Volunteers Week 2020: Local organisations join forces to say ‘thank you’ to their fantastic volunteers

Date published: 02 June 2020

The Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) is part of a collaborative action of organisations championing a united response for Volunteers’ Week, June 1-7.

This week, charities across the UK are coming together to say a massive thank you to all volunteers.

Volunteers have played a vital role throughout this year, especially helping the nation through the current pandemic.

They will go on to play a role in helping us to get back to the things that we love as we ease out of lockdown.

By joining forces in Volunteers Week 2020, organisations are aiming to increase visibility of the vital efforts that all volunteers have made this year.

Throughout the week, they will be showcasing the amazing contribution volunteers have made.

Although all RDA groups around the UK are closed during lockdown, volunteers are continuing to contribute a huge amount to their communities – keeping in touch with their clients, families and school groups, and looking after the horses.

Alison Pickering, Chair at Diggle-based Saddleworth RDA, explained volunteers have been working hard to ensure the group is ready for participants and riders when the time is right to open again.

She said: "Throughout lockdown, volunteers have kept in touch with eachother and our riders through Whatsapp groups.

"Saddleworth RDA is very much a family and it’s been so important to maintain those relationships even though our activities have been suspended.

"Participants took part in an online regional RDA Arts & Crafts competition with great success winning several prizes.

"Our group is getting creative again and entering the RDA regional competition to design a new obstacle for next years’ Countryside Challenge competition.

"Riders have unlimited access to a range of RDA home learning resources, quizzes, colouring pages and games.

"Trustees hold regular Skype meetings to keep uptodate with latest guidance and to ensure the re-start plan is right for our group.

Head of Communications and Insight at RDA UK, Caroline Ward, added: “RDA groups play a vital role in communities all over the UK, and that hasn’t stopped during lockdown.

"We know that the support our volunteers have been giving to their clients and their families is making a huge difference, and of course, the care of our horses must continue.

"Volunteers Week is a time to recognise that support.

"But we will also be taking time to recognise and think about those volunteers who are self-isolating, and facing their own challenges during this difficult time.”

Volunteer recognition will continue throughout the week, with particular focus on different themes each day:

· Today (Tuesday) - Health & Well-being

· Wednesday - Fundraising to support service delivery

· Thursday - COVID-19 response and informal community civic action

· Friday - Nature & the Outdoors

· Saturday - Arts & Culture

· Sunday - Sport & Leisure

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