Christmas 2020

It is easy to sit back and think that this has been a very difficult year and that we as a group of like minded souls have not achieved as much as we would have wished in the demanding circumstances that have been 2020.  But we should not be too downbeat since there is much to celebrate.
Whilst many of our sessions delivering safe and enjoyable riding, driving and animal care experiences have been curtailed much of our community has benefited from the caring and giving spirit that is at the heart of volunteering.  Individuals, groups and counties all have reported how they have continued to feel that they enjoyed a fulfilling and valuable sense of community.  They reflect on the knowledge that there is someone there should there be a need and that the people remain positive, friendly and helpful, even if it is at the end of a phone or on a Face time or Zoom call.  And all of this whilst individuals have needed to manage their own personal circumstances.
We know that all of our equines have received proper care, that funding needs have been met in emergency and that the Region and National office holders have been supportive and flexible to meet requests for assistance whenever it has been possible.  I believe that this is what most of us belong to RDA for.  So please reflect on these successes and on the plans that you all have in place for the moment that we are given the go ahead to get back on the horse, get back in the stable or get back in the driving seat. 
Thanks again to all and try and have the Best and Safest Festive Season that you can enjoy.

-Anona 

Summer 2020

 2020 has been a strange year for us all after all the celebrations in 2019 marking  the Golden Jubilee for RDA and we had many celebrations to enjoy. We also saw the opening of 2 new centres in the Region by our President HRH the Princess Royal. Perry Group’s new home “The Cavalier Centre” at Much Wenlock in Shropshire and the new National Training Centre was formally open at Lowlands, Shrewley in Warwickshire.
 It was a busy end of year joining our Groups celebrating “RDA 50”. We had lots of fun, lots of Gold Rosettes and lots of cake was eaten to celebrate 50 years of improving lives. Thank you to all the groups that went the extra mile to mark the occasion.
 Thank you to all the volunteers across the Region, your enthusiasm and passion for RDA adds so much to help enrich so many lives.  A huge thank you for all the hard work to the Editorial team in producing this Edition, and to our kind and generous sponsors for funding our efforts, we are most grateful for your support.
 Our third Edition of our Regional News was on its way to the  printer a day ahead of “Lockdown” we decided not to seek the hard copy Edition as we would not have been able to see it delivered or read by the widest possible audience. We also preserved vital cash to put to other use.  So the E Version, which Groups and individuals can access via the Website Home Page  and Facebook.  I trust you will enjoy reflecting on what we DID achieve prior to the current hiatus AND look forward to what we will seek to achieve when we get going in full swing again.
Stay Safe and remember that the RDA Community is here to help should you or anyone you know that needs a shoulder to lean on.

-Anona

Summer 2019

With summer holidays fast approaching I want to say thank you to one and all for the sterling work you do for our wonderful Charity. I also wanted to make a special note of the great work done on my behalf by friends and colleagues whilst I was out of commission. My new knee is spot on and I am now back in harness and looking forward to the rest of this exciting year - we are 50 this year.
With that in mind I am starting to gather up details of Groups and Counties plans for marking our 50th Anniversary. National Office have ear marked the 30th Sept to 6th  Oct as the target week for raising maximum awareness so Groups/Counties are urged to try and coincide with this to  generate greatest impact. Do let me know what you plan and if you need any help in organizing or promoting your activity.
“Coaching excellence” is what we seek to provide and we are doing this in spades across the Region. Lynne Munro Regional Coach, is to be congratulated for her excellent work in supporting the new and current coaches as we adopt and embrace the Coaching Pathway, along with the County Coaches, thank you. We are doing very well in this and it is coming together nicely. Well done to all who have taken the change in their stride.
I look forward to welcoming as many Group Chairman that are able to attend our next Regional Meeting on Monday 7thOctober at RDA NO Lowlands Equestrian Centre Shrewley, Warwickshire CV35.
Finally, good luck to all that are venturing to Hartpury next week. The “Nationals” are sure to be a wonderful event and I wish every competitor, supporter and volunteer good fortune in your endeavours. Some will gain cups or rosettes, all will gain from the wonderful spirit that is the RDA Family @ Home in Hartpury, – have a great time and a wonderful summer.

-Anona 

December 2017

Can it be a year or so since I took over the reins from Celia as your Regional  Chairman – time does fly when you enjoy yourself,  and I can say that I have truly enjoyed the year. Delivering RDA sessions across 5 counties with 37 Groups is quite a business. We set, maintain and ACHIEVE the highest standards for our Clients, using a range of delivery models and in harmony with many 4 legged “Colleagues”. We fund and support our business through sheer hard work, supported by the donating public and commercial friends. AND we train, support and VALUE our people. Reading it like that you might think it had come from the Financial Times. But no, these words are just another way of noting what you all, as dedicated and enthusiastic VOLUNTEERS, do every day of every week. AND I thank you ALL for the humour, understanding, caring and professional approach you all take.If I was to pick a highlight or theme from a busy year I would bring focus to SUCCESS. Success can be measured in tiny or huge amounts, you see it every time a participant greets you and then takes part in the session. You see it in the Regional Qualifiers and in the National Championships, it’s there for ALL to see. I love to see SUCCESS met with RECOGNITION and REWARD and it is wonderful to see dozens of rosettes, trophies and certificates presented to delighted recipients in front of their loved ones and carers.  Have a look on our WEBSITE at Staffordshire page to see and note a young fellow called MATTY who had a SIGNIFICANT success: what he achieved typifies RDA. Matty worked hard, he was supported by a willing and dedicated team AND he had to meet the standards in front of a Judge. Great stuff and but one example.
Keep up the good work everyone, I and the Regional Team could not be more thrilled with what you (we) have achieved this year.

-Anona