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.



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 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