Rotary Club Of Warwick

Apr17 - RDA National training centre comes to Warwick

Not many realise that the national offices of Riding for the Disabled (RDA) are located at Tournament Fields Business Park in Warwick. From there RDA delivers governance and training support to a network of 500 volunteer groups across the UK. These groups help over 28,000 people a year with disabilities to ride, together with assistance from over 19,000 volunteers. The horses and ponies provide therapy achievement and fun, every one of the Paralympic team, first started riding at an RDA centre.

Fundraising manager Sally Atkinson told the Rotary Club of Warwick about RDA’s proposals to relocate their centre to Lowlands equestrian centre in Shrewley and develop the facilities to train the trainers and volunteers to deal with riders with a multiplicity of mental and physical disabilities.

Lowlands has been run by Ro Pudden MBE for many years as a RDA equestrian facility, alongside livery and stabling for other riders. There is already an indoor riding school and outside ring, and a mechanical horse was installed a couple of years ago, with the support of RDA, to help nervous riders take their first steps. RDA is now planning, subject to local authority consent, to take over the farm and develop it as a national training centre.

Funds will need to be raised to find over £1m to improve the facilities, and Sally showed the plans to members. The Rotary Club supported the previous project at Lowlands by undertaking the planning process on their behalf and Rotarian Jackie Crampton expressed the hope that other clubs across the West Midlands would come together so that a significant contribution could be made to this worthwhile charity.

President John Taylor presented Sally with a small contribution, donations can be made to the project via the RDA website

Picture shows RDA President Princess Anne visiting the centre in July 2016 when she watched a display in the indoor school.