Chair of Buxton disabled riding charity retires after 19 years, leaving new £151,000 arena as her legacy
Tributes have been flooding into a Buxton disabled riding group this month following the retirement of the charity’s longtime chairman.
Wendy Howe has stepped down after 19 years of unstinting service to the Helen Atkin Group Riding for the Disabled Association, in which time she spearheaded fundraising efforts for a new £151,000 covered arena for the group’s riders at Buxton Riding School.
She said: “I am sad to be leaving, but very proud of what the group has achieved so far, and also of the ideas and enthusiasm its members have for the future.
“I have worked with an amazing bunch of enthusiastic people. We have shared a vision of how we can improve people’s lives, but it is now time to hand over the reins to the next person.”
Wendy is leaving the High Peak to start a new chapter of her life in North Yorkshire and will be succeeded by the group’s former secretary, Janine Frost.
Janine said: “Wendy has put so much effort and energy into the role over the years that she will be an extremely hard act to follow. Everyone will very much miss her enthusiasm, drive and sense of humour, and we all wish her all the very best.
“She has steered the group from small beginnings, with a handful of riders and a few horses, to a large-scale operation catering for many more riders spanning all age groups and abilities, some of who have successfully competed in the RDA’s regional and national Countryside Challenge competitions in recent years.”
Wendy’s hard work and dedication secured support grants for the new state-of-the art arena from Sport England and other organisations, donations from local and national businesses, and inspired a hugely successful crowdfunding appeal.
Janine said: “She has been the driving force behind the project so that our riders can enjoy lessons whatever the weather. We are hoping the arena will be ready to open later this year.”
Karen King has become group secretary, Janette Sykes will increase her publicity role, and Deborah Ward will lead on fundraising.
The group would love to welcome new volunteers who could work with the horses or behind the scenes in administrative or other support roles.
For more information, contact [email protected] or 07960 961605.