All our volunteers are trained, so don’t worry if you don’t know one end of the horse from the other, we’ll show you what to do.RDA HandbookRDA National publish a handbook each year containing all sorts of useful information. Each Group has a copy and ours is kept by the group secretary, but is available to everyone on request.Green CardBefore you start to help, some basic training must be completed to ensure your safety and that of everyone else in the group. A training card (green card) must be filled out to comply with our insurance. This will be completed at your first session.CRB Checks and Child Protection PolicyAll volunteers must have a CRB check, which is organised by the group via RDA National shortly after you start to helpOur Group has a Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy, which is freely available to all members, and should be read by all volunteers.First Aid TrainingRiding is a risk sport and clearly it is sensible to have first aiders available at all lessons and events. Many of our volunteers have taken first aid training which is arranged through the County on a regular basis. If you already have first aid training please let the secretary have a copy of your certificate for our records.Group Training SessionsWe try to organise training sessions within the group for all volunteers on an annual basis, to ensure that everyone is up to speed and to pass on any new thoughts / ideas from RDA National Office. Regional Training DaysBoth the County and the Region hold training days every year which are available to all volunteers and cover a wide range of topics. It’s a great way to refresh your training and to meet like-minded people from other groups across the county / region and swop ideas and stories.
Making FriendsWe are a friendly group at Buckenham House RDA and the social aspect of the group is just as important as the riding, particularly for those members whose disabilities make it difficult for them to make friends. AGM / Helpers PartyOur annual AGM is followed by a party to thank our helpers and to give us time to chat and catch up when we’re not having to rush about at lessons or fundraisers.HolidaysOur annual holiday at Clwyd Special Riding Centre is a full 6 days when the lucky riders, helpers and carers get to know each other a bit better, share outings to local tourist centres, share meals and play games. Special EventsWhen a special event needs to be celebrated the Buckenham House Group know how to do it in style. Recent events include our 30thAnniversary Party and our President’s 70th birthday. Non-Riding EventsSometimes we organise events to take riders out to non-riding events such as a visit to Redwings Horse Sanctuary, or to take part in a Christmas Tree decorating competition at a local church. Committee and TrusteesThe group is run by it’s committee and overseen by it’s trustees. Volunteers to join these groups are always welcome and new ideas are always looked for.
To become a helper, please complete the volunteer application form by clicking on this linkAnd send the completed form to…Mrs L KellyGroup SecretaryBuckenham House Group RDA18 Scrumpy WayBanhamNorwich, NorfolkNR16 2SUOr bring it with you to one of our lessons/fundraising events.
Fundraising is a huge part of the group, we need to raise a considerable amount of funds each year to be able to continue to provide all the opportunities we offer. Many of the lesson helpers also get involved in the fundraising, but it is an ideal opportunity to help if you are not interested or not able to help at the lessons.Horse ShowsIs a task that requires many volunteers, jobs include stewarding in the show rings, taking entries in the secretary’s tent, providing lunch for the judges and all the volunteers, making and selling cakes and cups of tea in the refreshment tent, manning the barbeque for the RDA Café, running the tombola, tack stall and raffle, setting up and taking down all the rings and equipment, manning the loudspeaker….the list is endless. Jumble SalesWe hold jumble sales twice a year and volunteers are needed to collect the jumble throughout the year, and to set up, sell and tidy away on the day. Small EventsOne-off small events are run as and when the opportunity arises, examples are Body Shop evenings, special shopping events at local outfitters, running cake and second hand tack stalls at local events and fairs. These events tend to be fairly quick and easy to organise and run with minimum of volunteers, but still important to the coffers.Big EventsOne-off big events are run when funds are needed such as a Barn Dance, a Fashion Show, a Bingo Evening and a 40’s Night Spectacular. These are major undertakings and many volunteers are needed. Donations/GrantsDonations are always appreciated and grants are sometimes applied for if we have a specific project in mind. Anyone kind enough to offer a donation please contact
Helping with RDA affords many opportunities to achieve personal progression if you are interested:Certificate for Green CardOnce you have completed all the relevant sections on your training card (green card), the group secretary can send it off to National Office and you will receive a certificate in return. Young Equestrian Leader Award (YELA)RDA takes part in this scheme run by the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) and Sport England for volunteers between the ages of 13 and 25.Duke of Edinburgh’s AwardsSome of our younger volunteers come to us to fulfil part of the DoE scheme, and we’re always glad to help them to achieve their goals. Volunteer Of The YearWithin the group we have an annual award for Volunteer of the Year, which goes to the most helpful volunteer, or the one who has made an effort above and beyond the call of duty. It’s a difficult decision as all our volunteers are brilliant. Pony Club BadgesThe Pony Club also run a scheme to award achievement badges to their members and one of the badges is for volunteering to help out at RDA lessons or events. We welcome any interested Pony Club members.Keeping FitFor those of you not award minded, there are still some achievements available – the most obvious being that helping at RDA lessons is a superb way to help keep fit!
Some volunteers join the group and bring with them some very useful skills, and others learn new skills in order to help out. Some of the skills are not the most obvious…First AidRiding is a risk sport and clearly it is sensible to have first aiders available at all lessons and events. Many of our volunteers have taken first aid training which is arranged through the County on a regular basis. If you already have first aid training please let the secretary have a copy of your certificate for our records.Horse Care (Proficiency Tests/ASDAN)If you have years of horse care experience, but do not feel up to running about with the ponies each week, your skills can be of great benefit to the riders. CommunicationSome of our riders have difficulties with communication and anyone with some knowledge of sign language, for example, is worth their weight in gold.PhysiotherapyRDA works closely with physiotherapists to ensure the best teaching methods to siut the riders needs. In fact there is a special qualification for physios working with RDA, ACPTR (Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Therapeutic Riding). So any interested physios out there will be welcomed with open arms!Cake MakingWhat do home made cakes have to do with riding horses? Well, they are always good sellers at fundraising events, popular at parties and welcomed to revive exhausted riders and helpers after the lessons. Cake makers are the backbone of RDA fundraising!