The Berwickshire Group, like any RDA group, would not exist without the help of its many volunteers. The majority of volunteers assist with the provision of riding sessions, but help is also needed in other areas such as fundraising and the administration of the group.
The Group welcomes new helpers. No previous experience is needed as training will be provided. Experience with horses is not a pre-requisite - willing helpers can bring all sorts of skills to the group.
New helpers to the Group will receive a Welcome Pack. This contains an application form (RDA National form 2a(9)(c)), information about RDA as a national organisation, a form with group contact details and helper times/dates, a short history of the Berwickshire Group and ‘Hints for Volunteers’ 2(b)(1) from the RDA Membership Manual. (Please see link below to download a copy)
RDA requires that all volunteers must hold an ‘RDA Volunteers Basic Training Record Card’ (green card). Groups must issue a green card to every new volunteer as soon as they join the Group. The volunteer must complete the front of the card, the associated training and introduction to the Group before undertaking any RDA activities. Each Group is individual and volunteer training will be tailored to meet the needs of the Group. Volunteers must not undertake duties for which they have not been trained and for which training details have not been logged on their Record cards. Training courses are run at Group, County and Regional levels and volunteers are expected to attend at least one training course per annum to keep their green cards up to date.
WHAT VOLUNTEERING INVOLVES
Helping at riding sessions involves preparing both horses and riders for riding. In the case of horses this may involve bringing a horse in from the field, grooming and tacking up and leading the horse to warm up before mounting of the rider. Riders may need help with hats and boots and warm up prior to mounting. In general there will always be a helper to lead the horse, whilst some riders may need an additional one or two side walkers to assist them. There will always be an instructor who runs the session and helpers will assist riders with the instructions they receive. At the end of a session helpers will again assist riders with their safety clothing as necessary and will un-tack horses and return them to stable, paddock or from whence they came.
A volunteer can assist the Group in other ways as well as helping at riding sessions. Berwickshire Group undertakes a lot of fund-raising to help maintain the horses, equipment and the riding arena and to assist the general administration of the group. Volunteers can involve themselves in the Committee which manages the group or can help out directly with fund-raising activities by baking or selling raffle tickets, quizzes, Christmas cards or can organise activities themselves.
HINTS FOR VOLUNTEERS
The RDA National Website (http://www.rda.org.uk) contains a section on hints for Volunteers which gives useful tips for leading a pony and helping riders, as well as a profile of the ‘Ideal Helper’ To download 'Hints for all RDA Volunteers' as per the National RDA Website, please click here
Volunteering is a very rewarding experience. It is a satisfying way of taking exercise, helping people and being involved with the wider community.
If you would like more information or are interested in volunteering with the Berwickshire Group RDA, please contact us (see Contacts page).
"WHATEVER YOUR ROLE, YOUR HELP IS NEEDED AND APPRECATED. IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM, OTHER MEMBERS OF THE GROUP ARE ALWAYS HAPPY TO HELP” RDA Membership Manual 2b(1).
Should you wish to talk to somone regarding volunteeriing, details can be found under the 'Contact us' tab.