About Us

Find out more about the journey of Perry RDA and how the Cavalier Centre dream became a reality.
Our Story

Our belief that ‘horses make the difference’ underpins all that we do.    

It is a testament to the entire Cavalier Centre community of staff, trustees, volunteers, participants and supporters that the Centre continues to grow and develop, despite a few difficult years. Our ambition is to improve even more lives through activities based around our incredible team of horses and ponies, increase our work with partners and supporters to benefit the community and become a centre of excellence for wellbeing and equestrianism to be enjoyed by all.

In the April of this year HRH The Princess Royal visited the new build Cavalier Centre to open it in front of a large number of supporters and sponsors.  This was a terrific occasion which had been a long time coming and had been eagerly awaited by so many people.  We were blessed with a fine day and a wonderful “cast” of humans and horses filled the bill with interesting and appealing presentations.  Eagerly we looked forward to the first 12 months of operating.  These were sadly cut short by the onset of Covid 19 and its restrictions and these continued to stop us from properly functioning until April 2021

Despite the effects of the pandemic the Centre has continued to develop its offer and to reach new people thanks to our determined volunteers, staff and ceaseless fundraising 

When the group started in 1995  we always knew that as it progressed it would eventually outgrow this original site. After many years of trying to find a new location, abortive exploration of possible sites, the Willey Estate from Broseley contacted us with an offer not to be refused.  We were offered the site at Bradeley Farm outside Much Wenlock on much better terms than any of the previous offers had been, we were also offered the back up of the tremendous energies and support of Catherine Lady Forester and her daughter Selina Graham.  Without these two ladies, none of what has been achieved would have been possible.

Following the requisite site searches a planning application was lodged in the spring of 2014.  Due to various complications it actually took until the winter of the same year before planning was granted and we could crack on with the major job of raising the £1.4 million that was to be needed for the build.

Perry Riding for the Disabled Group started at the home of Jane Barker in North Shropshire due to a need highlighted by severely disabled young people from Severndale Special School in Shrewsbury who were unable to access RDA sessions anywhere else in the county.

Two ponies and four helpers initially helped with the sessions, gradually increasing over the years as demand and donations increased.  Carriage driving was begun with an 11 year old riding horse being sent away to add to his education and the money was raised to buy the harness and the carriage for him on his return after 8 weeks intensive training.  Vaulting was begun with a group of ADHD autistic young people from Cruckton Hall School and great results were achieved with behaviour modification and general improvement in social interaction.

Our Team

Meet the team and board of trustees behind the Cavalier Centre.

Rachel Lambert-Jones
Centre Manager

email – [email protected]

Annabel Bolton
Yard Manager & Volunteer Co-ordinator
Rebecca Hewitt
Volunteer and Family Liaison Manager

Returning January 2022

Lynette Fryer
Skills Development Project Coordinator

email – [email protected]

Jessica Pink
Yard Coordinator

email – [email protected]

Sam Bowman
Admin and Events Coordinator

email – [email protected]

 

 

 

Lisa Bartlett
Admin and Yard Support

RDA Coaches

Coach

RDA Riding

Coach
RDA Riding and Vaulting
Coach

RDA Riding

Coach

RDA Riding

Coach

RDA Carriage Driving

Coach

RDA Riding

Coach

RDA Carriage Driving

Coach

RDA Riding

Coach

RDA Carriage Driving

Coach

RDA Carriage Driving

RDA Pathway

If you’re interested in coaching then this is the RDA Pathway – https://www.myrda.org.uk/runningyourgroup/coaching/

Our Board of Trustees


President

The Cavalier Centre is honoured to have Henry Jocelyn Seymour, 9th Marquess of Hertford as its President.  Although he lives at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire, Lord Hertford has been very supportive over the past few years, joining in with fundraising events and attending the grand opening in 2019.  He is a keen horseman himself and understands very well the vital work that is carried out by Riding for the Disabled groups across the country and the amazing difference that horses can make to people’s lives.


Vice President

Lady Forester attended the formal launch of the campaign to raise funds for the Cavalier Centre at the Severn Edge Arts Centre, and was on hand to cut the first turf when the dream started to become a reality and the builders moved on site.  Catherine Lady Forester, the life vice-president of the Cavalier Centre, is an enthusiastic supporter of the RDA and has delighted in all that has been accomplished at Bradeley over the last few years – perhaps doubly so, because her daughter, Selina Graham, has been involved from the beginning and is also a trustee of the Centre.  Lady Forester regularly attends events and open days and actively champions the work of the Centre.


Head of the board

Got a law degree from Durham University, qualified as a lawyer, practiced as a solicitor for 4 years in London then moved to Zimbabwe.

She ran a farm of 10,000 acres in Zimbabwe largely cattle ranching.

She returned to the family business and has been working here in Shropshire for the past 14 years, initially part time letting houses, and for the past 7 years as Chief Executive.

Mrs Graham has done quite a lot of fund raising since she has been back – the Memories Art Exhibition raised money for the Alzheimers Society and the Brook Weld Project – about £115,000 total, built the extension on the Day care centre in Broseley for which about £100,000 was raised, She helped to organise a lunch for Help for Heroes which raised about £50,000 locally and latterly has raised over £100,000 through the K12 challenge for the RDA. She is currently County President of St John Ambulance. 4 years ago, she helped to set up the first primary free school in Shropshire and she continues as Chair of Governors there, and sits on nine charities at the moment, as well as most importantly being a wife and mother.


Group organiser

1983 onwards Increased involvement with Riding for the Disabled. Member of National Coaching Committee Chief Examiner and Assessor.

1995 Founded Perry Riding for the Disabled Group. 1997 Founded Perry Carriage Driving for the Disabled. 1998 Founded Perry Equestrian Vaulting Group. 1998 Certificate in Education for Further, Adult, and Higher Education. Open University Degree Course ongoing.

1998 Visited Hong Kong as Examiner for local coaches affiliating to Riding for the Disabled. 2001 RDA Senior Instructor. 2004 Visited Cluj Napoca in Romania to assist small group setting up for disabled riders. 2008 Attended North American Riding for the Handicapped Association National Conference at Hartford Connecticut.

2010 UK Coaching Certificate Level 3 – Assessor and Coach Educator. 2012 Delivered a paper at International Congress for Therapeutic Riding at Munster. 2015 RDA Fellow. 2015 Visited Dubai to assist voluntary group Al Marmoom Therapeutic Riding setting up strategies for taking disabled riders


Company Secretary

Dennis is a retired career Civil Servant with extensive experience at senior levels in the Change Management and Business Assurance sectors of Government.

Active in the Charity sector for over twenty years – both locally and nationally – Dennis is particularly focused on facilitating assistance for individuals and organisations providing support for the terminally ill, the disadvantaged, the vulnerable, and the homeless.


Treasurer

After completing a BA (Hons) degree in Communication Studies in Nottingham she moved to London to become a media buyer in the advertising industry working on accounts such as Toyota.

Lynn moved back to Shropshire 1996 and in 2000, with her husband Simon and started the corporate financial advisory company, Fox Whittle Financial Management which is still going strong today.

She has been a volunteer on the Cavalier Centre fundraising committee since 2015, helping with among other things the Race night’s, open day at Kingswood Equestrian Centre, Mfest 300 and the zip wire challenge.

Lynn has a particular interest with RDA as her daughter Lydia has arthrogryposis and has seen the wonderful experience riding horses has given her and in particular para dressage. They now share a horse for every day enjoyment.


Trustee

Educated at Horris Hill and Repton, Bill went on to serve in the military, holding the rank of 2nd Lieutenant in the Scots Guards.

During his business career he has held many roles, including marketing manager, Managing Director of Granada Motorway Services, Assistant Managing Director of Granada’s UK TV rental operation and Director of European Operations at Norlin Music.

Upon retirement, he is actively involved in start-up business acting as an angel investor.


Trustee

Following a distinguished first career in the Army and a successful second career in business as the managing director of a training company and the co-owner of a start-up renewable energy business, David is now focusing his attention on the third sector.

Driven by the desire to prepare a purposeful life for Tara, his special needs daughter, once she leaves formal education, David has worked tirelessly over the last couple of years to help his wife transform her family ’s failing livestock farm with a view to it supporting special needs adults. With a sustainable environment now in place, David is already offering work experience to young adults in transition and aims to expand his offer to create a valued Day Services Centre.


Trustee

Val trained as a business analyst, working on two of the largest Business Systems ever developed in the UK, leading one of nine Work Centres to be established.

After 5 years of running the Work Centre Val became part of a policy team in the Cabinet Office moved to the Office of Government Commerce, an office of the Treasury.

Following 5 years living in London away from husband Dennis, distance was taking its toll and it was time to resume a normal life. However, after 12 months of retirement Val was offered another challenge, and became involved in the voluntary sector through becoming chair of the newly built Severn Centre, a leisure trust in Shropshire utilizing her existing skills and combining them with new ones required to integrate the Severn Centre into the community. She then decided to properly retire but guess what, another opportunity to help came along and here Val is, volunteering at the Cavalier Centre.


Trustee

Sarah obtained her Law and French Degree at the University of Birmingham in 1994 before completing the Legal Practice Course in 1995, achieving Distinction. Sarah began her training contract at leading Midlands firm Martineau and qualified as a Solicitor in 1997 before joining Gwynnes (later to become mfg Solicitors) in 2004. Sarah joined FBC Manby Bowdler as a Partner in 2012 and now heads up the Agricultural & Rural Services Team.

Sarah specialises in all aspects of property based agricultural and landed estate work. She provides clients with a detailed knowledge and understanding of matters arising in the acquisition and disposal of freehold land as well as agricultural, residential or business leasehold matters with particular emphasis on Agricultural Holding Act tenancies, estate management, refinancing, subsidy advice and agri-environmental schemes. Sarah has built her reputation acting as legal adviser to some of the largest landed estates across the Midlands and into Wales as well as multi generational family farmers in reorganising their farming business structures and partnerships.

Sarah was until recently President of the Staffordshire Committee of the Country Landowner and Business Association (CLA) and has also completed a five year term on the CLA’s National Legal, Parliamentary and Property Rights Sub Committee.

Our Volunteers

About our volunteers

We always say that the Centre could not run without the fantastic support of  its army of volunteers. From supporting in lessons, caring for the animals to groundwork, cleaning and administration.  We have people kindly offering their time and energy to help run the activities that we offer and keep the animals and the centre in tip top condition and  always with a smile on their faces.

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