Buckenham House Group Riding for the Disabled
Buckenham House Group has been enabling disabled adults and children in south Norfolk to ride at the level of their ability, choice and ambition for thirty years. Unfortunately we do not have our own facilities but rely on hiring horses at a local riding centre and depend entirely upon volunteers and fund raising to make our activities possible.
Group History The Riding for the Disabled Association was first founded in 1965 as the Advisory Council on Riding for the Disabled. At that time there were just nine member groups. By 1969, when the council became the Riding for the Disabled Association, there were eighty groups. The President was then Lavinia Duchess of Norfolk and HRH Princess Anne was Patron. HRH became President of the charity in 1986. RDA now has over 500 member groups with more than 23,000 riders and carriage drivers. More than 18,000 volunteers give over 3.5 million hours of time per year to RDA.  Buckenham House Group was founded thirty years ago. In July 1977, the committee of the Attleborough Gateway Club approached Buckenham House Riding School about riding lessons for young disabled people attending the training centre in Attleborough. Mrs Yvonne Clease (group secretary), Mrs Shirley Keyte (group instructor) and a band of voluntary workers set up a management committee in September 1977. The group became a member of the national RDA in the latter part of 1978.  As well as the Attleborough Gateway Club, we have also provided riding for adults with learning disabilities from a residential home, since 1989 and children from a special school in Attleborough, since December 1978, as well as independent riders.  Over the past thirty years, Buckenham House group has ridden at several different stables, including Rosebrook Equestrian Centre (1985 – 1993) and the ILPH. Overa Farm (1994 – 2001).  Currently both adults and children ride at Hill Farm Riding Centre, Hardingham.  RDA becomes an important part of the lives of the helpers as well as the riders. Some of the original Buckenham House volunteers are still involved with the group Judy, for example, still provides transport for some of the riders to their weekly lessons and is always there to help at fundraising events. After being chairman of the group committee for eighteen years, we refused to let her retire completely and appointed her Group President a position in which she can take things more easily.