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RDA Winning Awards for Access in Surrey

On 17th October Sheri Johnson, our chair, and Barry Tregaskis, our Trustee and coach, attended a fabulous awards ceremony hosted by the Borough of Guildford in the Guildford Baptist Church.

The Mayor of Guildford, Masuk Miah, presented Horsley, Bookham & Leatherhead RDA an Award for Access. We were successful winners of Services to the Community alongside some other fantastic charities. This award is focused on ensuring out services and facilities are accessible for all and have ongoing policies to ensure accessibly. To have the recognition of all the work we do is such an honour and makes it all worthwhile. From a detailed safeguarding and ongoing health and safety policies behind the scenes, through to accessible facilities - such as our lift which helps riders of all ages mount our ponies.

RDA Surrey award for accessibility

There’s a huge amount that goes into making all of this happen such as training to make our ponies used to things like a large ramp and ensuring our volunteers are trained to deal with a variety of rider (and pony!) needs.

It’s such an honour to have our work recognised and also demonstrates how we have gone above and beyond to ensure accessibility and services for all is available at our centre in Effingham. A special thanks to our colleagues in RDA HQ to help us create such a well-considered facility but also Sophie Christensen, GB Paralympian gold medal winning dressage rider, who gave us ongoing consulting and personal perspective to ensure we made an accessible first facility.

Our goal is to continue to support our local community providing not only ridden sessions for young children but also short-term programmes and non-ridden experiences for adults with a variety of needs; we are working closely with another charity who help to rehabilitate those recovering from strokes, whilst our Tea-with-Ponies initiative is providing stimulating sessions for local care home residents with onset dementia.

Horsley Bookham and Leatherhead is a purely volunteer run charity where we help over 90 children gain the benefits of riding for their physical, mental and educational therapy.

If you’d like to become a volunteer and get involved in the wonderful work we do, please get in touch. For just a couple of hours a week, during term time, you can make a real difference to so many peoples lives.

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