Anyone from the age of 14 years upwards can become an RDA volunteer, as long as they are physically and mentally capable. You do need to be reasonably fit, as you walk for half an hour each session during which you need to be alert at all times.
Three volunteers are required for each pony/rider. One, the pony leader, is required to control the pony following the directions of the Instructor. The other two are side walkers, walking either side of the pony, and they also need to be aware of the Instructor’s directions so as to help the rider as and when required. They need to ensure that the riders sit comfortably and balanced on the pony and that they keep their feet in the stirrups, and also to assist them to hold and use the reins. They also assist the rider to do the exercises and to play the games.
We are always looking for more volunteers. Please do get in touch if you are interested in getting involved – whether as a side walker, the leader of a pony, to help set up the arena, or just poo pick during the sessions. Your help will be invaluable.
If anyone has a pony they think might be suitable, and which they are prepared to bring to sessions, please do let us know.
At the moment we have approximately 20 helpers – we need a minimum of 15 for every session. Each Monday morning is broken into 3 half hour sessions. Ideally we would love volunteers to be with us all morning but if you can only help with one or two sessions, which would be greatly appreciated. Volunteers need to arrive by 1015 (earlier if you are able to help set up). The first session starts at 1030 and the third finishes at 12 noon. We are then grateful for the help of any volunteers who can help clear up and also hope that volunteers will stay for tea / coffee and a chat afterwards.
We have three RDA qualified Coaches, and they normally coach a session each. Car (Carol) our head coach has been with us since the group was formed and we are always keen to encourage volunteers who are interested to take up the coaching courses which are run by the RDA. There are online courses available, and training courses are held at local RDA centres. We have a safeguarding officer and six first aiders.
Every volunteer must have an up to date advanced DBS Certificate which must be renewed every three years, and a copy must be held in the group’s records. An advanced DBS Certificate is a legal Safeguarding requirement, and we will help volunteers apply for this.