Pictured left to right John Leech, Judith McNeil-Wilson, Kate Nicholls, Bobby, Claire Jenkins, Debbie Powell, Lou Brook, Heather McLain and Sue Leech.

What an incredible start to the year for one of our riders! Kate Nicholls (Age 25) and who has been riding with us for several years has just been awarded our very first ASDAN qualification and we are all so incredibly proud of her.

ASDAN is an educational charity and awarding organisation which provides flexible and engaging programmes that can result in a nationally recognised vocational qualification to help young people develop skills for learning, work and life.   It is an incredible opportunity for young people; there are a broad range of programmes to choose from – many leading to UCAS points which can ultimately lead to university placement.

RDA Group Instructor, Judith McNeill-Wilson has really taken this programme to heart and started working closely with Kate last year on the ASDAN module “Towards Independence – Animal Care with Horse Riding and Stable Management”.  Judith said “this being our very first ASDAN qualification meant that we had a lot to work to get through to completely understand the needs of both the student and ASDAN.   I am very proud of what Kate has achieved; she has worked incredibly hard and thoroughly deserves this amazing achievement”.

And that sentiment is borne out by the comments of the ASDAN external moderator Marisa Bretherton-Mackay who said “…one of the most detailed projects I’ve seen – and great to see that Kate worked so hard to complete all of the sections.  It’s evident she’s put a huge amount of work into her project, and has been really well supported throughout.”

Kate is the first of many young adults that we will be working with the expand this amazing programme to more young adults. Heather McLain, our Equestrian Education Manager registered us with ASDAN last year, to offer our young adults an opportunity to achieve a vocational qualification.   Heather is currently working with 7 young adults from Peake Academy and we have received funding from the Freemasons to work with a further 5 riders who are all ready to start working towards an ASDAN qualification.

Our ASDAN programme takes place on a Friday, but as ever we are reliant on volunteers to help out.   If you can help a young adult achieve a life changing qualification by volunteering a few hours of your time then please get in touch.

Well done to Kate, you are an inspiration to us all.