Our story starts when Herefordshire Riding for the Disabled was established in 1991 within the grounds of Holme Lacy College. The vision then was to provide a purpose-built RDA centre which could provide horse therapy sessions for disabled independent riders and school groups from Herefordshire and the surrounding borders.
Over the past 30 years amazing results have been witnessed with riders benefitting from our horse therapy sessions. Many of our clients have achieved the unimaginable in developing their physical, learning and emotional abilities, developments that had been thought to be the unachievable. This has been possible through building strong bonds with the RDA horses, providing bespoke equipment so clients can get on and ride, with specially trained coaches to instil confidence and giving support mentally and physically to progress individuals’ skills.
We are a community of equestrians that wish to encourage, support, inspire and motivate all who come to HRDA, this includes parents, carers, guardians and volunteers, as well as riders. Our horses are very gentle and being around and working with them create a feeling of contentment, and for people assisting in the lessons also brings a sense of fulfilment.
We know there are many more disabled children and adults within our catchment area that would benefit from the therapies we provide. However, we have insufficient capacity to meet their needs.
This is because we have outgrown our facilities at Holme Lacy. We have a good relationship with Holme Lacy College and always appreciate their valued support, but we need to expand to give us the scope to be able to welcome many more people who would benefit from our therapies, and to do this we needed to find new premises.
We are entirely independently funded, we have to raise all our funds ourselves, therefore we rely on donations, volunteers carrying out fundraising events, and applying for grants. Only a small proportion of our income comes from clients who pay a discounted fee which helps us to remain viable.
HRDA has been very fortunate to secure funds from a generous donor which has enabled us to purchase 40 acres of farm land at Llangove in the south of Herefordshire, and planning permission has also been approved for the building of our new Centre. HRDA hope to move to these new premises within a couple of years.
We are seeking two Trustees to join our team to assist in ensuring our charity is delivering the services it has been set up to achieve. This is an exciting period for HRDA, and provides the opportunity as a Trustee to help make a difference to the lives of disabled people.
Expertise in how to raise funds for both revenue and capital projects, and experience in project management are the most current needs. However, working in a team to identify and help deliver needs and opportunities requires a variety of skills to ensure decisions are effective, and we would welcome those who are keen to share their expertise in good management practices.
If you are interested in considering being a Trustee for HRDA please contact David Harding, Chair of HRDA on firstname.lastname@example.org by the end of November 2023.