Adapting To Thrive
From the closure of groups to reopening within social-distancing restrictions, Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) has had to adapt and thrive in order to ensure it continues to support its beneficiaries. It has been able to do so with support from players of People's Postcode Lottery.
RDA is a community of 500 groups, 18,000 volunteers and 25,000 disabled children, young people and adult beneficiaries. Through spending time with horses and taking part in fun activities such as riding, holidays, and educational programmes, RDA is able to provide therapy and fitness which results in improved physical and mental wellbeing.
In 2021, the charity will be working with its groups to adapt to the challenges presented by COVID-19, to develop and thrive in the future, and re-engage with its communities.
It will offer tailored advice, practical support, as well as grants. This is designed to help groups to develop recovery plans that are flexible, allowing them to reopen, stay open and respond to the planned easing of restrictions. It will also help groups adapt quickly to any changes in guidelines or tier levels whilst working towards sustainability.
The Journey So Far
In 2020, our players helped RDA to provide advice, guidance and financial support to help groups get started after lockdown. Some examples included:
- training advice, consent forms, checklists, advice on PPE and Track & Test processes,
- adapted activities e.g. Quiet Corner (spending time with ponies on the ground, grooming activities etc.),
- eight grants to groups to support the care of horses and funding to restart, and
- a series of workshops and e-learning modules for volunteers on a range of topics such as safeguarding and autism awareness.
Calon RDA supports rural communities in Wales.
Travel can be a big issue in spread-out rural communities, and Calon RDA knew that if it could bring its brilliant horses to their participants - rather than the other way round - this would help to increase the number of people who could benefit. An RDA grant - made possible from our players - has achieved just that.
Their new trailer fits two horses safely and securely, allowing them to 'tour' the region and deliver sessions at local facilities closer to where participants live.
So far, this has helped to triple the number of days the group can run with each participant now getting a weekly session.
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