

The Royal Ceremonial Funeral of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh will be held on 17 April at 15.00 in St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, and British Equestrian is aware that a large number in the equestrian community will wish to pay their respects. With a busy weekend of competition ahead and many planning to enjoy  activities with their horses, we wanted to offer guidance on paying respects.

Many sporting fixtures, racing included, are making arrangements for a period of respect during the funeral service of The Duke of Edinburgh between 14.45 and 16.15 on Saturday. We leave it to the organiser’s discretion on whether to facilitate any such break in their own schedule. Organisers may also wish to consider allowing/requesting riders to wear black armbands on Saturday.

However, we would request that all events/venues make provision in their timetable to observe the national one minute silence at 15.00 with a halt in any activity, ensuring enough time for action to stop sufficiently to allow a full minute of reflection and respect.

Should venues wish to pay their respects by half-masting flags, please follow the guidance issued by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The Cabinet Office has also issued guidance on the Period of National Mourning.

 

Organisers of Windsor Horse Show: The Horse World Remembers
The Horse World Remembers – an Equestrian Tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh will be coordinated by Royal Windsor Horse Show, of which he was an active President for 30 years. During a time when we may not be able to pay tribute in person, The Horse World Remembers will provide a way to celebrate and commemorate the life of a remarkable man – available to all online who wish to pay their respects.

At the heart of The Horse World Remembers is an online Book of Condolence, which will form the platform for our collective memories and tributes. Messages from organisations and individuals, professionals and amateurs alike are all welcome. Please feel free to write whatever comes to your mind. It could be personal, it could be reflective, it could be joyous or it could be a message to His Royal Highness to thank him for his contribution to the horse world. Your message could be anonymous or not, it is up to you – photographs, stories, condolences and thoughts are all welcome. We also encourage you to share this opportunity with your society members and friends in the equestrian community.  The Book of Condolence can be found at www.horseworldremembers.com

We will also be sharing stories across social media (Instagram, Twitter and Facebook) using #HorseWorldRemembers.

During the 2021 Royal Windsor Horse Show (1st to 4th July) the entries to the Book of Condolence will be on display making up a Puissance Wall which will be wrapped in the contributions. The Wall will become a central feature for people to remember The Duke of Edinburgh, and his amazing equestrian achievements. The entries will also be bound into a book for presentation to Her Majesty The Queen.

The online Book of Condolence will stay active for four weeks.

Advice and guidance from National Office

Please remember to refer to MyRDA for the latest local guidance about returning to RDA activities. We will now only be issuing specific guidance in these weekly emails if there is a tightening of restrictions or a significant change that needs addressing.

Do also remind your volunteers about the difference between our main website www.rda.org.uk (our public-facing website) and www.MyRDA.org.uk (for volunteer support, where all the COVID information lives). We’ve had a few frustrated volunteers unable to find the restart information as they are looking at the wrong website.

30-minute webinar

Tonight, 7pm, (just for groups and RDA UK volunteers in Scotland): The Community & Third Sector Recovery Programme

The Community & Third Sector Recovery Programme aims to support charities, community groups, social enterprises and voluntary organisations in Scotland that are supporting people and communities through the shift from lockdown to recovery. The programme is now open and grants of up to £75,000 are available.  To access  funding your organisation must operate primarily in Scotland. This  webinar is specifically for RDA groups in Scotland and will be chaired by Lynda Whittaker, RDA Trustee  who has experience of the programme. Joined by groups whom have applied to the programme this is an opportunity to find out more about the fund and how you can access the funding.

Register at https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_WPKb5jr3RN-d50Cs8RiHmA

 

Next week: 22 April, Physiotherapy advice

Advice on restarting participants. Register at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_kjcf1rn5Q1CtB_gyKGNkUQ

 

Horses for Health Relay to benefit RDA

We are one of seven equine charities benefiting from a fundraising event this summer called ‘The Great Horses for Health Relay’. The event is already gaining huge interest and registrations among the equine community. I know some RDA people are already planning to take part, and it might be a fun thing for some groups to do with their participants too.

The organisers have divided the UK into 11 regions over 5 months with participants given two weeks to choose their own route in their local area, which is then recorded on the relay map.  The relay ‘baton’ will be passed onto the next participating region at a pre-arranged Covid-safe event. The relay starts in Yorkshire 2 May and is set to end in Cornwall around 2 October.

Find out more here: www.horses4health.co.uk/ or on their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/groups/1399636837047873

Sport England and #ClubMatters say thank you to volunteers

Sport England and #ClubMatters have joined forces to produce a short video presented by Baroness Tani Grey-Thompson acknowledging the vital role of volunteers throughout the pandemic. Lots of lovely messages and I spy RDA in there too! www.facebook.com/sportengland/videos/470423321068790

 

Equine Flu Awareness Week

This week is ‘Keeping Britain’s Horses Healthy Equine Flu Awareness Week’. We are taking this opportunity to say thank you to our partners MSD, Zoetis and Boehringer Ingelheim, who have supported our groups with free vaccinations for many years. This vaccine programme has enabled us to have 100% vaccine acceptance rate for horses competing at our National Championships during the Equine Flu outbreak in 2019. It also allows our groups to be able to operate out of some of the larger equestrian centres where either annual or six monthly vaccination is required.

You can find out more about Equine Flu Awareness Week on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/KeepingHorsesHealthy

Page Last Updated: April 28, 2021

Weekly news 8 April

30-minute webinar

Tonight, 7pm, COVID-19 the medical perspective

Dr Megan Hardman, Chair of the Medical Equestrian Association, discusses a range of topics including Vaccines and Lateral Flow Testing and what they mean for RDA.

Register at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_NrPpA5-YShacUqgu2lISWw

 

Next week’s webinar (15 April) is just for groups in Scotland: The Community & Third Sector Recovery Programme. Register at https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_WPKb5jr3RN-d50Cs8RiHmA

 

New participant form updated

The new participant form has been updated, and can be found here:

www.myrda.org.uk/runningyourgroup/new-participants/new-participants/ 

The main elements that have been updated are:

  • It is now called ‘Participant’ application form, rather than ‘rider, vaulter and driver’ to encompass those joining RDA who are taking part in other non-ridden/driven activities
  • Personal information and preferences – using more inclusive language
  • Additional information on conditions/disabilities – the questions are clearer and use more positive language

Any questions to Marisa at marisa@rda.org.uk

Exclusive film trailer for ‘Spirit Untamed’

Here’s something fun for animated movie fans. The director of the new Dreamworks film, Spirit Untamed, has recorded a special message for RDA, along with the launch of the trailer for the film. Take a look here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZD0r2YtI2h8

Page Last Updated: April 8, 2021

Weekly news 29 March

This week brings our Road to Restart programme to a close with the theme of ‘Funding’ (details below). Can I just say a huge thank you for the positive response we have had from so many of you. I know not all groups are doing everything at the same pace, and many are facing a frustrating wait before riders and drivers can come back, but the planning and preparations are happening and that has been great to see.

Note to groups in England: Confused by the ‘indoor outdoor’ arena question? Updated, clear guidance about RDA sessions here www.myrda.org.uk/runningyourgroup/getting-started-after-lockdown/rules-for-england/

Useful information at MyRDA.org.uk

Our final theme is ‘Funding’, ensuring your group trustees have sufficient confidence in the group’s fundraising capability in order to reopen. The Group Fundraising Support pages of MyRDA contain templates, top tips, ‘how to’ guides and more to help you open up new funding streams and make the most of existing supporters. www.myrda.org.uk/runningyourgroup/group-fundraising-events/

30-minute webinar: Thursday 1 April 7pm, Inspirational Fundraising: some case studies

As we all know, raising money is fundamental to everything we do at RDA and this week we will meet some of RDA’s inspirational fundraisers who have encouraged individuals, communities, organisations and others to donate. Please join us if you can. 

Register at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_27p3ZusnR_K9pUg3VR281w  

Next week’s 30-minute webinar: Thursday 8 April 7pm, COVID-19 the medical perspective

Dr Megan Hardman, Chair of the Medical Equestrian Association, discusses a range of topics including Vaccines and Lateral Flow Testing and what they mean for RDA.

Register at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_NrPpA5-YShacUqgu2lISWw

After the Road to Restart

While our 5 week restart programme may be coming to an end, we know the work continues. All the resources created and compiled for this project will continue to be available as and when you need them. MyRDA will be kept up to date in line with UK and devolved government changes.

Thursday 30-minute webinars will continue, and we will always record them. They are generally available to view on the MyRDA YouTube Channel by the end of the following day. www.youtube.com/channel/UCrI8v8J0WoEXNCu25ktkm0Q . If you have any suggestions for topics you would like us to cover in the coming weeks and months, please let me know.

Other news in brief

  • Showjumping Coach Training: 31 March, 4-5:30pm. Mike Butcher will be delivering training for coaches who would like to know how to train up to levels 3 and 4. Please register at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAqf-uhqTwvE91_IHeSr8phmlOnJ8FJPgr3
  • A reminder that the Annual Health Check and Pre-Purchase Examination Policy for equines have come into effect from 1 January 2021. More at: myrda.org.uk/runningyourgroup/policies/
  • Following the recent outbreak of EHV, British Equestrian have produced an Equine Health Status Declaration Form, which must be completed for any horse attending a show, training or activity run under the affiliation and rules of any British Equestrian member body (of which RDA is one) between 29 March and 12 April 2021. Details and form at: myrda.org.uk/runningyourgroup/horses-and-rda/
  • There is a new Facebook group called RDA Equine. It is a closed group for ‘horse wanted’ or ‘for sale’ adverts only.
  • All groups who own and loan their own RDA equines will have received an email with a link to an online survey called Project Equine. The survey is designed to help us understand the issues groups face in finding suitable equines. If you need the link email ebayliss@rda.org.uk.
  • 15% off ticket offer for Horsefest by joining HorseTribe. Details at https://horsefest.org/register/free/
Page Last Updated: April 8, 2021

Weekly news 22 March

This week we are focussing on ‘Participants & Partners’, making sure our riders and drivers feel confident about returning to RDA activities, and helping to prepare partner organisations (such as schools) for bringing clients back when the time is right.

Useful information at MyRDA.org.uk

The participant assessment tool, example rider induction briefing, participant consent form and (with thanks to Tara Munro of Gordon RDA), a certificate for riders can all be found under ‘Volunteers & Participants’ at www.myrda.org.uk/runningyourgroup/getting-started-after-lockdown/are-you-ready-to-restart/

Here you will also find guidance on working with schools and information for schools about RDA activities.

Helpful films on our MyRDA YouTube Channel

There is a range of videos and presentations relevant to this week on our YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrI8v8J0WoEXNCu25ktkm0Q

These include:

  • Rider Interview – An interview with Jean Reid, Participant Rep at Grampian Highland, about her experiences and insight having returned to riding with Moray RDA in the Autumn. This also includes the video Moray created to help familiarise riders with the ‘new normal’.
  • Communication with riders – Lynne Munro’s section in the ‘Road to Restart: Coaching’ webinar contains great information about the rider application form, COVID consent form and completing a rider assessment (about 6:40 minutes in)

30-minute webinar: Thursday 25 March 7pm, Working with schools

Sandra O’Connell of Ashmount School in Leicestershire will give advice and guidance about encouraging schools to bring pupils back to RDA activities.

Register at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_spe8KqFORByjI4g78rDkcQ

Other news in brief

  • Endurance – The RDA Endurance League will restart on 1 April. This will run for twelve months to give more groups the chance to log some miles. Participants can also use a mechanical horse (though they still need to take a real horse’s heart rate!). Carriage Driving groups can add Endurance to their activities. Application form and more info at https://www.myrda.org.uk/runningyourgroup/endurance/
Page Last Updated: April 8, 2021

Weekly news

I hope you all enjoyed Her Royal Highness’ video message. Many of you have commented on how lucky we are to have such an informed and understanding President, and I am sure she will have inspired a few groups to think about restarting. If you haven’t seen it yet, it is still available at www.youtube.com/channel/UCrI8v8J0WoEXNCu25ktkm0Q

This week’s theme is all about ‘Equine Readiness’, making sure our RDA horses and ponies are as ready for restart as the rest of us.

Equine restart information at MyRDA.org.uk

The COVID Equine Assessment form is a useful checklist for reintroducing horses into RDA work and can be found here: www.myrda.org.uk/runningyourgroup/horses-and-rda/ . Also here you will find details of our free vaccine scheme for RDA horses and ponies who ‘contribute a significant amount of their time to RDA activities’, and details of the Regional Vets and Regional Equine Advisors who are on hand to help.  

The Road to Restart page (www.myrda.org.uk/runningyourgroup/getting-started-after-lockdown/) includes information on Hippotherapy.

Helpful films on our MyRDA YouTube Channel

There is a range of videos and presentations relevant to this week on our YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrI8v8J0WoEXNCu25ktkm0Q

These include:

  • Getting Horses used to PPE
  • Training Equines

30-minute webinar: Thursday 18 March 7pm, Road to Restart, All about Horses

Doug Smith, Equine Lead, will look at the resources available to help groups with reintroducing RDA horses and ponies. Bethan Randles, National Training Centre Manager will offer advice about communicating with riding schools about restarting sessions, and Eileen Cornish, our new Carriage Driving Lead, will look at reintroducing horses and ponies to driving.

Register at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_WcbFLEO3QoiGgvqssOO2LQ

Other news in brief

  • EHV Outbreak – We are monitoring the EHV situation and there is information from Nick Hart, RDA Honorary Vet here: myrda.org.uk/runningyourgroup/horses-and-rda/  . If you are concerned about an equine’s immediate health please consult your vet. For general advice your Regional Vet is a good point of contact. More useful advice on equine health and biosecurity here: www.msd-animal-health-hub.co.uk/Healthy-Horses
  • Business awards & grants – Do check your local council’s website for Business Awards and Grants. Although many of the current schemes are for business rates payers, we have recently heard about one or two RDA groups that have been successful in gaining discretionary awards, despite not paying business rates.  Many of the schemes close to new applicants at the end of March.
  • Royal visits – Regional Chairs have been sent the bid forms for royal visits, so do ask if you have not received one yet and would like to put a bid in. Bids should be submitted by 29 March to Amanda Perkins (aperkins@rda.org.uk ). This is for visits between 1 September 2021 and 31 January 2022.
  • CP Sport 20th Anniversary Party – Everyone is invited to this free celebratory event on Saturday 27 March 7pm. Details and booking here: https://cpsport.azolve.com/workbench/public/events?ref=46898EA1DFD439C968200F80F199C3524B61A246
Page Last Updated: April 8, 2021

Weekly news 8 March

A message from our President

In support of the ‘Road to restart’, RDA President, Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal has recorded a special message for groups. Please watch and share with your RDA community using this link: https://youtu.be/RnwUUDrhWOo

 

Step by step information at MyRDA.org.uk

We have created a ‘Road to Restart’ page at www.myrda.org.uk/runningyourgroup/getting-started-after-lockdown/. This contains many of our existing resources, and some new ones, ordered step-by-step to make it easier for you to know what to do when.

 

Helpful films on our MyRDA YouTube Channel

There is a range of new videos and presentations relevant to this week on our YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrI8v8J0WoEXNCu25ktkm0Q

These include:

  • Road to Restart – a 20-minute step-by-step narrated presentation about how to restart
  • Getting your site ready – a visit to the National Training Centre to see how they are using signage and hygiene stations to prepare for restart

During this week we will also be adding presentations about:

  • How to complete a COVID-19 risk assessment
  • How to complete a trustee checklist

 

30-minute webinar: Thursday 11 March 7pm, Things to consider before restarting

Sarah Healing (Greater London, Regional Coach) and Lynne Munro (West Mercia, Regional Coach and Physio) will be chatting about the most important things for group coaches to consider before inviting participants back – and ensuring a safe environment for the whole team.

Register at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_wwHWqRPLSICOEjvDsxBa7g

 

Other news in brief

  • New Carriage Driving Lead: Eileen Cornish has been appointed as the new National Lead for Carriage Driving. Eileen brings a wealth of carriage driving experience and knowledge and I am sure you will join me in welcoming her to this role. 
  • Virtual National Championships: Regional Chairs and Regional Qualifier Organisers have been briefed on the plans for this event, and will be in touch with you in due course about when and how Regional Qualifiers will be held (by video entry). In the meantime, you can find the schedule and other information for the September Virtual National Championships at myrda.org.uk/runningyourgroup/national-championships/ . There is a training video for Countryside Challenge and a ‘how to film your competition entry’ video on YouTube here: www.youtube.com/channel/UCrI8v8J0WoEXNCu25ktkm0Q
  • D of E Groups: Please complete the annual survey for D of E by Monday 29th March surveymonkey.co.uk/r/dofesurvey
  • Regional Equine Advisors & Vets: Please remember about the equine welfare support available to your group from your regional team, via your Regional Equine Advisor and Regional Vet.
Page Last Updated: March 8, 2021

Weekly news 1 March

Please find here the first of your new Monday emails, as we launch our 5-week ‘Road to Restart’ programme. This week’s theme is ‘Trustee Confidence’.

This week, we want to shine a light on the vital role Group Trustees play in helping groups to restart after lockdown. Even if your group can’t welcome riders or drivers back immediately, trustees at all groups can make huge progress towards reopening by planning and preparing ahead of time.

Please remember to circulate these Monday group emails to your whole group. If you are the designated group contact, sharing information from RDA UK is a key part of your role, so please help everyone to be informed and up to date.

 

Tuesday 2 March 1pm – lunchtime webinar with Ed Bracher ‘Trustees: Leading Groups out of Lockdown ’

This Tuesday lunchtime, RDA UK Chief Executive Ed Bracher will be presenting a webinar looking at the role of group trustees in preparing groups to restart. With our research showing that supportive trustees are the single most important factor in helping groups to get going, Ed will highlight how trustees can lead their groups out of lockdown.

Registration at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_1AxkAds2Rv-itPkuvlXQTw

We would like to prioritise Group Trustees attending this session. If registration is full, the talk will be available by the following morning at our YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/channel/UCrI8v8J0WoEXNCu25ktkm0Q .

 

Thursday 4 March, 30-minute webinar, 7pm – ‘Road to Restart: Trustees in Conversation’

This Thursday’s ’30-minute webinar’ features Barbara Manson (Regional Chair for Grampian & Highland, Group Trustee at Gordon RDA) and Pauline Roestenburg (Regional Chair for South East, Group Chair at Chalkdown RDA). Pauline and Barbara will help Group Trustees feel more confident about planning for restart, drawing on their own experiences both at their groups and within their regions.

Registration at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_-qXOqf0vQ16fy9lXXWSH8A  

 

Unsure how to get your trustees together on Zoom?

RDA YouTube recorded webinar: ‘Zoom, The Basics’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Qd2A0EpPfc&feature=youtu.be 

This step-by-step guide from Director of Operations Anna Hall will help support any trustees who have yet to embrace the dreaded Zoom meeting!

 

Talk to other Group Trustees

Contact your Regional Chair or Marisa at RDA National Office (marisa@rda.org.uk) to be put in touch with a group that has been signed off for restart. It could be you want inspiration from a group local to you, or you want to find one in a similar situation to find out how they tackled specific challenges – either way, there is plenty of support and expertise out there to help your Trustees.

 

Where to get help

Contact your County or Regional Chair, or call the RDA Group Support Team at National Office on 01926 492915 or groupsupport@rda.org.uk

 

Other news in brief

Page Last Updated: March 8, 2021

Weekly news 23 February

UK Government announcement

The announcement from Boris Johnson yesterday gives a clear commitment to the easing of restrictions, with two key dates of interest to RDA.

From 8 March, schools will be reopening in England. While this does not relate to RDA activity specifically, groups in England who are already signed off to restart might choose to take this opportunity to open using the exemption for outdoor organised disability sport, if they have not already done so. The details of this can be found on MyRDA at www.myrda.org.uk/runningyourgroup/getting-started-after-lockdown/rules-for-england/

29 March signals a return to outdoor organised sport in England. Where this is formally organised, for example through RDA, these will not be subject to the gatherings limits, but should be compliant with guidance issued by national governing bodies. For us, this is a limit of 30 people.

From this date or soon after we would hope that all signed off groups in England will choose to reopen in some form, and that other groups will actively prepare to do so.

Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland

From last Monday, some school years returned in Scotland and Wales but the restrictions around other aspects of life, including impact on RDA sessions, has not currently changed since the beginning of the year.

An announcement today from Nicola Sturgeon sets out a plan for more school years to return from 15 March at the earliest with a possibility of opening up non-contact outdoor sport for u18s, the stay at home restriction to be lifted from 5 April alongside the final phase of school reopening and then a gradual reopening thereafter. There is an expectation that Scotland could leave Level 4 restrictions from the last week in April with wider reopening of facilities in some areas.  In Northern Ireland some school years will return from 8 March but currently there are no other changes planned to restrictions until 1 April, subject to review. 

Please be aware we are expecting further updates from the other devolved governments.

 

Road to Restart

Of course, we know there will be groups that won’t be able to welcome riders back a soon as the end of March and there are good reasons for this. What really matters at the moment is making sure your trustees and volunteers feel motivated and encouraged to get together and start their planning.

Over the next 5 weeks, I will be changing the weekly emails to reflect this change of focus. Each week will have a different theme relating to the ‘Road to Restart’, signposting webinars, guidance and any other resources to help with your planning.

I will send emails on a Monday instead of Thursday, to introduce the theme for that week (along with the usual news). The 5 weeks takes us to 29 March to coincide with what will hopefully be some good news from the Government.

As ever, if you need help with any aspect of your planning and preparations for the coming weeks and months please do get in touch with your brilliant Regional reps or the National Office team. There is also a wealth of experience among groups that managed to reopen last year, many of whom would be more than happy to share what they have learned with others.

 

30-minute webinars

This week: 25 Feb , 7pm, Advice on First Aid provision & training during lockdown

This will cover changing first aid needs during lockdown, managing and accessing training (and course options) and things RDA groups need to know to be safe and prepared. Please note this is not a First Aid training course!

Register at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_gRC9MxNlTNKx9hpUliEgpA

Bonus webinar!

25 Feb – 5-7pm Show Jumping Training

Mike Butcher will take you through all the RDA levels, with a focus on introducing it to your sessions. Open to all. Register at:

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0kc-6qrT8qEtXNKAjR0rSaxKJWu_taNF7e

Page Last Updated: March 8, 2021

Weekly news 18 February

Congratulations to the whole team at Park Lane Stables in London. If you haven’t heard the news (and I’m pretty sure it will be all over the news!), they smashed their £1million crowd funder target this morning, after a tireless publicity campaign, culminating in a piece on BBC Breakfast which inspired donations of just under half a million pounds in 2 hours. Along the way, the campaign has done a huge amount to raise awareness of RDA’s work more generally, and been a fantastic showcase for the impact we make in our local communities. An inspirational campaign and a great outcome.

30-minute webinars

Tonight: 7pm, RDA and Education

Coaching Lead Karen Thompson will be presenting and answering questions about all things RDA Education: Endeavour Awards, Proficiency Tests and Asdan – as well as giving an insight into her own group’s activities during lockdown. Any questions for Karen email Lyndsay Wager lwager@rda.org.uk

Register at https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_GdbkV52TTWi74FE5uFeYjw

 

Next week:  25 Feb, 7pm, Advice on First Aid provision & training during lockdown

This will cover changing first aid needs during lockdown, managing and accessing training (and course options) and things RDA groups need to know to be safe and prepared. Please note this is not a First Aid training course!

Register at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_gRC9MxNlTNKx9hpUliEgpA

 

Bonus webinar!

25 Feb – 5-7pm Show Jumping Training

Mike Butcher will take you through all the RDA levels, with a focus on introducing it to your sessions. Open to all. Register at:

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0kc-6qrT8qEtXNKAjR0rSaxKJWu_taNF7e

 

Zoom training from Bennington Carriages

Bennington Carriages are offering Zoom training sessions for newsletter subscribers. The first one was ‘Harnessing up – Part 1’ with great questions, discussion and fun for all. To find out more about upcoming sessions, subscribe to the newsletter via the link https://www.benningtoncarriages.co.uk/  You can also follow them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/BenningtonCarriagesGB

 

Reminder: SEIB Search for a Star

SEIB are once again hosting an RDA Virtual Search for a Star Showing Class. Virtual SEIB Search for a Star will take place at Your Horse Virtually Live on the 10 and 11 April 2021. Entries are now open and they close on the 8 March. For more information visit:

www.seib.co.uk/competitions/search-4-a-star-rda/    

Page Last Updated: March 8, 2021