Worcestershire County RDA News

Page Updated: Nov 18

Wyre Forest Riders RDA

At the end of the summer term our group presented one of our special volunteers,

Janet Dawes,

with the RDA

Over and Above Award

for her outstanding service to RDA, not only to our group, of which she was a founding member 7 years ago, but also for her long term service to other RDA groups for many years before that. Her citation recognised not only her positive impact on our riders and volunteers over the years but also her determination to push through the constraints of ill health in the past few years. Her award citation included the following commendation:

Whenever well enough, and often when she is not, Janet has faithfully attended the two Thursday afternoon sessions, on every occasion bringing her ‘can do’ hard-working attitude, her big smile and her enthusiasm.

The children Janet helps respond brilliantly to her and she is held in great affection by the volunteers. Nothing is ever too much trouble and no job too small or too difficult for her. From poo-clearing to coaching, she does everything with a smile and energy which lifts everyone’s mood.

Janet is a quiet rock within the group and her determination, good humour & dedication is an inspiration to volunteers and children alike.

Janet is a remarkable lady who more than deserves the recognition and appreciation that the RDA Over and Above Award represents.

Left to right: Helen Scott (Group’s lead coach), Janet Dawes, Jan Hipkins (Group chairperson)

Wyre Forest Summer Show 
It was an outstanding show. The Chairman had the honour of being with many guests, Parents Carers, Family members, Head and Deputy head from
Wyre Forest school, Sponsors and friends of Wyre Forest Riders.
Their delight, amazement and sheer joy at the achievement of our young riders was a pleasure to witness. Especially the Final Salute! 
This is all down to the hard work and dedication of our coaches and volunteers.


One of West Mercia’s 4 driving groups at Kyre recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of its driving pony, Vizzy. Located on the beautiful borders of Herefordshire and Worcestershire, Vizzy entertains clients every week through the warmer months of the year. West Mercia Regional Representative, Lizzie Lawrence (far right) presented Vizzy with her long service medal at The Meadows. Also present were (L to R), driver Helen Munro, Vizzy’s keeper Wendy Jones, Sally Madge, and Vizzy’s owner Bill Friswell.

And what a wonderful sight to be welcomed by such a smashing team of enthusiastic volunteers all of whom were decked out in a vivid blue tee shirt specially made for the day. It was a great idea as it let the dozens of new faces who had come to watch and support, just who to turn to for answers or advice. And they are a great gang. I counted over 30 odd blue shirts; it was truly difficult because no one stood still long enough!  It was a really active positive day. We were given a warm welcome and a quick intro to the day. Oh and the ubiquitous RDA tea and a cake, delicious! 

The Group looks after 11 riders from Wyre Forest School which is local and which provides dedicated support for children with special needs. Split into 2 sub groups we were treated to some very fine riding skills and a good use of pole work. Competition was a key aspect of the day with riders “on their mettle” to do their best in front of such a large audience. 

It is always heartening to learn of special achievement. I listened as Glynis (one of the key volunteers who gave me tea) who enthused over the skills shown by the first group. “They have gained so much skill and confidence in under a year since none of the children had sat on a horse before. It is such a pleasure to help these youngsters, all of whom have improved.” Of note were the skills of a young rider called Justin who, to me, looked such a natural horseman. I saw in him what RDA is all about, provide the opportunity and watch people flourish. “Justin was quite shy when we first met him but the package of riding and horse care that we provide has brought him along really well.  He is so enthusiastic and knowledgeable when with us”.

What a special delight it was to meet and chat with 3 ladies from the Worcestershire 
Healthcare Trust who are dedicated to paediatric support.  I noted a comment from our discussion as we watched excellent body control and posture from one rider who lives with a true physical challenge.  “Specialist physiotherapy engagement is a key aspect of the needs of some of the children and we are delighted to see how the work we do with them in the school is continued and developed with the RDA. The horse provides excellent therapeutic support and encouragement to use muscles and to improve core strength, we think it is great.”  And so say all of us, especially on such a special 70th Birthday for our wonderful NHS colleagues – partners in improving lives.  With our thanks and best wishes to, Natalie Belle, Beverly Conner and Natalie Telles.

Oh and further deep joy! A chance to meet the rare and endangered species of RDA – another bloke! Eric Reynolds has been with the Group for 3 years, “I was recruited (we all know what he really means) to write the handbook and do the data management for the Group, now I do lots of stuff. I didn’t appreciate how emotional it is working with folk with a disability. I love it. You get motivated by seeing just how much is achieved”.

To sum up my day, Jeannie Reynolds (Chairman) put it nicely in a short speech of thanks to all present, “I’m so pleased to have seen so many family, friends, supporters and sponsors today. The children and ponies have excelled for us and it is such a pleasure to have such warm applause for what they and we have achieved.”


Their first ever demonstration ride for parents and supporters was given by the 16 riders of Wyre Forest Riders RDA  in July 2017 using the wonderful Stourport Riding Centre main arena. This was the culmination of a year of exciting developments for the Group; including full participation in the RDA Outcomes Tracker programme, their first entries in the RDA Regional Competition and their first Endurance Awards. The children and ponies all performed brilliantly on their demo day, ably supported by the dedicated team of volunteers who have worked so enthusiastically throughout the year. Everyone enjoyed it – especially the parents who were able to see for themselves the fantastic progress their children have made this year. The riders received, with great pride, their various achievement and progress awards.

This little boy Harley was unable to sit up on a pony last September – in fact it was borderline whether he had sufficient neck and core strength to enable us to put him on a pony at all. We had advice from Lynne Munro (Regional Physio) about starting him on a sheepskin with a roller support at the front and she trained our volunteers how to hold him correctly. Look at him now – not only sitting on a saddle but holding a handle and engaging with his volunteers – all skills that have developed during this year and which his Mum puts down to entirely to riding. We have permission from his Mum to use his picture in any way which would support RDA. 


"I know, we can make a horse", was just one line from an overheard conversation between riders at the Hunts Farm Group, Worcestershire. And so began a quest for unwanted buttons and ribbons.  Great fun was had sorting, sizing and grouping the buttons in order to glue, stick, and sew them onto a huge piece of card. How many hours? "We don't know, lots and lots, doesn't it look great!"

And so it does, so much so that the tenacious group of four lifted first prize at the RDA Nationals this year.  A grand job and all worth the effort for our favourite activity.  Thank you to Eveline Milford and all at Hunts Farm for giving us such a wonderful experience - onward to next year!

Pictured (L-R) Kathy McCabe, Meg Cooper, Jenny Collins and Paul Atkins.


There was a massive outburst of pride and passion on display at the SRC on Wednesday 7 Dec when children of the HIGH RIDERS GROUP performed their special mounted drill ride.

Dozens of family, friends and school staff were treated to a highly skilled show conducted under the care of SASHA BIRCH one of the Group coaches. The rides were the culmination of weeks of work, “but only 3 rehearsals” as riders from 2 sessions came together to perform. The smiles of delight and warm applause of proud parents greeted the riders at the end of a truly confident and intricate display. Star of the show was SPLASH a coloured Shetland who has been carrying riders for as long as folk can remember.  “He’s brilliant” beamed Charlie Marshall’s parents, “in fact they both are”, with Charlie proudly showing off his commemorative rosette.

Rosettes for the day were presented by Mrs Jeannie Bird the Worcestershire Chairman. “It is great to see so much being achieved, and so many happy faces, it makes all your hard work worthwhile. Well Done”.  To top the day the Group was visited by a Mr S Claus who had made a special effort to get to see the children’s annual performance.  “RDA has provided you all with your own gifts to your families and friends this Christmas; you certainly have made them SMILE. WELL DONE and have a very Merry Christmas.”

 Unsung Hero 

Herefordshire and Worcestershire Winner 

HUGE Congratulations to Amanda Smith
 on her well deserved award.


The RDA is reliant on volunteers to deliver what we do and most go unrecognised by the general public. That Amanda  has been selected at such a public event is thus much more significant.  Her achievement, and that of Malvern Hills  Group and local team of Supporters, will go a very long way to keeping what we do in the public eye.

Worcestershire RDA Volunteer 

Amanda Smith from Malvern Hills Group has recently being award

 ‘Unsung Hero’ for Malvern 2016.

Amanda has now passed the first entry point for the National ‘Unsung Hero’ award, and will go forward to the county heat prior to being in the regional heat later in the year  and hopefully will reach the National Final which is presented at the prestigious BBC Sports personality of the year ceremony.

This is an externally recognised award outside of the RDA arena and she was placed in a very high calibre pool, this is a significant achievement we all at RDA wish her luck.

 10 /8/16

Risingbridge RDA Group 
celebrated their 40th anniversary
Risingbridge RDA Group 
celebrated their 40th anniversary
on Tuesday 27 September and showed off  a riding demonstration by the children from Victoria School.  This was followed by a scrumptious buffet lunch for 70 people.

Claire Milican, RDA Director of Activities and Celia Baker, Regional Chairman were principal guests and presented 5, 10 and 15 Years Service Awards to dedicated volunteers. Most notably special awards were received by Helen Kershaw - 35 years Service Award and Maggie Moore - Over and Above Award for their long service to RDA.

 Victoria School presented a plaque to the Group  in appreciation of their valued contribution and also a cheque towards Group funds raised by the children's sponsored singalong.

 Congratulations to Meg Cooper 

of Hunts Farm RDA

Meg Cooper, competing for the first time at West Mercia RDA Regional Qualifiers, has qualified in the Senior Section for the countryside challenge.  Meg will be riding "Jake" from Stourport Riding Centre, where Hunts Farm RDA group ride.  Hunts Farm Group has qualified for Hartpury with their Arts and Crafts entry.

Summer 2016

Worcestershire Groups Information 

01905 780692 

Durrance Group

Phone Number: 01562 882486
Postcode: DY13 9JD
Email: durrancerda@hotmail.co.uk

High Riders Group

Phone Number: 01299 266718
Postcode: DY13 9JD
Email: janelesleyprice@me.com
Hunts Farm Group

Phone Number: 01299 851465

Postcode: DY13 9JD

Email: chrisfletcher475@yahoo.com

Kyre Group

Phone Number: 07749 935450
Postcode: WR15 8PT
Email:  helencmunro@yahoo.co.uk

Longlands Group

Phone Number: 01886 821431
Postcode: WR6 5SG
Email: desdoge1-@gmail.com

Malvern Hills Group

Phone Number:07879 644758 

Postcode: WR14 1UP

Email: chairman@rda-malvernhills.org.uk


Risingbridge Group 

Phone Number: 01527 861547

Postcode: DY13 9JD

Email: rachaelmead@gmail.com
Seechem Group

Phone Number: 0121 445 4401

Postcode: B48 74L

Email: janecolley02@yahoo.com
The Franche Riding Group

Phone Number: 07828 643806

Postcode: DY13 9JD

Email: Judy.harler@yahoo.co.uk

Wyre Forest Riders Group

Phone Number: 07561 250707

Postcode: DY13 9JD

Email: sue.beeson@freeuk.com


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