Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) is delighted to have been chosen as charity partner at the inaugural National Equine Show that runs from March 4th – 5th at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), Birmingham.
Alongside a premium shopping experience with over 130 exhibitors and stands, this new event includes interactive activities, demonstrations and presentations to educate and inspire all visitors.
The many innovative features of the show include the Inspiration Stage where leading riders, Olympic legends and influencers talk about their careers, a Rider Wellness Zones and a Skills Theatre that covers everything from staying safe in the saddle to how to become a brand ambassador.Guest speakers at the show include well known supporters of RDA, Carl Hester MBE, This Esme and Sir Lee Pearson CBE.
“The show is a great opportunity to showcase all the great work carried out by our 438 RDA Groups across the UK” says Lisa Davies, RDA Head of Communications and Insight. “We hope that visitors to the stand will see the breadth of what our Groups deliver, and the positive impact this makes to the disabled community. We’ll also be showcasing the many positive benefits of volunteering with RDA, and encouraging anyone interested in getting involved to give it a go. RDA can only carry out its activities with disabled participants thanks to the generosity of supporters and to the volunteers who give their time. We are grateful to the show organisers for their donation and hope to raise further funds from the activities on the stand”.
RDA can be located at stand E72 where Charley the mechanical horse will be offering rides in return for a donation to the charity. RDA are also running a prize draw for the opportunity to win some great prizes including an experience day at the RDA National Training Centre, a grooming kit kindly donated by Red Gorilla, £50 vouchers from GS Equestrian and Posh Muckerz as well as a bundle of goodies from This Esme.
The prize draw can be entered at the show via the RDA stand. Winners will be announced the following week.
At Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), our horses benefit the lives of 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 teams of volunteers and qualified coaches at RDA groups and commercial centres all over the UK.
RDA is an inclusive and diverse organisation. We welcome clients with physical and learning disabilities and autism, and there are no age restrictions. Through our network of member groups, RDA is at work in every corner of the UK, in our cities and remote rural areas, bringing the therapy, achievement and fun of horses to as many people as we can. Our activities are recommended by Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists, and the majority of our participants are referred to RDA by a health professional.
Regular riding improves core strength, balance and coordination and our welcoming groups help to combat isolation and loneliness and boost wellbeing and happiness. From research tracking the difference we make, we know that typically 68% of beneficiaries experience improvements in their communication, 76% experience more enjoyment, 77% demonstrate greater confidence, 76% show physical improvement and 82% improve the ability to build relationships.
Before Covid-19, our 450 RDA groups and 50 Accessibility Mark centres were working with 25,000 beneficiaries each year, supported by 18,000 volunteers and volunteer coaches. The pandemic and subsequent lockdowns resulted in the complete closure of our groups in 2020, followed by ongoing efforts across the organisation to adapt our services, reopen groups, rebuild confidence among beneficiaries and volunteers and restart activities as much as possible during 2021.
COVID had a disproportionate impact on disabled people and we know many of our riders and carriage drivers have experienced a loss of physical condition and confidence that continues to impact their ability to return to RDA. We are currently back to about 68% of our pre-Covid participant levels (17,000 disabled children and adults, supported by 14,000 volunteers). In addition, several RDA groups have either closed or merged with others, reducing our overall number from 450 to 432.
RDA is reliant on voluntary help, donations and legacies to deliver its services. Please donate now at www.rda.org.uk
RDA is a charity registered in England and Wales (No: 244108) and Scotland (No: SC039473).