Our players have supported Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) for over five years, raising over £2.6 Million so that more people can benefit from the power of horses.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, RDA helps over 25,000 children and adults with disabilities all over the UK. Through the therapy and fun of horses, RDA's activities are great for improving physical strength, balance and coordination. Riding and carriage driving also boost confidence and wellbeing, helping people to learn new skills and achieve things they never thought possible.
RDA supports people with physical and learning disabilities, as well as other conditions like autism and dementia. Activities are tailored to the needs of each individual, supported by highly qualified coaches and trained volunteers. Currently around 18,000 invaluable people give their time to volunteer with their local RDA group.
Thanks to players of People's Postcode Lottery, RDA's work is supported all over the UK. From new ponies and stables, to equipment and training - this funding is making a difference at every single one of RDA's 500 groups.
11-year-old rider Leo, who is visually impaired, said, "The way I feel is that when I get on a horse I feel powerful. The horse has got most of the power and it makes me feel like I'm safe. I see light and shadow. I can see all the way to the trees but I can't pick out any small objects on the ground. Sometimes I don't feel very safe because I can't see the small things, but the horse will see it for me."
Community, Family And Fun
RDA activities take place at groups all over the UK, where clients and volunteers alike benefit from the sociable, friendly atmosphere. Each group provides a sense of community, family and fun for clients and their families.
Carriage driver and wheelchair user Betty added "Having a sense of community is really important to me, and I have that at RDA. You can see the difference it makes to the riders and carriage drivers - and the volunteers too. We all help each other and it has given me so much joy over the years."
RDA's biggest challenge is meeting demand. Lots of groups have waiting lists and many clients have to travel a long distance to their nearest group. Support from players is helping to tackle this like never before. New equipment is helping groups to expand and reduce their waiting lists. New groups are springing up too - 41 of them in the past five years.
The parents of nine-year-year old Shiv, who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, said, "When we saw Shiv on a horse for the first time it was amazing. We had never been horse riding so it's been a new experience for us all - and it's been beautiful - to have these gorgeous animals and see how they connect with the riders."