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An interview with one of our Trustees

As part of our series of interviews with key people associated with the charity, Ruth has kindly given her views about her time with our special charity. How did you first hear about the charity? I heard about Horsley and Bookham RDA from Sheri as they were looking for a general committee member to assist with events, someone who could make things happen, and who to ask other than a busy person working full time, with horses and two children! I joined the committee in 2007. How long have you been volunteering and what roles have you done? I started as a general committee member, and volunteer on a Wednesday evenings, once I retired from work I stepped up my hours to help with the newly formed Wednesday afternoon session too – I still help on both sessions on a Wednesday. I am also a stand by helper for Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. I have since become a Trustee and earlier this year took over the role of Treasurer. Who is your favourite pony and why? Coco! A pony loved by many of our little riders, slow in walk but a delight to trot and looks after our riders. What has kept you continuing to volunteer with the charity? Seeing the difference it makes to our riders, helping someone with acute anxiety getting on a horse for the first time and helping them develop confidence in their own abilities. Its amazing to be a part of that. What would be the impact if RDA wasn't available to the riders in your groups? I think it would leave a big hole, as we have all seen great differences in the children’s confidence, communication levels, concentration and general well being and when some of the children stop these improvements slow down. What do you feel are the biggest benefits to the children and young people in your groups with regard to riding? Apart from the improvement in skills and behaviors noted above for the Wednesday evening young adults it gives them a sense of control, they can ask their ponies to do things and they respond, it gives them a chance to do something different and they really enjoy each session. What have been the highlights for you with regard to your time with the RDA? Seeing smiling faces on children, young adults and more recently adults recovering from stroke, such a sense of achievement being on a horse. In three words please sum up how you feel about our RDA. Makes a Difference What would you say to anyone thinking about volunteering for the charity? Come along to a session and see for yourselves it's fun for the riders and volunteers too. Is there anything else you would like to say about our RDA? I am amazed at how much the Trustees and some key volunteers do, in addition to helping at each group session, to raise the much needed funds to provide over 1300 rides a year and how many others would love to have the opportunity to ride with us. I am so proud of what we achieve.

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