5 November Update to groups in England

As promised, please find here our latest advice regarding the lockdown in England from 5 November to 2 December.

Group closure

In order to comply with the country-wide lockdown, RDA groups in England should close until 2 December. Reducing the spread of COVID-19 is a priority and as an organisation we will act accordingly.

Two possible exemptions

There are two situations where, in specific, individual cases, RDA activities may be requested to continue by a school or healthcare provider for specific educational and/or therapeutic purposes.

These situations are:

  • Where a school wants to continue RDA sessions for their students as it forms part of their normal provision for education and training
  • Where an individual or members of a small group have been referred or prescribed RDA activity by NHS, social care providers or similar and the trustees have written approval from this NHS healthcare (e.g. GP, CAMHS etc.) or social care provider for this activity to continue as part of ongoing medical assistance or therapy.

These situations will be covered by RDA insurance where trustees have received a written request from the education or healthcare provider. It is up to the trustees to decide if they want to meet these requests. Staff and volunteers required for these sessions can travel in this instance as this is classed as essential.  If these exemptions apply to any of your activities and you plan to remain open, please email groupsupport@rda.org.uk so we are aware of which groups this relates to. 

Horse care

Riding centres and stables can remain open for the care and exercise of horses during this period to protect animal welfare.  Staff and volunteers can travel in this case as this is classed as essential.

Exercise should be done following our existing insurance and exercising of equines policy, which permits volunteers to exercise equines for the benefit of the equine both at an RDA venue and away from an RDA approved venue (e.g. hacking from the venue where this is possible and safe).  Most groups will have this in place anyway.  This needs to be agreed, signed and retained by the trustees.  All of these activities would be covered by RDA insurance as long as this policy is followed. 

Protecting your RDA community

The health of everyone within our RDA community is paramount. It hopefully goes without saying that volunteers and staff should be under no pressure to attend RDA for any purpose if they don’t want to.

The government has released new advice that those over 60 and those who are clinically vulnerable are at higher risk from COVID-19.  Those at risk should:

  • be especially careful to follow the rules and minimise contact with others
  • continue to wash hands carefully and more frequently than usual and maintain thorough cleaning of frequently touched areas at home and/or workspace.

We are therefore advising that where possible these individuals should avoid any RDA activities that involves mixing with other households. 

The government has also advised those who are clinically extremely vulnerable to shield. These individuals will receive a letter confirming this.  Further guidance is available on www.gov.uk .

This includes: ‘You are strongly advised to work from home. If you cannot work from home, you should not attend work for this period of restrictions.’  Therefore, any staff or volunteers should not undertake any RDA work or volunteering away from their home during this period. 

I hope that this brings some clarity, but if you are in any doubt about your next steps please do get in touch.

Page Last Updated: November 5, 2020