RDA AGM: Princess Anne and Alastair Stewart champion the needs of the individual and celebrate expert volunteers

RDA has held its 48th AGM, Chaired by RDA President Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal. The Princess was present for the full day’s programme before chairing the formal business of the AGM.

In her President’s Report, The Princess acknowledged the changing landscape RDA is working in, the need for evaluation and how RDA has responded to that challenge; the fundamental principle of putting each individual’s needs first and of working with the person rather than the label of their disability. She recognised the experience and expertise of RDA’s coaches and volunteers – and how those skills can come together in the vision for RDA’s National Training Centre.

Broadcaster, journalist and RDA supporter Alastair Stewart OBE opened the morning’s proceedings with a talk on the Importance of RDA. In his open and frank address, he reminded delegates of the power they have to change lives when they ask: “What can you do? What would you like to do? What do you dream of doing?” He praised volunteers and RDA’s collaborative approach to meeting participants’ needs: “We don’t look down at people. We look across at each other. And together we look up and decide what we can achieve.”

RDA rider, East Region Participant Rep and Para-Vaulter Lizzie Bennett likewise spoke from the heart when she gave her presentation on ‘Why RDA is Important to Me’. Having achieved more than she ever thought possible through her riding and vaulting, she explained how RDA has helped her overcome the isolation and fear that disability that cause.

Sam Orde, RDA Chairman, inspired delegates with tales from her ‘Big Ride’ Challenge, which raised £40,000 for RDA groups and the National Training Centre. In her Chairman’s report she commented: “. It was brilliant to have support in all parts of the UK for the Big Ride project and to feel the unity of purpose across RDA for our plans.”

In an interesting and informative presentation, Barry Horne from English Federation of Disability Sport revealed the results of their research into the motivations and barriers for an active lifestyle experienced by people with disabilities. Representatives from CELT at The Clwyd Centre North Wales explored the wide range of educational and therapeutic opportunities that exist with horses as a catalyst and motivator for change.

Claire Milican, Director of Activities and Fiona Harris, Coaching Coordinator both at RDA UK presented the details of the Coaching Pathway review, which will ultimately lead to changes in the training and qualifications journey for the charity’s coaching workforce around the UK.

“Our AGM should be a reflection of where we are as a charity, an exploration of the challenges we face as we strive to be better, and an inspiration for all of us as we look forward to another extraordinary year,” said Ed Bracher, RDA Chief Executive.

“This meeting was all that and more and I am grateful to all our fantastic speakers for entertaining, informing and challenging us. The work we are undertaking on our coaching pathway and our National Training Centre; our commitment to evaluating our activities and listening to our participants; the skill and expertise of our volunteers – all these things have been acknowledged and celebrated. We continue to have the invaluable support of Her Royal Highness, not just in chairing our meetings but her regular visits to groups all over the UK, her unfailing interest in and scrutiny of our activities and her instinctive understanding of all the good that RDA achieves.”

Resolutions (all passed):
1. To appoint Sayer Vincent as Auditors of the Association in respect of the accounts for the year commencing 1 April 2017

2. To elect Lindsay Correa as a Trustee of the Association, with specific responsibility for volunteer development

3. To elect Sally-Anne O’Neill as a Trustee of the Association, with specific responsibility for activities

4. To confirm the re-appointment of Ms Jacqui Scott as a Trustee of the Association, with specific responsibility for fundraising

5. To appoint Judi Singer as an Honorary Life Vice President of the Association

6. To appoint Anne Dunham OBE as an Honorary Life Vice President of the Association

Awards:
Hon Life Vice Presidents: Judi Singer and Anne Dunham OBE

Susan Dudley-Smith Award: Stephen Henry Dale, East Park RDA
Birt Spooner Cup: Margaret Morgan

Loriner’s Education award: Lyncombe Lodge

President’s Awards: George Masson, Maryculter Driving group; Sarah Baker, Herts & Essex Border group; Kath Hatwell, Essex County Chairman

Page Last Updated: November 15, 2017