At RDA (Riding for the Disabled Association), our horses benefit the lives of over 25,000 disabled children and adults. Through activities like riding and carriage driving, we provide therapy, fitness, skills development and opportunities for achievement – all supported by 18,000 trained volunteers and qualified coaches at nearly 500 RDA member groups all over the UK.
RDA is an inclusive and diverse organisation. We welcome clients with physical and learning disabilities and autism, and there are no age restrictions. Through our network of member groups, RDA is at work in every corner of the UK, in our cities and remote rural areas, bringing the therapy, achievement and fun of horses to as many people as we can.
RDA UK provides support services, leadership and guidance to member groups, to help ensure the best possible experience for participants, and to promote the growth and development of the whole organisation. Our activities include volunteer training, the delivery of our coaching pathway, education programmes, governance and safeguarding support, research and insight, brand awareness and fundraising support.
The Board governs RDA UK and is made up of 11 Trustees – some elected by Member Groups and some recruited directly. It is supported by the National Office team and the volunteers that make up RDA UK (a network of regional, county and national volunteers).
Member Groups are separately registered individual charities, tied into RDA by the membership agreement and adherence to the operating procedures agreed by RDA UK. This requires Groups to fulfil specific obligations covering how they operate.
RDA is a broad federation encompassing a wide range of volunteers whose commitment to the charity drives the organisation forward. The Chair plays a key role in leading this team. The Chair leads the Trustee team and chairs Board meetings, they also chair the Finance and Investment Committees. With a strong tradition of collaborative and productive engagement with Trustees, the Chair will be able to work with colleagues on the Board to get things done. Where possible, the Chair plays a key role in helping us broaden our network and cultivating our stakeholders to ensure that we work as productively as possible. Supported by a strong fundraising team, the Chair has a key role in helping motivate and maintain current and potential donors to the organisation.
We are looking for a Chair who can approach the role with a clarity of purpose and a good understanding of RDA, its values and culture. The new Chair should have highly developed influencing, communication and interpersonal skills; able to connect with individuals at all levels of the organisation.
You should be able to act as a strong and ‘visible’ leader of the RDA Board. You will have experience of steering a committee to strong decision-making, and have operated at Board level. You will bring your business skills to the role, with strategic thinking and a good understanding of modern business processes and practices. Your exceptional communication and listening skills will quickly gain the confidence of the Board and allow you to connect effectively with volunteers and staff across the organisation. You will have a good understanding of the voluntary sector, as well as the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of Trusteeship.
You should mention any experience as a charity trustee, a fundraiser or any other involvement with the charity sector. Public speaking experience is also desirable. A direct knowledge of RDA and some experience with horses are also a bonus.
Location and time commitment
The Board meets four times a year at RDA’s Head Office and National Training Centre in Warwickshire. Other essential engagements include committee meetings, the AGM and the RDA National Championships. There are further opportunities to engage with RDA’s work through group visits and regional events, fundraisers and visits from RDA President, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal.
In total, a realistic expectation would be 3-4 days per month.
Terms of Appointment
This role is voluntary but reimbursement is made for all reasonable expenses. The appointment is for a three-year term, which can be renewed at the discretion of the Board.